Saturday, October 28, 2006

Special Bonus Typo

Normally, we take the weekend off, but we ran across this on the wacky news segment of Keith Olbermann's Countdown. He claimed that this might be the typo of the century, and we can only imagine the impact it had. Reuters recently had to retract a story about the lives of bees, and somebody made an unfortunate substitution for the term "Queen Bee," and provided the following information:

'Queen Elizabeth has 10 times the lifespan of workers and lays up to 2,000 eggs a day.'

Friday, October 27, 2006

Caldecot & Newberry

From "More Typos," two more words that are typos in context:


Often typos for Caldecott and Newbery medal winners.

Once again, be sure your automation software searches the field you are using to note this award.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

An expensive typo!

Today's entry from " More Typos" made the "Bizarre News" and "Peculiar Postings" columns of the major news services recently. If you do a Google search for "+Ottawa-County +Michigan +public +ballot", you'll get over 15,000 hits. It seems proofreaders didn't catch the "L" that had been left out of "public" in the text of one controversial measure on the ballots for the Ottawa County, Mich., Nov. 7, 2006 election. The ballots were reprinted at a price of $40,000.

In library catalogs, watch out for unexpectedly risque versions of "public health", "public hygiene", and "public relations", as well as problems with "publications" and "publicity". Don't do a blanket search-and-replace, though, or you're likely to create some problems, particularly in your medical records.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"L" for "one"


A "can of worms" typo. Any date in the last millennium could have been keyed in using the lower case "L," rather than the "one" key.

Before you run these searches, be sure that your automation software will search the copyright date.

This problem may show up in contents and summary notes, also. And that's where you're most likely to find "L066" or "L492."

I hope catalogers didn't make many of these mistakes by the 80's and 90's!

Searches can be truncated to:

L0+ ("ell" "zero" and truncation symbol)
L1+ ("ell" "one" and truncation symbol)

If that brings back an overwhelming number of hits, narrow it down like this:


If you're interested in searching for "L" inside a date, you might be able to find them by searching 0L, 1L, 2L, 3L, etc. Your mileage will vary with your automation software and your ability to customize reports.

This searching can be very tedious. I have let volunteers do the searching, listing the typos and giving the list to me. Then I make the corrections. Whether or not that works out depends on the abilities of the volunteers. Because SIRSI uses the dollar sign for truncation, I'm very careful about explaining truncation.

Count on many false hits. Again, whether or not a volunteer can spot the false hits depends on his or her training and education.

Monday, October 23, 2006


The last typo of the week is everday for everyday. Newly identified, it will be added to the Highest Probability list in the next compilation. One of those insidious little errors that is so easy to overlook, everday can even creep into titles. Like the Good Housekeeping everday cookbook, which resided in this defender's catalog until this morning.

This word has been spelled with just one "n" many times, historically and during the recent Y2K spate of publishing. I've even seen a current (but less than authoritative) dictionary spell it with one"n" with no explanation and no "millennium."

So, this is one of the times when you really want to consult the work before you change the spelling.