Thursday, July 29, 2010

Estabish*, etc. (for Establish*)

Estabish* (for establish*) was discovered six times in the OhioLINK database today, and Etablish* twice. Though, while searching for an appropriate topic for these typos, I stumbled upon a much more common one: Bish-Bash Falls for Bash-Bish Falls. (This almost irresistible mix-up is probably due to phrases like "Splish splash, I was taking a bath" and the jazz composition by the Benny Green Trio, "Bish Bash.") Google, in fact, returns 16,300 hits for the incorrectly spelled "bish bash falls" and only 15,100 for "bash bish falls." Even Wikipedia falls down on this one, spelling it almost as often the wrong way as the right way.* (None of this churning, however, turns up in WorldCat, where Bash-Bish Falls isn't even established as a geographical subject heading. OhioLINK does not contain the typo either. Kudos, catalogers!) Bash-Bish Falls, in Mount Washington, Mass., is one of the most beautiful—and treacherous—waterfalls in the country, and is named for an accused (if possibly innocent) Mohican adulteress sentenced to be cast over them in a canoe. Legend has it she haunts the watery premises to this day. In any event, and despite the mishmash of misspellings and misapprehensions, I am confident you can clean up here, just as long as you're careful. Feeling a bit nervous? Oh, pish posh!

* I wrote this post about a week ago and posted it today. As of now, the Wikipedia article stands corrected and the Google ratio (right to wrong) stands at 33,000 : 14,000.

(Bash-Bish Falls, from Flickr.)

Carol Reid

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