Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 31, 2007 - United Stated for United States

There must be 50 ways to misspell "United States" and "United Stated" is only one of them. Not even a spell checker would find this one! On keyboards, the letters "s" and "d" are next to each other, which could lead to mistyping or swapping the letters for "Stated." Another probable cause is "United" ends with "ted" and the word immediately following has a similar character string ending. A typist could easily substitute the ending "tes" in "States" for the just-typed "ted" in "United." No matter what the cause, "United Stated" has a high probability of being a typo in your own online catalog.

Wendee Eyler

Monday, July 30, 2007

July 30, 2007 - Quide

"Quide" for Guide is found 21 times in OhioLINK. Mistyping "Q" for "G" seems improbable at first glance. However, the second letter is "u"--and "Q-U" is certainly a common combination of letters--and that's the reason for the typo. Check "quide" in your own catalog. You'll be surprised to see a field quide or study quide or video quide.

Wendee Eyler

Friday, July 27, 2007

July 27, 2007 - Pubish

Pubish* (for publisher, publishing, etc.) and Pubic* (for public, publication, etc.) are typos both common and comical. The former generates 101 results on OhioLINK, making it a typo of "highest probability" on the Ballard list. There are also 107 records with "pubic" in them, but be careful: there is only a hair's breadth of difference here between the typo and the real word. Other highly probable typos in this area are: Pubicat*, Publc*, Publiction*, Publih*, Publise*, Publsh*, and Pulish*. Less frequently published typos include: Pubicity, Publec*, Publichat*, and Publiosh*.

Carol Reid

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26, 2007 - Methematic*

Speed equals distance divided by time. But for the eccentric and peripatetic Hungarian genius Paul Erdős, it also equaled a serious amphetamine habit. Erdős went the distance and spent some time with his fast-paced drug of choice, happily using it for decades. When a friend bet him he couldn't give it up for a month, he won the bet, then promptly took it up again, claiming the field of mathematics had suffered in the meantime. He was also a prodigious coffee drinker and reportedly once quipped, "A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems" (although it appears his friend and colleague Alfréd Rényi said it first). Methema* is a "high probability" typo on the Ballard list. In a similar vein, see: Arithemetic and Arithemtic (for arithmetic).

Carol Reid

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 25, 2007 - Catolog

Sounding like a sideshow in a backyard circus, today’s typo is a real meta-blooper. It appears that a fair number of catalogers are misspelling their own moniker (and related forms) in the course of doing their jobs. My own catalog has seven Catologs, and Catolog* turns up 38 times in OhioLINK, making it a “high probability” typo on the Ballard list. OhioLINK also contains 45 records with the following typos: Catlog*, Catalg, Catalag, Cataloug*, and Catgalog*. Come on kids, not to be catty, but let’s learn how to write our name right so we can all get a library card!

Carol Reid

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

July 24, 2007 - Inforam*

TMI alert: there are a great many variations on today's typo, most of which are "high probability," according to information taken from the Ballard list.

These include: Inforam*, Infomati*, Informait*, Informatin, Informaton, Informt*, Inforat*, Inforn*, Infomant*, Infoorm*, Infortm*, Infrom*, and Inorma*.

Illustration from the White House Museum website: "Sheep keeping the south lawn in proper trim as part of (rather dubious) wartime cost reductions, circa 1919 (Library of Congress)."

Carol Reid

Monday, July 23, 2007

July 23, 2007 - New Yrok

The current war has done a lot to change the old Iraq, but so far the spelling of it remains the same. In this country, according to the Urban Dictionary, the initialism YROK means: Yeah, right, okay! (an exclamation indicating disbelief). We here at "Typo of the Day for Librarians" are rarely shocked and awed into disbelief by any typo, no matter how funny or egregious, and New Yrok is no exception. I found six instances of it in the New York State Library's OPAC and, while there might be fewer of them in the catalogs of libraries without "York" in their names, the Ballard list considers this to be a "high probability" typo. (Illustration of the proposed new Iraqi flag, rejected in 2004.)

Carol Reid

Friday, July 20, 2007

July 20, 2007 - Ccharles

Ccharles for Charles is found on the D list of Typographical Errors in Library Databases, meaning that it is in the Low Probability section. If you search for this in your catalog and don't find it, don't start the celebration quite yet. The nature of this typo is normally a tagging error in the 245 field. What should be |c is missing the pipe symbol, so the letter displays to the world. So even though Ccharles is a non-starter in your catalog, you still need to worry about Cjohn, Cwilliam, Cterry and so on, and make a C change when necessary.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

July 19, 2007 - Photograpy

Photograpy for Photography can be found on the B List of Typographical Errors in Library Databases, meaning that it showed up at least 16 times in OHIOLINK at the time of its discovery. The color coding on the list tells us that this was first reported in 2006. Indeed, a search of OHIOLINK this morning turns up 46 hits for the typo.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

July 18, 2007 - Unversity

Unversity for University caught our attention today because it reminded us of those spam emails we keep getting that promise "A real degree from an unaccredited university without all the hassle—like learning something." It is found on the A List at the main page of Typographical Errors in Library Databases. This is an example of the absolute classic OPAC typo—a missing 'i' in a long word.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

July 17, 2007 - Acompany

Acompany for Accompany or possibly "A Company" is on the B or High Probability list at Typographical Errors in Library Databases. Checking WorldCat this morning, we find more than 70 hits for this typo. Since it appears to be a word that people tend to use because they don't know the correct spelling, we would have expected a very high hit rate in Google. It is, in fact, just over 100,000. Adding to the normal list of reasons why you should examine any record before changing it—there is at least one legitimate company name for this word: Acompany.com.

Monday, July 16, 2007

July 16, 2007 - Agian

Agian for Again is a classic inversion that is found on the 'C' or moderate probability list in Typographical Errors in Library Databases. Like every inverted letter typo that we can think of, this involves letters on opposite sides of the keyboard. As always, we suggest looking at every example because this might be a double typo for Aegean, or it might have a 'sic' to indicate that the actual publication was at fault.

Friday, July 13, 2007

July 13, 2007 - Unitedstates

Unitedstates for United States currently resides on the D list. Although the letters are in the proper order, the word is an example of too much union. It needs a little space between to be correctly spelled.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

July 11, 2007 - Bantan

Bantan for Bantam is an error of Moderate probability. In library databases it is most likely to be the name of a publisher, but Bantam is also popular name for motor vehicles of all sorts. Another typo for the same word is Bamtam from the Low probability list.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

July 10, 2007 - Penquin

Penquin for Penguin has the Highest Probability of appearing in library databases, more likely as the name of the large publisher than the endearing bird. Other misspellings found less often are: Pengiun, Peguin and Pengin.

Monday, July 9, 2007

July 9, 2007 - Hilary/Hillary

Today's typos come from the
More typos list, so they are not misspelled. It all depends on context.

Hilary's gown or Hillary's gown?

Friday, July 6, 2007

July 6, 2007 - Ochestra


An awkward word to spell! Add a truncation symbol and you can find several variants. A recent search in OhioLINK discovered:

ochestra - 26 results
ochestral - 2 results
ochestras - 2 results
ochestrat* - 3 results
ochestre - 1 result

You may wish to harmonize the results of your search.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

July 5, 2007 - Knowlede*


A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, the saying goes. Equally dangerous for information retrieval is this typo. Among the 5 results found in OhioLINK recently are Knowlede and knowledege

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

July 3, 2007 - Indepedence


On the fourth of July, 1776, King George III of Great Britain famously said, "Nothing of importance happened today." To commemorate this non-event, rebels against the sovereign rule of His Britannic Majesty spend the day grilling burgers, toasting marshmallows, setting off fireworks, and generally idling away the time. Americans: There should be an END in, if not to, your indepENDence!

Monday, July 2, 2007

July 2, 2007 - Operaton*


Eighteen cases of a botched operation were found recently in OhioLINK. Notably, Co-operaton as in the name "Organisation for Economic Co-operaton and Development" -- an indication that an error likely started in one record and was replicated by deriving other records.