Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Just the facts please, ma’am.

For people like me, who hate finding factual or continuity errors in published books and movies, there are entire websites devoted to outing errors.
Here are some gems for you to laugh about.

Titanic (1997)
When this came out the director, James Cameron made much of the recreation of the ship, and the historical detail that went into the production. Therefore it's something of a mystery as to how this film has almost more technical errors in it than almost any other on record, including the fact that the location for the famous 'flying' sequence on the bow was strictly off-limits to passengers. Then there’s the scene where Jack is charming Rose with his tales of ice fishing in Lake Wissota. Had Jack been a real historical character this would have been a neat trick, since its artificial lake was created when a dam was constructed six years after the Titanic sank.

The Da Vinci Code
During the car chase in Paris, Langdon and Sophie head for Champs-Élysées to get to the American embassy before they turn for the train station Gare Saint-Lazare. Since the embassy in question is located at the north of Champs-Élysées near the Louvre that means they actually have already passed by the embassy while supposedly en route to it. This has been corrected in the French version but not in the English.

In the book Teabing is a die-hard British patriot, yet he refers to the sport of soccer. No Englishman would use the word soccer for the game of football. People keep trying to correct this - you've really got to accept it. It's nothing to do with Teabing being older - soccer may have been used in the very early days of the game, but the governing body of the sport in the UK is the Football Association, formed in 1863, demonstrating how that was the accepted word for the sport even then (otherwise it would be the Soccer Association). Likewise the international governing body, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), formed in 1904 - no mention of the word soccer there either. And it won't be him changing it for Langdon's benefit, considering a) Langdon's intelligent enough to know what he means, and b) he's so determinedly English about everything else.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
In the chapter 'The Rogue Bludger', Harry breaks his arm in the quidditch match against Slytherin (and then Lockhart debones it). During the night in the hospital wing Dumbledore and McGonagall bring up Colin Creevey who has been petrified. Dumbledore claims "Minerva found him on the stairs" but further down McGonagall says to Madam Pomfrey "but I shudder to think...if Albus hadn't been on the way downstairs for hot chocolate, who knows what might have...", implying that Dumbledore actually found him.

There’s many more. Have fun Googling them.

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

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