Monday, January 30, 2012

Reflecton* (for Reflection*)

Haven't I seen you somewhere before? You may or may not have come across our typo of the day today in your many travels, but it looks as if it hasn't been blogged here yet, nor is it to be found on the Ballard list. The word reflect means to turn, bend, or be cast back, but the most famous character in mythology to be entranced by his own reflection, Narcissus, ultimately came to grief when he may have bent too far forward while gazing lovingly at himself. (In most accounts, he ultimately died of starvation and insularity; in some renditions, though, he actually falls into the pool of water and drowns.) According to Wikipedia: "In 1898 Havelock Ellis, an English sexologist, used the term 'narcissus-like' in reference to excessive masturbation, whereby the person becomes his or her own sex object." Around 15 years later, Freud published a paper entitled "On Narcissism: An Introduction." There were 12 instances of today's typo in OhioLINK, and 44 in WorldCat, a fact I wouldn't reflect on for too terribly long here. However, you might want to take a quick peek and see how those numbers are reflected in your own library's catalog.

(Pied Avocet, juveline, near Oosterend, Texel island, the Netherlands, June 2010, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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