Friday, April 24, 2009

Audobon (for Audubon)

They say German motorists really fly on the Autobahn, but nobody has ever captured birds in flight like the painter and ornithologist John James Audubon, who was born in Haiti on April 26, 1851. He was the illegitimate son of a French naval officer and his Louisiana Creole mistress. Audubon was a bit of an autodidact and credits his father with igniting his primary passion in life: "He would point out the elegant movement of the birds, and the beauty and softness of their plumage. He called my attention to their show of pleasure or sense of danger, their perfect forms and splendid attire..." There are 15 hits in OhioLINK for Audobon, which appears to be another one of those typos that stem from a word's similarity to another word or the way it tends to be pronounced. Audubon's attention to detail was clearly very pronounced and we would all do well to pay similar attention to the spelling of his name.

(Painting by John James Audubon, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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