Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Postiv* (for Positive)

I'm not absolutely positive about this (some may be correctly spelled foreign words, variant spellings, etc.), but I'm pretty sure there were 35 instances of today's typo in OhioLINK this morning. We also got close to 800 hits in WorldCat; some, however, are undoubtedly not for the typo in question. For example, postivaras, which is Finnish for "mail storage" and possibly poštivci, which appears to have something to do with postcards in Polish. You'll have to be careful with this one and go directly to the source if you're not entirely certain what word you're dealing with. The word positive generally has pretty positive connotations, with the notable exception of the way in which it can sometimes signify the dreaded presence of HIV/AIDS. Playwright and gay activist Larry Kramer learned that he was HIV positive in 1988, but he hasn't succumbed to the disease and continues to actively crusade on the issue. You may get some false positives in your catalog search today, or even find that this one's gone viral, but if you keep a positive outlook, you should be able to eradicate a fair number of these typos.

(Larry Kramer in 2010, by David Shankbone, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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