Friday, November 9, 2007

November 9, 2007 - Progam*, etc. (for Program)

Progam* is a typo of "highest probability" and appears 114 times in OhioLINK, along with a handful of second-stringers such as Porgr*, Progm*, Pogram*, Prorgram*, and Progrom*. If you want to rid your database of typographical errors, you'll need to get with the program and kick it into high gear. Learn how to consult the Ballard list; properly truncate your search terms; separate acceptable variants from actual misspellings; employ "sic" or "i.e." and your 246 fields to indicate printer- as opposed to cataloger-supplied errors; and keep in mind which words are hard to spell versus which are hard to type. Today's entry is a case in point concerning the various and predictable ways that transcribing a simple word can go awry: letter inversion (roor), letter elision (omitting a letter, usually a vowel), substituting one vowel for another (especially when they sound alike), etc. With regular practice, you'll come to intuit which sorts of words are problematical and therefore likely to generate typos. And pay attention to the way your own fingers dance across the keyboard. If you tend to trip up in certain ways on certain words, chances are that others do too. (Photo of the Rockettes from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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