Monday, March 12, 2012

Teresa + Theresa (for Theresa or Teresa)

Teresa Jungman (July 9, 1907–June 11, 2010) and her older sister Zita were among what was known in Britain as the "Bright Young People" of the 1920s. Daughters of the Anglo-Dutch artist Nico Jungmann, the Jungman sisters lived together "in perfect harmony" for most of their lives, both surviving until the ripe old age of 102. Today Teresa seems to merit only the briefest of mentions on Wikipedia, but I was amused by the comment there that "the emminent [sic] novelist Evelyn Waugh was greatly taken by her but his affection was unrequieted [sic]." Waugh waxed poetic on the precocious pranksters' considerable charms: "The Jungman sisters are a pair of decadent 18th-century angels made of wax," he wrote, "exhibited at Madame Tussaud's before the fire..." Those Wikipedia typos have since been fixed and today we're focusing on cheek-by-jowl occurrences of Teresa and Theresa. If you search on both versions of this spelling at once, you may turn up some true errors. Be sure to check the source before making any corrections, though, as there will certainly be some false positives among them. We found 154 in OhioLINK and 1,489 in WorldCat. You don't have to be a bright young person, or even an awesome old librarian, in order to right such unquiet and unrequited blunders slumbering in your own library's catalog.

(Photograph of the Jungman sisters by Cecil Beaton, 1926, from the New York Social Diary website.)

Carol Reid

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