When an author thinks he or she knows the reference, and doesn’t stop to check, the results (like these examples from published books) can be amusing … and sometimes disconcerting.
…your client will be waiting, hoping for her day in court where she might win a landfall.
Unless she’s a sailor reaching shore, that should probably be windfall.
Jane knew he was right, but it sucked to have to sit back and wait for the other foot to drop.
Umm… wouldn’t that be shoe?
“I’m doing something for her so it’s prid quo pro.”
If you don’t know enough Latin to use quid pro quo right, then maybe don’t use it?
He ended the concert with a reprisal of his hit song.
If it was me singing, then an encore could indeed be considered a reprisal against the audience. But I think the author meant to say reprise — which means a repetition.
The narrow tree-lined road was basically two rivets.
Seriously, no idea. Maybe it should it be ruts? Rivulets? But absolutely not rivets — they’re the bolt-type things that hold bridges together.
All those anachronisms like CIA, FBI, NSA.
The world might be a better place if the three-letter organizations were all in the past, but for right now they’re just acronyms.
She pushed the odometer five miles per hour faster.
The speedometer, yes, but the odometer measures the total number of miles a car has been driven, not its speed.
His voice was an octave louder than it needed to be.
Decibel is a measure of loudness, while an octave is an eight-note sequence or span.
The kitchenette must have been added as an after-sight.
More likely an afterthought.
I enjoyed shopping at my favorite jaunts.
Hmm. Maybe it should be haunts? Joints?
“Hail Mary, mother of grace…”
Sigh. This mashes together two separate lines from the Catholic prayer — “Hail Mary, full of grace…” and “Holy Mary, mother of God…” (Well, either that or Jesus had a sister named Grace.)
Laura gave me a hard time about driving five acres to get to her house.
An acre is a measure of area, not of distance. The official measure of an acre in the US is 43,560 square feet. So it’s possible to drive five feet, five kilometers, five miles — but not five acres.
If I break the rules I’ll be a social piranha.
I’ve known some gossipy types who take pleasure in stripping the flesh off their victims… but I’m pretty sure the author meant an outcast — a social pariah.
The Snarky Editor comes out of hiding occasionally to comment on the awkward, silly, and sometimes hilarious editing errors found in published books.