Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jon, Greeleaf, etc., Whitter (for John Greenleaf Whittier)

"Blessings on thee, little man," my father would intone at the dinner table on occasion, in a kind of mashup of grace and poetry. "Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan! With thy turned-up pantaloons, and thy merry whistled tunes..." The typo John Greenleaf Whitter turned up in OhioLINK to the merry tune of four times; WorldCat served up 26 hits for that one and three for Jon Greenleaf Whittier, plus one apiece for John Greeleaf Whittier, John Grenleaf Whittier, and John Greenlead Whittier. Although he received little in the way of formal education, Whittier managed to complete high school in a single year and was a devoted Quaker and avid Abolitionist. He was also editor of the influential Whig journal the New England Weekly Review. I'm sure his editorial blessings would be on all of you as well if you would be so kind as to correct those misspellings of his name in your catalogs. (1885 portrait of John Greenleaf Whittier from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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