Friday, December 19, 2014

Unumbe* (for Unnumbe*)

As catalogers, we are all familiar with the various forms and styles of pagination, including the occasional unnumbered pages. But we don't always remember to count or include all the letters in the word unnumbered, resulting in a typo similar to Mispell for misspell. One often becomes numb to this sort of omission, although it's hardly a fatal error. The image to the right depicts some examples of fan, otherwise known in China as "Deadly Numbness." (At least, that is, according to the poster of the image; I can find virtually no reference to this term anywhere else.) In the case of Lambfan, the caption continues, "the patient makes bleating sounds like a sheep and foams at the mouth. This can be treated with realgar, or xionghuang, alum, cicada shell, and ginger juice, washed down with cold water." Which is good to know. In any case, don't be a numbskull: our typo for the day can be easily made whole simply by adding an extra N. This spelling disorder numbered twice in OhioLINK, and 232 times in WorldCat.

(Early 20th-century Chinese lithograph depicting "fan" diseases, from Huitu Zhenjiu Yixue, or Illustrated Acupuncture Made Easy), by Li Shouxian, 1798. This illustration shows the manifestations of Deadly Numbness, Masha fan, Pearlfan, Mole Cricketfan, and Lambfan, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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