Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 15, 2007 - Orchesta*, etc. (for Orchestra)

In another nonsensical Carroll classic, Humpty Dumpty declares: "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." One imagines him taking a similar approach, more or less, to the spelling of a word as well. Likewise, many librarians seem to find that the word orchestra contains one more letter than they'd like it to, as there are fully 73 examples of Orchesta*, and 20 of Orcestra*, currently causing disharmony in OhioLINK. These are typos of "high probability," 21 of them occurring in title or subject fields. The July 6 entry Ochestra set the stage for today's typo, with the Ballard list including the following variations on a theme: Orchetra*, Orchstra*, Orcherstra*, Orchesrt*, and Orchestrs. Tune up your OPACs by cleaning up these clams and pretty soon we'll all be making beautiful music together. (Illustration from Alice in Orchestralia by Ernest la Prade, 1925.)

Carol Reid

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