Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pheonix (for Phoenix)

In both Eastern and Western mythology, the phoenix is a rare flaming or glowing bird, representing the sun and symbolizing new beginnings.

In Greece and Egypt, it embodied immortality, often tied to the sun god (Helios or Ra). Just as the sun moves across the sky, disappears and is reborn the next morning, the phoenix dies in fire and is regenerated from its own ashes.

The phoenix has no mate and one of these creatures can only be born from the death of the previous one. In some Renaissance writing, the phoenix was considered a delicacy—since only one is alive at a time in the entire world, dining on phoenix is the rarest of possible meals.

While the phoenix may be a lonely bird, the typo pheonix has plenty of company. Pheonix is a high probability error on the Ballard list, occurring 12 times in OhioLINK and over 300 in Worldcat. It can occur in any number of places in the catalogue, as a location of a conference or publication, an author or actor’s name, a spacecraft, a publishing company, part of a title, or even a comic book character.

(Phoenix painting from
Leanne Olson

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