From warring rutabagas to human beef

OK, it’s time to lighten up. Almost all of us tend to be amateur wordsmiths, who attempt to do it all. Somebody understands.

From the Oxford words blog. Enjoy!! And look out for the warrior rutabagas.

From warring rutabagas to human beef: the wonderful world of typos

Years ago I learned a valuable twofold editorial lesson: respect the precision of a goodkeyboarder, and don’t get cute in the margins. The project was an encyclopedia of Japan, and it was back in the era of editing only on paper. One morning, I sat down with the freshly typed arts entries and my eye went to the article on the Noh play Atsumori. I immediately saw an opportunity for levity, to be shared only with the keyboarder. I knew that the pages would be sent to one of the nameless women who did all our typing, and I smiled at the thought of giving one of them a laugh.

An ode to Dean Martin gone wrong

As it turned out, the keyboarder was more professional than I was. She did her job perfectly, which was to key what the editors wrote on the page and not to identify frivolous content. The next time I saw the Atsumori article was after the printer sent us pages for a final proofreading. There on the page, just as I had handwritten it on the manuscript, was the article’s new, incredibly long, multi-line, boldface title: When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie, Atsumori.  To this day, I am grateful to have been the one to amend that page before it became an international incident. The American publisher I worked for had brokered a major deal with a leading Japanese publisher to create the encyclopedia, and I’m quite sure neither would have been terribly amused.

If you’ve ever typed type, you’ve probably typed a few types of typos

Had I not had the good fortune of intercepting my little-joke-gone-awry, it would have been impossible to defend. Mistakes do happen, but that was not exactly what one might call atypo! I will say this, however: ever since, I have been especially appreciative of how entertaining “legitimate mistakes” can be.   The printed error is as old as printing itself, and every time we in publishing get a letter-perfect, content-perfect page “out the door,” we’ve beaten the odds. One of the earliest errors of note is from a 1631 printing of the King James Bible. Infamously known as the Wicked Bible, it’s missing “not” in the 7th Commandment, thus: “Thou shalt commit adultery.”

Continue reading From warring rutabagas to human beef: the wonderful world of typos OxfordWords blog.

Fair warning. If you’re like me and love English (and its oddities) you’ll be there a while

I spent an evening on their site, one of the most fun I’d had in a while.


About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

2 Responses to From warring rutabagas to human beef

  1. lol A good laugh … doeth good like a medicine! lol Thanks!


    • NEO says:

      I needed it too, Barb. If you have time go there, there a lot of good stuff. 🙂


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