Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Intergrat* (for Integrat*)

Steve Carrell announced the other day that he plans to leave The Office next May when his contract is up. Hopefully, this is just a Michael Scott-like ruse to negotiate more money, although he says (cheating politician-wise) that it's in order to spend more time with his family. In any case, it's hard to imagine the show going on without him. (That's what she said.) One of my favorite episodes of The Office is called "Diversity Day." Internal politics and Michael's own interpretation of what that means causes him to organize an interactive game in which the employees must greet each other as if each belonged to an ethnic group indicated by signs stuck to their foreheads. (Pam: "Um ... I like your food?") It's a scathingly funny satire of political correctness and forced integration and points up the paradox involved in hamhandedly celebrating/stereotyping our differences. Although it's rarely used anymore, grat is apparently the past tense of greet. We greeted a whopping 156 cases of Intergrat* in OhioLINK, so after you've had your coffee and grat all your coworkers, get busy on those typos and have a great day at The Office!

(Steve Carrell at the 82nd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California, March 7, 2010. Photo by Robyn Beck, courtesy ofAFP/Getty Images.)

Carol Reid

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Edted (for Edited)

"It all started at a 5,000-watt radio station in Fresno, California," Ted Baxter of the Mary Tyler Moore Show would ponderously intone, whenever he could wangle a captive audience, which was usually at the annual "Teddy Awards." The thoroughly insufferable, but somehow still lovable, TV news announcer was played by Ted Knight, who got his start at a radio (and TV) station in Albany, New York (WROW) in 1955. Ted Baxter was the bronzed bane of his boss's existence; in real life, though, Ted Knight and Ed Asner were good friends, despite their political differences (Asner was a liberal activist and Knight was a social conservative). Ted Knight passed away in 1986. (Betty White, at 88, is still kicking, as are the rest of the MTM cast members. The iconic sitcom itself will live on in our hearts forever.) We found 15 instances of Edted, which need to be edited, in the OhioLINK database.

(Screenshot of Sue Ann Nivens and Ted Baxter, courtesy of Flickr.)

Carol Reid

Monday, June 28, 2010

Maintenence, Mantenance (for Maintenance)

High maintenance is not usually considered a good thing in a woman. But a good maintenance man (who, of course, can sometimes be a woman) is often hard to find. These guys may move too quickly, or too slowly, cost too much, or not show up at all. (Maintenence shows up 16 times in OhioLINK, and Mantenance three.) Most maintenance workers are lovely and competent savers of the day, however—and some of them are pure genius. In 1974, Robert Pirsig wrote and sold over four million copies of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which the press called "the most widely read philosophy book, ever." Pirsig cautioned readers: "It should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

(Picture of sign posted to Flickr and prompting the comment: "Couldn't we all use one! I hired a yard man and he avoids me just like my husband does when the hedges need to be trimmed.")

Carol Reid

Friday, June 25, 2010

Boosk (for Books)

A boosk, says Urban Dictionary, is someone who "steals your answers during a standardized testing session." Hmm. I'm not quite sure where they get this stuff, but let's go with it for now. A surprising 95% of students admit to some form of cheating, according to a survey by Rutgers University, and 58% to plagiarism—both of which are facilitated by the Internet. However, technology also makes these things easier to spot, with all sorts of software available to teachers and administrators. It kind of makes you pine for the good old school days when the quickest way to catch a thief was simply to look around for the nearest boosk. We found seven examples of today's typo in OhioLINK, all of them in publication fields. Although the 260 is a transcribed field, it's fairly safe to assume such typos were introduced by the cataloger. However, if you've got the time and don't want to cheat at this, even a little bit, you should go to the shelf and take a look at the publisher imprint on the boosk—er, books—in question.

("Illustration for Cheating" by Hariadhi, 2007, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Excution*, etc. (for Execution*)

On June 24, 2004, the death penalty, or "capital punishment," was ruled to be unconstitutional in New York State. Wikipedia tells us that "the term capital originates from Latin capitalis, literally 'regarding the head.' Hence, a capital crime was originally one punished by the severing of the head." Fashions fluctuate in the world of execution. From head severing to hanging, electrocution to "lethal injection"—even shooting is making a comeback. However, as Dorothy Parker once pointed out, in a somewhat different context: "Razors pain you, rivers are damp, acids stain you, and drugs cause cramp. Guns aren't lawful, nooses give, gas smells awful ... you might as well live." Excution* lives six times in the OhioLINK database. The typo Executin turns up twice and Exeution* only once, but you know what they say, three strikes and you're in.

(Photograph of "Old Sparky," the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York, originally bearing the watermark: "Courtesy NYS Department of Correctional Services.")

Carol Reid

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fith (for Fifth)

Stuart Sutcliffe, who's sometimes referred to as the "Fifth Beatle," was born seventy years ago today in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the original bass player for the Beatles, whose shifting name he and John Lennon had contrived in a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. (In addition to "Beetles," they also tried spelling it "Beatals," which puts me in mind a little of the hilarious Powerpuff Girls episode "Meet the Beat Alls"). Sutcliffe died of a brain hemorrhage in 1962, after having been with the band for only fifteen months. Had he lived, however, the "Lost Beatle" would likely be better known for his paintings than his music. While performing with the Beatles in Germany, Sutcliffe met photographer Astrid Kirchherr, to whom he later became engaged. He quit the Liverpool band in 1961 to enroll in the Hamburg College of Art, where he studied under future pop avatar Eduardo Paolozzi. Sutcliffe had already garnered a solid reputation as an artist when he was suddenly lost to the world at the tender age of 22. Today's typo (Fith for fifth) seems to have also lost one of its original five members. It was found 13 times in OhioLINK.

(Portrait of Stuart Sutcliffe from the Web.)

Carol Reid

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Laywer* (for Lawyer*)

In the classic 1949 romantic comedy Adam's Rib, married lawyers Adam and Amanda Bonner really lay into each other as opposing counsel in the sensational trial of a woman charged with shooting her faithless layabout of a husband. Whether you like your arguments in the courtroom or the bedroom, you'll find plenty to enjoy in this four-star Hepburn-Tracy vehicle. Amanda alleges that turnabout is fair play and that her client ought not to be judged more harshly than a wronged husband would be. Adam's response is that his distaff side is simply flouting the law, and being unattractively uppity to boot. Ironically, the battling Bonners are not above a little domestic violence of their own, with Adam whacking his wife's behind a bit too meaningly during a massage ("I know a slap from a slug!" she tells him) and later brandishing a rather realistic-looking licorice gun. Fortunately, it's all in the name of good fun and forties-style feminism. Laywer* (for lawyer*) turns up 13 times in OhioLINK.

(Cropped screenshot of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn from the trailer for Adam's Rib, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Monday, June 21, 2010

Supplment* (for Supplement*)

Apparently, today's typo is not quite supple enough to include all its letters. But if you're enamored of Anura (the Latin word for frog), you might want to supplement your studies with a gander at the glorious illustration pictured here. (Click for a close-up view.) According to this chart, figure 4 shows "the climbing frog of Ecuador ... among the slimmest and most supple forms of treefrogs; his extraordinarily thin and long limbs (with zebralike dark stripes across) enable it of the most dexterous climbing arts." Supplment* has climbed into the "high probability" section of the Ballard list with 23 hits in OhioLINK.

(Frogs as depicted in Kunstformen der Natur (1904), plate 68: Batrachia, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cristian saints (for Christian saints)

On June 18, 1429, Joan of Arc inspired the French army to defeat the English at Patay, turning the tide of the Hundred Years’ War. Jeanne d’Arc claimed to be divinely inspired, having visions from Saint Margaret, Saint Catherine, and Saint Michael. She was later captured, pronounced a heretic, and burned at the stake by the English at the age of 19 in 1431.

Her vindication came years later in 1456, when the Church overturned her conviction and declared her a martyr. Centuries later in 1920, Joan was canonized as a Christian saint.

“Cristian saints” is a typo that appears occasionally in subject headings. Other errors can be found by searching subject headings for “Cristian” missing the H, including “Cristian ethics” and “Cristianity.”

(Photo of the Joan of Arc statue in Reims, France from Wikimedia Commons.)

Leanne Olson

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Relationshop* (for Relationship*)

I kind of love relationshop, a low probability error on the Ballard List which is a typo for relationship.

Relationshop sounds like it should be a real word, but what could it mean? Let me give it a try:

Main Entry: re•la•tion•shop
Function: noun

1 : A store where customers can purchase new family members, or exchange/return those who have been troublesome. Perfect for welcoming a new baby to the family, or ridding oneself of troublesome in-laws and bratty younger siblings.

Use of "relationshop" in a sentence: “Beth’s parents were surprised when they returned home to find she’d taken her little brother down to the relationshop and replaced him with a new puppy.”

(Golden Retriever puppy photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Leanne Olson

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Parchute* (for Parachute*)

On June 16th, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space, aboard the Soviet spacecraft Vostok 6. Tereshkova, a factory worker and amateur parachutist, was selected from hundreds of applications and became a role model for Soviet women. Her father was a war hero and that, combined with her expertise in parachuting, led to her selection.

When searching for the typo parchute* in your catalogue, include the e, or you will wind up finding the surname Parchuta and not true typing errors.

In English media, Tereshkova was called a cosmonaut—the term used for a Soviet astronaut—to distinguish her from those astronauts who fly on U.S. missions. There are other, less well-known terms for astronauts from non-English countries. Taikonaut is the word used in English media for space travelers from China. “Taiko” comes from taikong, the Chinese word for space—though China uses the word astronaut in their own official English press releases. Spationaut (from the French spationaute) has been used for French space travellers participating in joint missions.

(Image of the postage stamp honouring Tereshkova from Wikipedia.)

Leanne Olson

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Antonymn* (for Antonym*)

Auto-antonyms are two words that are pronounced and spelled the same way, but have opposite meanings. For example, weather can mean to erode, or to endure. You can trim a tree by cutting away branches, or by adding decorations.

Auto-antonyms are also a kind of homonym (two words spelled and sounding the same with difference meanings). Homonyms don’t cause too many problems for cataloguers, since they’re spelled the same way. Homophones, however, can be another matter: these words have the same pronunciation, but different meanings and sometimes different spellings. This can lead to typographical slipups like mixing up creak and creek, or carat, caret, and carrot.

Antonymn* is a high probability typo on the Ballard List, occurring 28 times in OhioLINK.

Leanne Olson

Monday, June 14, 2010

Precedure* (for Procedure*)

June 14th is World Blood Donor day, first established in 2005 to recognize those who volunteer for the altruistic procedure (not precedure) of donating blood. The day is held on the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for creating the ABO system of blood groups.

Landsteiner likely didn’t predict the interesting superstitions that have grown up around blood types. In Japan, blood types are linked to personalities: for example, those with type O are considered to be optimistic, sociable, and stubborn.

Of course, like with astrological star signs, the blood type personalities vary depending on who you ask. Other interesting myths about blood type have developed around the world, including the (unproven) notion that those with type A are more prone to hangovers.

(Image of red blood cells from Britannica Online Encyclopedia)

Leanne Olson

Friday, June 11, 2010

Secreteri* (for Secretari*)

For a long time, Teri Garr kept her multiple sclerosis a secret, but no longer wishing to tarry, made a public announcement of her illness in 2002. Since then, she has been an untiring advocate for MS awareness and research; in 2005, she was honored as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's "Ambassador of the Year." Terry Ann Garr is the daughter of a vaudeville performer and a Rockette and followed naturally in their footsteps. Early in her career, she was known variously as "Terri Garr," "Terry Garr," "Teri Hope," and "Terry Carr." But her self-effacing charm and effervescence, her impossibly ditzy smartness, have always made her unmistakable. Garr's first speaking role (one line) was as a "damsel in distress" in the 1968 Monkees vehicle Head, written by Jack Nicholson. The list of movies and TV shows to her credit is both lengthy and impressive, but Teri Garr is perhaps most fondly recalled for her frequent guest appearances and off-the-cuff banter with David Letterman, who once managed to talk her into taking a shower on his show. Garr is not one for secretive allure and guarded glamor, and is all the more beautiful for it. The typo Secreteri* appears eight times in OhioLINK.

(Teri Garr at a benefit for the AIDS Project, Los Angeles, Sept. 1990, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Industi*, Industy (for Industry, etc.)

Quentin Crisp, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 91, was a cottage industry unto himself. A latter-day Oscar Wilde, Crisp made the most of his undeniable homosexuality and flamboyance in a time and place it was illegal to be gay. For the most part eluding steady employment, other than as an artist's model ("it was like being a civil servant, except that you were naked"), Crisp became widely known as an eccentric, possibly listing "raconteur" and "flâneur" on his resume (had he in fact felt the need of one, which it doesn't appear he did). He's the author, most notably, of The Naked Civil Servant (1968), as well as a dozen or so other memorably titled books, such as Love Made Easy, How to Have a Life Style, How to Become a Virgin, Manners from Heaven, and How to Go to the Movies. His final work (a collection of writings including his poetry and script of a one-man show) was supposed to be called Dusty Answers, but it has yet to be published. I like that title, though, as I once sent him a question about dust, and received an interesting answer! I was sure I had read something where he compared the look and feel of long undisturbed dust to an exquisitely soft grey blanket. In an effort to locate the precise quotation, I visited the Quentin Crisp website, where I discovered to my amazement that I could email the sultan of sloth directly. He promptly replied, claiming that he had "no notion" of that to which I referred, but advising me to freely "quote" him in any manner that would increase his "reputation for outrage." He helpfully added: "Mr. Sitwell says dust is insatiate and invincible." Famously averse to housework, Crisp did admit in his memoir: "After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse." Not sure how long it's been since OhioLINK was dusted, but I found 62 instances of Industi* and 15 of Industy lurking there this morning.

(Quentin Crisp's "One Man Show," Birmingham, England, 1982, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Colorodo, Colarado (for Colorado)

Colorado means "colored" in Spanish and you can certainly see why when you look at this startling photo. The 38th state (which is also known as the "Centennial State," having been admitted to the union in 1876) was accorded the name Colorado due to its red clay dirt. In fact, according to Wikipedia: "Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, plains, mesas, and canyons." It includes the thirty highest summits in the Rocky Mountains and more national and state parks, historic sites and monuments, wilderness areas and wildlife refuges, than you can shake a colorful stick at. Colorodo shows up four times in OhioLINK, and Colarado twice. Crack open a bottle of Colorado Cola and buzz through today's typo.

("The sun is peeking over the cliff" in Roxborough, Colorado, 2009, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Diaster, Diasters (for Disaster, Disasters)

In yesterday's post, I drew a comparison of 19th-century volcanic ash to Dr. Seuss's icky oobleck. However, on second thought, the sorry snafu occupying the Gulf Coast of Mexico would be a much better analog. The 1949 children's classic is a tale of hubris and environmental disaster precipitated by King Derwin's idle discontent with rain in the spring, sun in the summer, fog in the fall, and snow in the winter. He's angry and wants some new and improved weather, but when the young Bartholomew reminds him that "even kings can't rule the sky," he enlists the aid of his Royal Magicians to make it happen. Oobleck begins to fall and when the boy finds a mother bird trapped in her nest and other things getting gummed up in the works, he tries to warn the people. With mounds of green goo blanketing the Kingdom of Didd, King Derwin finally takes Bart's suggestion to say that he's sorry, which miraculously melts the oobleck. Would that British Petroleum could do the same, and that an apology would have the same result. There were 12 examples of Diaster in OhioLINK and three each of Diasters and Diastrous. (We also got 31 hits on Disasterous, but this is often more a misspelling than a typo per se and may derive from the work itself, so be sure to check the source.)

("BP Oil Flood Protest" at Jackson Square in New Orleans, by Derek Bridges, May 30, 2010, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Monday, June 7, 2010

Reveiw* (for Review*)

The strength of a volcano is measured by the VEI, or Volcanic Explosivity Index. Rating an estimated 3 on the index, Eyjafjallajökull is the volcano that lost its cool in Iceland on April 14, 2010. Might be a good one for us to keep our spelling eyes on (although reporters tend to refer to it without bothering to try and spell or pronounce it) as history writes this page. Such massive explosions can slow down air travel and quicken pulses, but there may be something to be said for an event that, even temporarily, reverses global warming. The most powerful eruption in the past 1,000 years is said to have been Indonesia's Mt. Tambora in 1815. It lowered temperatures by five degrees and marked 1816 as the "year without a summer." Effects of the volcanic ash resulted in "brown snow" in Hungary and "red snow" in Italy. (Sounds a little bit like oobleck.) We found 27 hits for Reveiw* in OhioLINK, so let's all review our records for any possible eruptions of today's typo.

(Vesuvius Erupting, by Johan Christian Clausen Dahl, 1826, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mongraph* (for Monograph*)

The word mons is Latin for mountain and, predictably enough, is found in many places (such as France, Belgium, and Switzerland), as well as in the names of historical events (like the 1914 Battle of Mons and the Mons Affair in 18th-century Russia). If one is female, she need look no further than down at her lap (or, if dressed, the palm of her hand). And if one happens to be an astrogeologist, mons usually refers to mountains in space, on the moon or various planets. (Not to be confused with the mons Veneris or "mount of Venus": see previous sentence.) And then, of course, there are the Mon people of Myanmar. So, c'mon people, let's be on the lookout for our typo of the day, which was found 33 times in OhioLINK.

(Singe du Grand Garde, or "Grand Monkey Guard," in front of the city hall in Mons, Belgium, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gingko* (for Ginkgo*)

Ironically, ginkgo is supposed to improve one's memory; I've taken it myself and yet I have a hard time remembering how it's spelled. Apparently, however, I'm not the only one. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever come across a case quite like this before: there were more hits in OhioLINK for the word incorrectly spelled (213) than correctly spelled (204). This is probably because the former accords slightly more with the way most people pronounce it; also, the internal G and K sounds are very similar. Ginkgo biloba is a wonderful tree (though not all would agree), as well as being a very old one. In fact, it's a "living fossil" with a footprint going all the way back to the Early Jurassic Age. Do your part to keep its lineage alive by correcting this all too common misspelling of its name. (Note: both American Heritage and Merriam Webster currently list gingko as a "variant," so if you do find any seeming typos here, be certain to check the source. Also be aware that it's sometimes spelled ginko.)

(Ginkgo leaves shown in their fall color, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Matrial* (for Material*)

The most infamous MA trials to have ever occurred were undoubtedly the "Salem witch trials" of 1692. They were updated for modern times, but three centuries later, their spirit remained essentially unchanged in the cases of Bernard Baran from Pittsfield and the Amirault family from Malden, Mass. These innocent souls (along with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of others throughout the country) were tried and convicted of child molestation and devil worshiping in daycare centers, mostly during the 1980s (or, as historians will likely term this decade, "The Hysterical Eighties") when a moral panic swept the nation. Today's typo turned up 12 times in OhioLINK, making it one of "moderate probability." Don't be too quick to find all of these guilty of typographical error (a few of them were foreign words), but do execute swift justice by correcting any examples of Matrial* (for material*) that are witnessed in your catalog.

("There is a flock of yellows birds above her head" is the caption below this illustration accompanying Giles Cory, Yeoman, a play by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, vol. LXXXVI, 1893.)

Carol Reid

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fedral* (for Federal*)

I once knew a well-fed little boy who dressed up as the Food Pyramid for Halloween. He was terribly good at eating his fruits and vegetables (always picking strawberry when it came time for ice cream) and I suspect he would have approved the idea of arranging the pyramid by color (in much the same way that some people think library collections should be). Such a concept might actually work, in fact, if only folks weren't quite so inclined to cheat on their diets: let's call it the "Green Eggs and Ham Defense" or the "Ketchup Is a Vegetable Loophole." I've read that dinnerware ideally ought to be white in order not to detract too much from the meal itself. Meanwhile, your food should be as variegated as possible. I found 13 cases of Fedral* in OhioLINK today, so please check your records (federal or otherwise) and clean your plate by correcting this colorful typo.

(Farbfächer RAL-K5, from Wikimedia Commons. RAL is a color matching system used in Europe.)

Carol Reid