Monday, June 16, 2008

Porpos* (for Propose, etc.)

Porpoises are reported to be smart. They know sonar, learn quickly, and can communicate with people. Who knows, perhaps they can even spell as well! Today's typo, however, is not for the word porpoise, which can be a bit slippery for some of us, even on a good day. It's for words that occur much more often in our catalogs, such as propose, proposing, and proposal. OhioLINK netted 12 examples of Porpos*, including one surname (Porposa) and two misspellings of propos, meaning "about" in French. The word porpoise derives from the French pourpois and is originally from the Medieval Latin porcopiscus (pig plus fish). So let's go out, find some of these typos, and flip those second and third letters around. Then, I propose we all go out for a nice cool drink and some fine finnan haddie. (Finless—and purportedly grinning—porpoise, from the ConserveNature website.)

Carol Reid

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