Thursday, October 30, 2008

Insult* + Insula* (for Insult* or Insula*)

In an email circulated to library staff the other day, a secretary wrote: "I think the volunteers really enjoyed the recognition and the gift we presented to them. (This year it was a small insulted lunch bag.)" Oh well, as long as only the bags were insulted and not the volunteers. A search in OhioLINK on Insult* and Insula* brings up four records: one with an "[i.e.]," meaning that the error was on the piece itself, one that didn't involve a typo at all, and two that did, which makes it "low probability" on the Ballard list (at least insofar as that particular search would indicate). Winter is fast approaching, heating costs are escalating, and people will sometimes give you the cold shoulder. Insulate yourself against insults, and know your enemies as well as your friends.

(Picture from Wikimedia Commons with the caption: "Goose tower at Vordinborg, Zealand, Denmark. Only remaining complete part of Vordinburg castle, some 600 years old. Tower is named for the golden goose, according to legend placed on the roof by King Valdemar, intended as an insult to his German enemies.")

Carol Reid

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