Monday, February 23, 2009

Laboratoy, labortor* (for Laboratory)

Cloning is as inevitable as flight or electricity
- science fiction author David Brin

Today is the anniversary of the announcement of the birth of Dolly the sheep, February 23, 1997. Dolly was created in a laboratory and born in 1996, the first clone of an adult mammal. Her birth led to much controversy, and also much hope: the potential for curing diseases, providing organs for transplant, and reviving an endangered or even extinct species.

The latter was attempted with the birth of an extinct Pyrenean ibex (a type of mountain goat) in January 2009. Unfortunately, the goat died seven minutes after birth.

The moral dilemma behind these laboratory-generated animals is somewhat outside of our job as cataloguers, but successful cloning of our own—duplicating words with the correct spelling—is not. Laboratoy sits as a high probability typo on the Ballard list, and occurs over 150 times in Worldcat, and labortory (searching labortor* will also catch the plural) is even more popular, with over 200 hits in Worldcat!

Leanne Olson

(Photo of Dolly the Sheep from

1 comment:

casemusic said...

There's no such thing as a Labo(u)r Tory.