Monday, December 28, 2009

Assesment*, Asessment* (for Assessment*)

As a librarian, I should probably know this by now, but I'm never quite sure how to spell the word Ssshhh. Are there more S's than there are H's or more H's than there are S's? And just how many of each are optimal? How best to assess the situation, given that apparently not all dictionaries consider the shortening of shush to be worthy of inclusion? (Of the ones that do, sh is generally given first, with shh as an alternate spelling.) My 50-year-old, hand-me-down, non-Merriam Webster's is one that doesn't. It furthermore pretty much defines making an ass of oneself when it gives the last meaning of sh as: "in bookbinding, sheep." (Naturally, it meant sheet. But it's not every day you find a typo in the dictionary!) Our typo for the day takes many S's—four of them in fact. Assesment* (cited as "high probability" on the Ballard list) gets 104 hits in OhioLINK and Asessment* (which is not yet listed there) gets 26.

(Latin letter S, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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