Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Noth and North (for North or Noth)

Ring Lardner was a boon companion of F. Scott Fitzgerald, about whom we blogged yesterday, and for whom he's said to have inspired the character Abe North in the 1934 novel Tender Is the Night. Lardner was also a favorite of J.D. Salinger, who made him Holden Caulfield's favorite writer in the book Catcher in the Rye. (Film buffs may regard him primarily as the father of Ring Lardner, Jr., the blacklisted screenwriter who was a member of the "Hollywood Ten.") Ring Lardner was a sports columnist and short story writer in the 1920s and, although wildly popular at the time, is often considered by his critics and fans to be sadly underrated today. My favorite Lardner story is called "The Young Immigrunts," a parody of Daisy Ashford's The Young Visiters. It contains this classic exchange between father and son on a long car trip from Chicago to "Grenitch," Connecticut: Are you lost daddy I arsked tenderly. Shut up he explained. We found 15 examples of today's typo in OhioLINK, about half of which were correct spellings, such as Chris Noth of Sex and the City fame or other proper names. However, if you truncate both search terms, the count jumps to 724. Not for nothing do we caution you, especially in cases like this one, to closely examine the work itself before making any amendments to a record.

(Photo of Ring Lardner, April 1921, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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