Friday, May 1, 2009

Holcau*, Holocause* (for Holocaust, etc.)

Holocaust derives from the Greek words “olos,” meaning “whole,” and “kaustos” (or “kautos”), meaning "burnt." The term dates back to as early as the fifth century B.C.E. and “can mean a sacrifice wholly consumed by fire or a great destruction of life, especially by fire.” Throughout history it has been used to describe a variety of disastrous events, and not until the second half of the twentieth century did the term become almost exclusively associated with Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution.” (Source: Frequently Asked Questions, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Holcau* and Holocause* are both low-probability typos on the Ballard list. There are 4 instances of the former and 5 of the latter in the OhioLINK catalog. A few are in transcribed fields, so the usual cautions apply.

(Interior shot of the the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., by Cumulus Clouds, from Wikimedia Commons)

Deb Kulczak

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