Facsimiles are rarely as fascinating as the real thing. Truth, as they say, is often stranger than fiction. One noteworthy fact about them, though, is the way the word is so frequently misspelled Fascimile. Typos are begotten of various reasons, one being ignorance of the correct spelling, another arising from the arrangement of the keyboard, and yet a third having to do with a plethora of similar words where the troublesome letters are reversed. The last seems to be what is going on here. This word is both written and pronounced exactly the way it sounds, but the eyes and ears may have trouble telling it to the hand. Merriam Webster contains approximately three dozen words beginning with faci– and about the same for fasc–. However, there is only one word beginning with facs—and that's facsimile. The Ballard list of library typos puts Fascim* in its "highest probability" category and there are 28 examples of it in OhioLINK. Another variant is Fasimil*, which occurs six times.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
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