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Fanzine Marred by Typo

BERKELEY, CA—A clear typographical error was discovered yesterday in the latest issue of MangaMash, a fanzine devoted to hardcore Japanese speed metal bands and Sanrio/Hello Kitty novelty kitsch products. The error, an obvious incorrect usage of “your” instead of “you’re,” shocked and disappointed MangaMash’s estimated dozen readers, who for over 11 months and three issues have come to value the fanzine’s commitment to journalistic excellence.

MangaMash's dozen readers reacted in varied ways to the fanzine's typo. (See text right.) Some expressed anger while others were not lucid enough to give coherent responses.

“I guess I just missed that one,” said editor/writer/publisher Dave Pelks, 20, who usually tries to read over the paper before taking it to the copy shop. “It’s ‘you’re’ and not ‘your’? I always mess that up.”

The typo marks the first error for MangaMash since last year’s April/November issue, in which “New York” was spelled “New Yrrok.” “That wasn’t like a real mistake,” said Pelks, defending the earlier error. “That time I just totally typed it wrong by accident. I know how to spell New York.” Pelks maintains it was late at the time, and he was “really tired.”

To prevent future errors, Pelks has made significant overhauls in the fanzine’s complex editorial process.

“I think from now on I’m gonna have my sister Anne look it over before I make any copies,” he said. “She’s only 15, but she’s really good at spelling and writing. She’s like the brain of the family.”

As an added safety check, if Anne is unavailable for editing, Pelks says he will ask his mother for help.

Because of the typo, future expansion plans have been put on hold.

“I was hoping do a color cover for the next issue,” Pelks said. “Actually, not in color, but on color paper. It was gonna be a big picture of Hello Kitty fighting Ga-mera on green paper. That would’ve been so cool.”

According to in-dustry insiders, the mistake puts the fanzine’s rock-solid reputation in jeopardy.

“This is a serious error,” Doubleday vice--president Mar-garet Ferber said. “It’s Manga-Mash’s most significant mistake since two issues ago, when Pelks stapled all the cover pages on upside-down.”

“I totally wasn’t paying attention,” Pelks said of the incident. Collectors estimate the value of the upside-down cover issue at zero dollars.

Despite the most recent slip-up, Manga-Mash’s two distributors have vowed to stand behind the embattled fanzine.

MangaMash provides the best coverage around of Japancore bands like HappyGinzaPoo and Shoko Ono,” said Pat Kwiatkowski, owner of Crush Records, a local record store specializing in used LPs and hard-to-find imports. “Their recent feature on KyotoFunFun’s tour of New Zealand was outstanding.”

Paul Scobee, manager of the Stop-N-Pop, also stood by the fanzine. “A few months ago, this kid asked me if he could leave a few copies of his magazine thing by the door,” Scobee said. “I told him yeah, as long as they don’t block the entrance. So far, it’s been okay.”

The fanzine’s most recent error has not surprised grammar experts, who say it ranks among the most frequently made mistakes. “A lot of people confuse ‘your’ and ‘you’re,’” The New York Times’ William Safire said. “If you are unsure, I recommend you actually spell out ‘you are,’ and then see if it makes sense in context.”

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