Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Multp* (for Multiple, etc.)

Our typo of the day is almost always a multiple one. But it's not always easy to tell how many cases we will find, or what the cause for the trouble might have been. In the recent book Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan, we learn that the famous albeit anonymous "Sybil" (Shirley Mason) never had 16 separate personalities at all. Rather, she was part of a folie à trois, comprising her therapist, the author who made her story a bestseller, and herself. Essentially, though, she was a victim of rogue psychiatry and professional aggrandizement. Nathan is the journalist who publicized false sex-abuse cases like McMartin in the Village Voice. She also coauthored, with Michael Snedeker, Satan's Silence in 1995, about the extended hysteria (encompassing everything from "ritual abuse" in daycare centers to "repressed memories" in therapists' offices) that swept the nation during the 1980s. There were four instances of Multp* in OhioLINK and 183 in WorldCat. Take a look at what's inside your catalog today and see what typos you can expose.

(Cover of Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan.)

Carol Reid

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