Sunday, February 19, 2017

I used to think typos were kind of flaky and fun. They occurred fairly infrequently and were a bit of a challenge to spot. But now that Tweetin' Trump has made typos (not to mention depressing misspellings) so utterly banal, predictable, and quotidian, they barely seem to rate a mention anymore. (Sadd!) Anyway, since most of us have more important things to worry about right now—or unless and until the day we can make typos great again—I'm back in the saddle, but will probably only be posting here from time to time. Keep up the good fight and check back in once in a while. Grreat* (for great*) shows up twice in OhioLINK, and 90 times in WorldCat. (Bear in mind that some of these might be "alt" facts and proceed with caution.)

(Image of television personality Garry Moore and Kellogg's cereal character Tony the Tiger, 3 October 1955, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hilary Clinton (for Hillary Clinton)

I started writing this blog entry when I still felt sure that Hillary would win. I had something pretty hilarious planned. But sadly it looks like our prayers have not been answered. I had a friend one time who used to say that God was a Republican. Maybe he was right. In any case, it looks as if the country is a lot more "right" than most of us were willing to believe. Believe it or not, there were five hits on this typo in OhioLINK (if you put the name in quotes, 24 if you don't) and 421 (or 706) in WorldCat. Perhaps someday, with a little more prodding, God will decide to be one of us as well.

(Screen shot of Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live, November 5, 2016.)

Carol Reid

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sotland* (for Scotland*)

Today is the birthday of Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, aka Lulu Kennedy-Cairns and better known simply as "Lulu." Lulu was a rock and roll pop singer (her '60s singing style has been called "blue-eyed soul") born in 1948 in Glasgow, Scotland. I ❤️ the fact that her first band was typographically and tongue-in-cheekily called "Lulu & the Luvvers." Lulu started singing as a young child and recorded a cover of the Isley Brothers' "Shout" at the age of fifteen. I'm not quite sure what it has to do with anything (although I'm quite sure it did), but Wikipedia pointedly points out: "Her father was a heavy drinker." Lulu might not have exactly looked up to the old sot, but she did find an inspiring father figure and road to success with the 1967 film To Sir with Love, starring Sidney Poitier. We found this typo three times in OhioLINK, and 489 times in WorldCat.

(Lulu happy with her new car, but sad she failed her driver's test. Photo found on the web.)

Carol Reid

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Aplog* (for Apolog*)

Hey, sorry! Typo of the Day for Librarians, as you've probably noticed, has been on hiatus lately. I apologize. Or as Donald Trump, by way of Alec Baldwin, might put it, "apple-ogize." In any event, I'm back now and will be posting here again—perhaps intermittently, as I work to right my recently upset applecart. Fall is a fine time for both apple-picking and apple-polishing, though, so if you've been missing all those shiny Grade-A typo suggestions the past few weeks, why not try your hand at this one? Aplog* (for apolog*) was found five times in OhioLINK, and 463 times in WorldCat.

(Don't Upset the Apple Cart, Framingham, Massachusetts, 5 October 2013, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Goddd* (for Godden, Goddess*, etc.)

In a recent posting about the book Tomboy's Doll by Charlotte Steiner, I mentioned a critical review in Kirkus, which itself mentioned the 1954 classic by kidlit goddess Rumer Godden: "How much wiser is Impunity Jane?" testily asks the reviewer. True enough, to be sure, but a little misleading, perhaps, since Tommy and William (in William's Doll by Charlotte Zolotow) are people, and Jane (and Amanda) are dolls. But just like in the 1972 Zolotow book, the human friend of Impunity Jane is a boy, not a girl. Set in Victorian England, it's the story of a lonely dollhouse doll that winds up in the pocket of a young lad named Gideon, who is endowed with the ability to "hear doll wishes" and decides to take her on some exciting adventures with his pals. He is predictably teased for being a "sissy," but Jane manages to win over the little gang of haters, and eventually her pocket protector sadly but dutifully returns her to her original owner. There is nothing distasteful, wrong, or politically incorrect about dolls per se, as I hope we have demonstrated here, and they should be loved more and by more people, not less or fewer. But for Godden's sake, let's at least try and spell everybody's name right. There were two instances of today's typo in OhioLINK, and 54 in WorldCat.

(Illustration from Impunity Jane, by Rumer Godden, taken from the web.)

Carol Reid

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stien* + Stein* (for Stein* or Stien*)

The other day, I came across an old children's book I'd randomly picked up during a recent eBay buy. It's called Tomboy's Doll. I couldn't find much out about it on the web, other than a snarky review from Kirkus and one fulminating comment ("Sexism at its finest!") on Amazon. I found it rather charming, though, for my part, and really pretty "liberating" for its day. Upon reading it through a second time, I saw that the copy I held in my hands had once belonged to the "Grouse Creek School" and—yes, I thought, free associating, what a bunch of grousing, PC pedants some readers can be! First of all, I think one should always keep in mind when a book was written and by whom. Never be blinkered by an ahistorical agenda. And secondly, try and remember that books like these are the stories of individuals, not object lessons for the masses, though they often do contain a bit of a "moral." Charlotte Steiner was born in Vienna in 1900 and emigrated to the United States in 1938 while fleeing the Nazis with her family. She was a 69-year-old woman when Tomboy's Doll was published. This was three years before Charlotte Zolotow wrote the much-praised feminist favorite William's Doll, in which a young boy is eventually allowed to play with a doll (because, his parents reason, it may help him become a better father when he grows up). In Steiner's book, the protagonist is a little girl named Mary Louise, but everyone (including her mother) calls her "Tommy"—obviously her preferred name and an apparent variant on the word tomboy. (The working title had been Tommy Tomboy's Doll, which seems to underscore even more clearly the importance of self-identification.) The Amazon reviewer complains that Tommy's "mother forces her to play with a doll" and "in the end, everyone is happy because she was forced into a gender normative role." But that's really putting it too strongly, I think. Tommy's mother does give her a doll, but Tommy is "confused" because she doesn't "know how" to play with it (suggesting it's the first one she's ever had). She and her best friend Billy experiment by using it as a shuttlecock in badminton; tying it to the cherry tree to scare crows away; giving it a ride on the back of the farmer's dog Max; teaching it to "swim" in Billy's wading pond; and making it the "victim" in a game of cops and robbers. Tommy's mom (who presumably is also the person who bobbed her daughter's hair and bought her all the "boy" toys and teeshirts and blue jeans and so forth that you see her in on every page) does little more than mildly point out, "That's not how you play with a doll" and clean the thing up a bit. Eventually, Tommy manages to bond with "Amanda" after the two of them get lost in the woods (which she probably does by modeling her mother's own equanimity and empathy toward her) and starts "playing" with the doll more properly. Nowhere is it implied, however, that she's about to give up any of the other toys or games or personal style she's come to favor. Perhaps nowadays, we'd have to have the parents calling Tommy "he" or even treating her like a "gender non-conforming" doll herself, swapping out old parts for new ones that presumably fit better. Like the disgruntled Amazon reviewer, I'm being a little sarcastic there, but back in 1969 (the year of the Stonewall riots, and three years before the debut of Ms. magazine), this book surely would have been in the feminist forefront, celebrating the idea that a girl can be just like Tommy (the dedication reads, "To Nora, my tomboy friend") and just as unconditionally loved. It would also seem to be saying that "tomboys" (and perhaps even regular boys) can learn how to love and nurture other sentient beings (or their stand-ins) while still climbing trees, playing with trucks, and throwing balls. We used to call that being "well-rounded." (Tommy appears to be a pretty good artist too. Is that a drawing of Amelia Earhart hanging on her wall??) There were 29 cases of Stien* + Stein* (for Stein* or Stien*) in OhioLINK today, and 250 in WorldCat.

(Illustration from Tomboy's Doll, by Charlotte Steiner, 1969.)

Carol Reid

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fedl* + Feld* (for Feld* or Fedl*)

I was browsing online for something like the wonderful typewriter-key earrings I once bought at a local museum (then promptly gave away to my niece) and was pleased to find a number of websites with similar ones for sale. I was immediately drawn to one pair, each earring featuring the number 9 with the open parenthesis sign—and even more beguiled after reading the tagline accompanying them: "For those 'Get Smart' fans who dreamed of being Agent 99, here's your chance. A great set of cream keys on sterling silver 925 wires..." Challenge accepted! (And loving it!) When I was a kid, my girlfriends and I would occasionally act out the characters in the TV spy show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and the spoofy sitcom Get Smart. I was "Agent 99," the beautiful, level-headed partner of the addlepated 86 (played by Don Adams), whom 99 liked to call "Max" in this incredibly sexy purr. I think we somehow felt that the Barbara Feldon role was the least important one (its being the only female one), but she might have "gotten smart" a whole lot faster than her more masculine colleagues in espionage. Agent 99, whose real name was never revealed on the show, holds the interesting distinction of having been the "first woman on an American hit sitcom to keep her job after marriage and motherhood." Let's keep Ms. Feldon's surname (and many others) intact as well. Would you believe... there were three cases of Fedl* + Feld* (for Feld* or Fedl*) found in OhioLINK today, and 30 more in WorldCat? Help defeat KAOS in our catalogs by acting to CONTROL this typo today!

(Poster with Barbara Feldon as Agent 99, taken from the web.)

Carol Reid