Susie’s book – ironically called Word Perfect – was released on Thursday, but it soon became apparent that an earlier, unedited version of the text had been printed.
Susie tweeted: “Thank you to everyone for supporting my book. I’ve just discovered that the initial printing used a pre-edited text. I’m so sorry about this. I’ll be in touch as soon as I can with details on how we’re going to fix it.”
The lexicographer later said she could “testify to the effectiveness of ‘lalochezia’”, which describes the use of swearing to alleviate stress and frustration.
As she replied to one reader who’d pointed out the errors in the book, Susie said: “I’m gutted obviously – and the replacement copy will definitely be free of charge. I’m so sorry for the palaver.”
Her publisher John Murray Press also apologised, tweeting: “We’re very sorry that, due to a printing error, early copies of Word Perfect are not word perfect. We’re taking urgent steps to recall these copies, reprint and resolve this swiftly.”
Susie, who has been a regular fixture on Countdown since 1992, later defended her publishers, tweeting: “In fairness to my publishers and printers, Covid has meant an extraordinary rush on pushing books through. The proof and typesetting errors were corrected but the wrong version printed; it wasn’t within my control but this year everything is out of whack.”
She added: “In the last couple of days I’ve had ample proof of the loveliness of most people, who have given nothing but support and smiles over my book-printing brouhaha. I’m so grateful and looking forward to respair (a recovery from despair).”
Speaking to The Times, Susie told of how she felt sick when she first noticed the errors.
“I just opened it up and saw there was something wrong in the acknowledgments. And then I had to close it because I felt a bit sick,” she said.
“There are quite a few errors. I haven’t counted them and I don’t really want to.”