Three e-cards. The first is one in a long series illustrating the perils of going without punctuation — in this case, without commas that mark off syntactic constituents (in a way that receives expression in speech as well as on the page):
Archive for the ‘Spelling’ Category
From yesterday’s “Metropolitan Diary” in the NYT”, “At Kerouac’s Old Place, No Scatting Allowed”, by Carol Knauder:
I love the unintentional typo of the sign in the courtyard of my sister’s West Village apartment building, where it’s rumored Jack Kerouac once lived.
Taken at face value, though, I do wonder why a no scatting zone would be necessary in this day and age. I then imagine under the sign an illustration of Ella Fitzgerald scatting inside a “No” symbol — a circle and a diagonal red line through the picture — stifling her singing “Bu di di bi bu bi dibi…” from “How High the Moon.”
An assortment of short notes that have come my way recently, on errors, back-formations, penguins, gender roles, and more.
From Mike Speriosu on Facebook, this entertaining image:
Yes, pure bread poodle. A simple spelling error, based on the homophony of bred and bread and the much greater frequency of bread over bred; errors like bredstick for breadstick are very uncommon, but pure bread / pure-bread / purebread in an animal breeding context is surprisingly frequent.
Comment from strangeguitars on my “Internet enlightenment” posting, about the difficult road to the Zen state of Internet enlightenment (no longer caring when someone is wrong on the Internet):
A difficult road, indeed; I wouldn’t have made it past “judgment” (it hurts to type that!).
It’s been a while since I got mail with my name mispelled, but one came yesterday. I had used it to amend a Kristen Bjorn gay porn postcard when I realized it might be fun to post it. So that I could post it on this blog, I’ve blocked out the model’s naughty bits.
This is a keyboard-induced finger error: look at where N and J are located, and where W and Q are located.
Ned Deily notes that ZQICKY would be a great Scrabble word (if it were a word).
From various people on Facebook, this WPA poster with the compound fag bag:
The fag here is the fag of cigarette smoking, though it turns out that there are now two notable uses of fag bag involving the sexual slur fag: for reference to a fanny pack and as a personal slur.
(Postings beget other postings.)
People have been writing me to say that at first they misread abutilon in my posting on this plant as ablution. In Google+, Robert Coren called this an “anagrammatic” misreading; this isn’t literally so — people aren’t going to misread glean as angel, for instance — but it’s right in spirit. Three things are crucial: the status of abutilon as a very rare word, one that many people don’t know at all and others see very infrequently; the relationship between the spellings ABUTILON and ABLUTION; and the frequency of TION as word element in English.