I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Authors' Mistakes #4 - Vince Flynn

Well, this is not really a mistake, but bad writing. Not something you would expect in a “New York Times No.1 Bestseller”. The book is “Extreme Measures”, and the problem is on the first page of Chapter 39.

Vince Flynn writes: In many ways it was what made him such a great leader, but his lack of trust and inflexibility had also made things almost impossible.

Since when is lack of inflexibility counterproductive?

Clearly, lack should be read as referring to trust only, not to trust and inflexibility, but the sentence is ambiguous and, as such, unacceptable.

To fix it, he would have only needed to swap the two shortcomings and write his inflexibility and lack of trust. Surprisingly, no copy editor picked it up...

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