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Grrrr text books

  1. May 16, 2006 #1
    [Rant] How is it possible that maths textbooks by reputable authors in their 2nd, 3rd, or even later publication can still be littered with errors in the answers...Isn't there supposed to be some form of proofing mechanism such that the *overwhelming* majority of errors get weeded out? :confused: (I find one or two every chapter in one of mine :frown: )...I hate the fact that I can spend ages trying to figure out where the hell I went wrong both in my working and in concept before reaching the conclusion that the book is talking BS [/Rant]

    I feel much better now :biggrin:
    Last edited: May 16, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2006 #2
    I hate it when texts are full of errors! My chemistry textbook is on it's 8th edition now and there are still calculation and even factual errors in it.
  4. May 16, 2006 #3


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    Gold Member

    Are you reporting the errors?

    It's hard for them to fix the errors if nobody is reporting them.
  5. May 16, 2006 #4
    The people who write texts do put a lot of effort into proofreading, but some of these texts are 1000 pages or more. Its impossible to catch every error. You'd have to be the Donald Knuth of textbook authors (yes, I know he wrote a text, thats not the point).
  6. May 16, 2006 #5
    i dont mind if there are mistakes in my books. i just fix them, & it makes for a good exericise to rewrite a definition/proof etc so that it makes sense. lol i had an instructor who asked us what we thought the 1st mistake was in folland's advanced calculus book. i think he said it was the cover; it was mistitled in the first couple pages lol. my copy of jay devore's stats text has some pretty bad typos, like in page numbers, etc. the index and contents said one thing and the thing i was looking for was 10 pages ahead (or behind... can't remember). at least i got it for free because it's the 1st edition & i guess 1st editions never sell.
    Last edited: May 16, 2006
  7. May 17, 2006 #6
    Point taken folks... :smile: The only gripes I have with the texts I'm using are the errors really, and I should probably learn to chill...and make the effort to log them down as I find em.

    I just get flustered and annoyed when trying to sift through all my working and start looking for rules/exceptions to invent that might explain my *wrong* answers.
    Last edited: May 17, 2006
  8. May 17, 2006 #7
    It is definitely frustrating as a student when you spend an hour or more trying to figure out where you went wrong and find out its actually an error in the text. But hopefully that hour is not wasted as you spend time reviewing your method and cementing it in your mind.
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