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Home > Harry Potter News

Publisher updates FAQ with Half-Blood Prince errors

The official Arthur A. Levine Books website was updated today with an addition to their FAQ page, listing all of the errors that fans have found in copies of the American edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince so far, including some that really aren't errors.

Here is the list from their FAQ:

p. 10: The site, therefore, of Fudge stepping out of the fire once more ...

Yes, we confess -- "site" here should be "sight," and it's an error we very much regret. We have already made arrangements to correct the mistake in future reprints of the book.

p. 38: The misty fug his breath had left on the window ...

This one, however, is not an errorójust a word that's unfamiliar to many readers. Webster's Tenth New Collegiate Dictionary defines "fug" as "a stuffy or malodorous emanation," which is perfectly in keeping with Harry's sleepy breathing. This usage is therefore correct as it stands.

p. 47: Dudley had that moment peered round the living room door.

A number of fans have suggested that there should be an "at" before "that moment" here. In fact, it's a common British usage to omit "at" or "the" before a phrase involving time (see also "next morning/day/afternoon/etc.), and Arthur decided to let this stand in recognition of the intrinsically British nature of Ms. Rowling's books.

p. 135: [Harry says:] "If Malfoy wants something fixing ... it's probably something Dark or dangerous, isn't it?"

This would indeed be an error in American English, where we would say "If Malfoy wants something fixed ..." But Arthur queried this usage with J. K. Rowling and her excellent editors at Bloomsbury, and he was assured that this is the way a British person would express him- or herself in speech on the subject. And since Harry is certainly British, again he felt it was appropriate to let it stand.

p. 342: ... straightening her hat. Have a little purkey, or some tooding.

Catch that one? There should be an opening quotation mark before "Have," and once again, we regret the error and have made arrangements to correct it in future reprints.

p. 485: [Professor Slughorn says:] "Had a house-elf taste every bottle after what happened to your poor friend Rupert."

We've received a number of e-mails suggesting that Ms. Rowling must have been thinking of Rupert Grint (who plays Ron in the films) here and thus accidentally substituted his name for Ron's. But truly this substitution is a deliberate choice on Ms. Rowling's part: She is underlining the fact that Professor Slughorn has never paid very much attention to Ron, to the point that he still gets Ron's name wrong even after Ron almost died in his rooms, and thus pointing up again Slughorn's particular taste for "the company of the famous, the successful, and the powerful," as Dumbledore says, over those who may be less flashy but are just as worthy, like Ron.

(Information courtesy of Arthur A. Levine Books, thanks to The Leaky Cauldron.)

More information:
• Arthur A. Levine Books

Similar recent articles:
• Half-Blood Prince coming to DVD and Blu-ray in December (9/18/09)
• Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: DVD extras details (9/12/09)
• Half-Blood Prince still number 1 in the UK (8/4/09)
• Half-Blood Prince tops 2009 movies bloopers list (7/28/09)

Published July 26, 2005

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