Many of the comments to this blog are thoughtful, and some are quite amusing. But you may not be seeing them, because people often comment on posts days or even weeks after the posting. I want to be sure that you notice these remarks from a reader named Nenya:
Apropos of absolutely nothing, I just needed to vent:
I'm nearly finished reading ... a book I won't name in case it gets me into trouble. In the acknowledgments section, the author thanks his editors. I can't think why...
alter boys... I have images of little boys running around changing things
mantel [of power]... I hope it was a wood one, and not marble
marine corp... I don't remember if they bothered to even capitalize it... but I want stock!
wretch... as a verb... after looking at a severed head
Kazan's cache [as a director]... is he HIDING his Academy awards?
plains... for transportation
drips and drabs... I might be wrong here, or it may be regional, but I've never heard anything but "dribs and drabs"
Some of these MAY have been typos, but some, like the "alter boys," were repeated throughout.
These instances are not points about which prescriptivists and descriptivists can argue. These are errors. They may be simple typographical errors — who among us has never hit a wrong key? Or they may be errors of ignorance — dribs and drabs misheard as drips and drabs, cache for cachet. But they are errors.
When errors like this multiply, they do not redound to the credit of the writer, the editor or the publication. They indicate that the writer and editor either do not know their jobs or simply don’t care enough to do them properly. Would you trust a carpenter who couldn’t hammer a nail straight? A doctor who couldn’t accurately take your pulse? A cook who mistook salt for sugar?
For a writer and editor, words and syntax are the tools of the trade, and readers have the right to expect that someone who makes a claim on their time and attention should display basic competence. If readers are distracted by multiplication of silly, amateurish errors of grammar, syntax and usage, it may not matter how compelling your information is or how imaginative your prose style, because you may be taken for a fool.
All you need to do is to pick up a newspaper, a magazine or a book, or to venture online, to see how much shoddy prose is being shoveled at you by publishers, print or electronic, who do not respect you enough to see to it that the texts they put forward have been adequately edited.
I suggest that when you discover that you have put down money for a book written incompetently, or that you have wasted your limited time on some subliterate article, a short, sharp note to the editor or publisher is indicated. If editors and publishers receive enough of them from the paying customers, the need for editing might begin to dawn on them.