An erratum is a correction made to published texts such as books or newspapers to correct an error discovered within them. Errata are used interchangeably as the plural form /er’raet@/.
There are three primary categories of errors.
1. Typos: Typos are among the most prevalent errors and usually consist of one letter or character being incorrect, for instance, when entering phone numbers or email addresses.
2. Corrections: These types of errors are more substantial than typos and involve incorrect data that could mislead readers; an example is an incorrect date or name being issued as a correction.
3. Additions: These errata add new information not previously present in the text, for instance, adding an author’s name to a book’s credits page.
Errata are typically published as separate documents from their original texts, in either corrigenda (corrections notice) or addenda (addition notices). Sometimes, they’re published directly within the text in footnotes or endnotes.
As soon as a publisher or author becomes aware of any errors in a published work, they typically issue an erratum in order to correct it. Third-party readers who discover errors alert both author and publisher directly – in such instances, an erratum will often follow shortly after that.
Errata can annoy readers, particularly if the corrections alter the meaning of the text. However, they play an essential role in maintaining accuracy within published works.
From its Latin root “to change or correct,” Erratum refers to an amendment made after publication to correct an already released book.
Errata may seem minor, but they’re vitally important. An erratum ensures accuracy in books; this is especially essential for non-fiction texts but still matters with fiction as readers need to trust that the author intends what they’re reading.
An erratum can also help avoid legal complications. If errors could constitute defamatory content in a book, issuing an erratum may help limit any damages from those mistakes.
Errata can also help preserve a book’s reputation. When books with errors are released to readers, this reflects poorly on the author, publisher, and text. By issuing an erratum, all parties involved can demonstrate that quality control measures are being taken seriously and ensure their readers have an exceptional reading experience.