Friday, November 26, 2010

Comsum* (for Consum*)

The Friday after Thanksgiving (as if we hadn't learned a thing from the previous day, either with regard to gluttony or being thankful for what we've got) is rather ominously called "Black Friday," purportedly because retailers hope it will put them "in the black" by spurring a near-hysterical mass buying spree, a frenzy of consumerism. Flipping through the 48 hits found for today's typo in OhioLINK, I was given another reminder of the dark side of consumption, a state in which the consumer becomes the consumed. One video bib record describes La Bohème as: "The story of an ill-fated love affair between an idealistic poet and a comsumptive flower-maker." Another one puts a more stalwart, almost cheery, spin on the subject, with William Sweetser's 1836 tract: A treatise on consumption; embracing an inquiry into the influence exerted upon it by journeys, voyages and change of climate. With directions for the comsumptive visiting the south of Europe, and remarks upon its climate. Adapted for general readers. Here's hoping we general readers can all manage to strike the right balance between shopping and stopping this holiday season. And, in the meantime, don't let today's "high probability" typo consume your catalog.

(Maria Kuznetsova, the opera singer, as Mimi in La Bohème, prior to 1917, from an old Imperial Russian postcard, scanned and posted to Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

1 comment:

casebook said...

To make a blog we have the power,
But only God can make a flower.