Friday, March 13, 2009

Cementery (for Cemetery)

“I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: ''Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.'' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have.” This was said by Harry S. Truman. We try to maintain a level of factuality on these pages, and that caused us to check the provenance of this information. This was done because we have been to Tombstone a number of times and never seen such an epitaph. It turns out that Truman really said this, but no tombstone can be found with that inscription at Boot Hill. Cementery is in the E list of Typographical Errors in Library Databases, meaning that it brought up only 1 hit in OhioLINK at the time of its discovery. This probability is reinforced by checking WorldCat, where 52 hits for cementery were found this morning. Once again, the counts in Google seemed perplexing. If you search for "Cemetery," "Cementery," "Cementary," or "Cemetary" you always get roughly 40,000,000 hits. Since nobody has two lifetimes to spare checking these numbers, we'll have to take Google's word for it, but something here doesn't add up.

Today's photo shows a cemetery on Valentia Island in County Kerry, Ireland, where the occupants have a spectacular view of Dingle Bay. The original can be seen at
With that, we wish you a happy Friday the 13th and a pleasant St. Patrick's Day next week.

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