Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Liason*, etc. (for Liaison)

According to a recent issue of The New Yorker: "Men are better at spelling the word 'liaison'; women are better at spelling everything else." At first blush, I had the romantic notion that this peculiar aptitude among our masculine friends might spring from their fondness for illicit, if not to say dangerous, liaisons. You know the kind I mean. But, after poking around a bit, I suspect it may have more to do with wartime liaison officers and aircraft. In any case, and despite the fact that I, a spy for the distaff side, actually know how to spell this word, I find myself typing L-I-A-S-O-N almost every time here, so maybe they're right. Just remember, it takes a good pair of "eyes" when it comes to liaisons. Liason* appears in OhioLINK 85 times and is a "high probability" typo on the Ballard list, with Liasion* coming in at 11 and Laison* at eight (though three of those were for personal names and one was for a publishing house).

(Women liaison officers from the Radosław group of the Warsaw Uprising, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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