Shitty proofreading, circa 1869

This excerpt from Mark Twain’s 1869 letter to Elisha Bliss reveals that the incompetent proofreader has a long and venerable history.

I wish you would have MY revises revised again & look over them yourself & see that my marks have been corrected. A proof-reader who persists in making two words (& sometimes even compound words) of “anywhere” and “everything;” & who spells villainy “villiany” & liquefies “liquifies &c, &c, is not three removes from an idiot infernally unreliable.

(From Mark Twain: A Life; concerning Innocents Abroad.)


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.