Friday, September 26, 2008

Pharoah* (for Pharaoh*)

Pharoah* is more than a mere typo. It's a very commonly misspelled word, turning up 329 times in OhioLINK. However, given that NACO shows seven personal names correctly spelled "Pharoah," some of those results are undoubtedly proper names. An author search on Pharoah* brings up 14 records, which may or may not contain misspellings. A keyword search on Pharoah* + Pharaoh* gets 32, which definitely do. Overall, quite a few typos here waiting to be excavated.

Former State Librarian Joseph Shubert and his beloved dog Nicky are posed together in a portrait that hangs in the Librarians Room of the New York State Library, along with a painting of Melvil Dewey. When the miniature schnauzer died last year, his longtime companion went to the pound where he was promptly picked by a new pooch, an "Egyptian" pharaoh hound. These are remarkable-looking creatures with large ears and languid airs; they resemble those skinny statues found in the antiquities rooms of many museums.

The FSL (who is also slender, red-haired, and classically inclined) named his new find Ginger, probably due to her coloring, but perhaps also because "Ginger" was the name given to the first known Egyptian mummy. It happens to be the name of the dog in the 1951 children's book Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes as well. Coincidentally, Mr. Shubert and his furry friends spend their summers on Cape Cod, as did librarians Eleanor and Rice Estes. I've enjoyed quite a few vacations there myself with family pets. Here's to the dog days of summer and especially Ginger and Joe, who just celebrated his 80th birthday!

Carol Reid

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