Monday, June 30, 2014

Architechtu* (for Architectu*)

Architecture has two Ts and Cs, so it’s easy to forgive those who add an extra H as well.  It’s a word and a profession that doesn’t quite fit the way we expect – is it an art?  Is it a craft?  Somewhere in between?

Frank Gehry won Vanity Fair magazine’s World Architecture Survey in 2010 (who knew Vanity Fair covered architecture?  Not me), and said: 

I was an outsider from the beginning, so for better or worse I thrived on it. I was different from the architects, who called me an artist, which was their way of marginalizing me. And then the artists got competitive and said, No, you’re still an architect, because you’re putting toilets in your buildings, in your art. Richard Serra dismissed me as a plumber.

Even so, his fellow architects (not architechts) voted Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao the greatest building of the past 30 years.  Sometimes, not fitting in can be a good thing.

Leanne Olson

(Image of Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao courtesy of Phillip Maiwald, from Wikimedia Commons)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Comdey* (for Comedy)

Many British comedy enthusiasts were saddened last week by the unexpected death of Rik Mayall at the age of 56.  Mayall, along with partner Adrian Edmondson, burst on the scene in the 1980s and achieved cult status with programs such as The Young Ones, The Comic Strip Presents, and Bottom.  Mayall also starred in television series such as The New Statesman and Blackadder and the movie Drop Dead Fred.

If you’ve never seen Mayall’s comedy, it’s as outrageous and irreverent as one could hope for, often with a strong dose of crudity.  Edmondson offered this fitting tribute to his long-time collaborator (as reported by BBC News):

There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him.  And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard.

Mayall was mourned yesterday at a private funeral in Devon.

Comdey* is a moderate-probability typo.  A search of the OhioLINK catalog pulls up 16 entries, and there are 184 in WorldCat.

(Unofficial commemorative “blue plaque” honoring Mayall in Hammersmith, London, from Wikimedia Commons. It references the comedy series Bottom.)

Deb Kulczak

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rooo* (for Rooster, etc.)

Urban chickens have never been more popular than they are now.  Prospective hobby farmers can find an astonishing variety of small coops for purchase not only on sites such as and, but also from major retailers such as Sam’s Club and Costco.  There are numerous books, Web sites, and blogs devoted to the subject of raising and keeping poultry–everything to help a newbie get started.

One question that seems to come up frequently is whether you need a rooster for eggs.  As custodians of a backyard flock of four hens, we hear this a lot.  In short, the answer is “no.”  You need a rooster for baby chickens. (Think of human females–it’s actually the same story.)

If you’ve never had chickens, it’s impossible to believe how entertaining and fun they can be.  They’ve become part of the family, just like our dogs and cats, and even more surprising, the birds, canines, and felines all get along.

A search for Rooo* pulls up 6 entries in OhioLINK and 406 in WorldCat.  Many have nothing to do with roosters, and more important, many are not actually typos.  So finding and correcting the errors in your own catalog should give you something to crow about.

(Our Pomeranian Panda with the backyard hens)

Deb Kulczak

Monday, June 16, 2014

Brazillian (for Brazilian)

With the World Cup now fully underway, legions of Brazilian soccer fans are hoping their team can use its home field advantage to pull off a win.  And they can participate in this national pastime secure in the knowledge that their country has a long association with the sport.  However, soccer is far less mainstream here in the United States, leading New York Times reporter Sarah Lyall to question whether American devotees of the sport are confronted with an identity crisis of sorts.  For instance, is it showing respect or merely being pretentious when an American uses terms such as “football” or “pitch” rather than “soccer” or “field?” And what are American fans to wear to a match–er, game?  Adopt customary garb, or dress as their European counterparts might?  Even that ubiquitous American tradition, the tailgate party, could be fraught–as Lyall points out, in England, tailgating would be banned by the police out of fear for inciting riots.

Brazillian appears in the moderate-probability section of the Ballard list.  There are currently 26 occurrences of it in the OhioLINK database and 628 in WorldCat (not all errors), and you will find even more if you use a wildcard character.  Whether or not you not you support the Brazilians’ aspirations for world soccer domination, surely they deserve correct spelling in our catalogs!

(Adidas Brazuca, the official ball of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, from Wikimedia Commons)
Deb Kulczak

Friday, June 6, 2014

Excellan* (for Excellen*)

As your self-appointed spelling teacher here today, I would love to give you all an "Excellent!" on today's letter-laden lesson. But to get a good grade, you'll have to recall that the words excellent and excellence—ironically enough—do not have a single A in them, but rather three E's. Spelling can seem "aesy," but truly excellent spellers often employ a number of twitchy mnemonics in their quest for world domination. Some of the kids in the recent Scripps National Spelling Bee were seen typing out their letters on invisible keyboards. Others tap their thighs or move their lips or stare at a spot on the ceiling. And some of them "air write" the words with their finger, much like an airplane might skywrite a message for an advertiser. Anyway, try not to let your mind become clouded, and keep your eye on the big picture. Just like with the imposing photo featured above, focus is key. There were 47 examples of of Excellan* in OhioLINK, and 636 in WorldCat.

(Hotel Excellence Riveria, "not so much a photo of the hotel, but the clouds overhead," Feb. 20, 2010, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Derrièrre* (for Derrière*)

A friend and her husband were riding their bikes in the country the other day. After passing three different dairies and their associated olfactory components, the husband could no longer suppress a pungent pun and wryly exclaimed: "Mmm, smell that dairy air!" (Ironically, one of my own favorite hangouts as a country girl was called Three Farms Dairy: they had excellent root beer floats, and we would sometimes ride our bikes there to get one.) Air itself, of course, is a substance—and therefore has substance—but taken alone is basically intangible. Still we often think of it as something that can be smelled, heard, felt, or even seen. I once knew an adorable little girl (all grown up now!) who one time, after watching a few minutes of an old classic film with me on TCM, wondered aloud: "Was the air black and white back then?"* I knew just what she meant by that and almost hated to disabuse her of the appealing notion that life in the olden days was exactly like it was in the movies, right down to its striking black and white cinematography. Today's typo doesn't put on airs, having been found only three times in OhioLINK and 25 times in WorldCat. Though, actually, that's kind of a lot for a fancy French word meaning "a euphemistic term for a person's buttocks." Dare to air this dirty laundry in your own library's catalog, instead of just sitting there on your derrière.

*Within a few hours of writing this entry, I found myself watching the Merrimack College commencement address by Charlie Day, alumnus and star of the popular sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. At one point, Day mentioned his clueless former roommate who had once remarked that "he wished he lived when it was black and white." When I promptly shared this coincidence with a friend, he responded by sending me a link to Elvis Costello performing the song "Black and White World" back in 1980. There must have been something in the air that night!

(George Takemoto, former resident of Ventura County, California, now evacuee instructor at the dairy farm school, is shown milking a cow at the Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, Arizona, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

Monday, June 2, 2014

Throught* (for Through*, Though*, Thought*, etc.)

Our multifaceted typo of the day is very clearly food for thought—or maybe even drink for drought. Other words it could be intended for include through, throughout, and though. For this reason, along with the fact that those are all relatively common words, a great many hits were received for Throught* the last time we thought to check. There are plenty of things you can do while drinking (winking, blinking, clinking, and stinking, to name but a few), though one of the best, easiest, and most time-honored among them is thinking. And perhaps best of all is doing it in a friendly bar, with a great jukebox, and a corny country & western song to listen to at the same time. Roger Miller, author of the honky-tonk tune "Drinking and Thinking," had a hardscrabble upbringing in Oklahoma during the Depression, and gradually drifted into music. He was once fired (no pun intended) from his job as a fireman, during which time he was called to exactly two emergencies: one in a "chicken coop" and another one he "slept through." Try not to sleep through our typo for the day, which turned up 216 times in OhioLINK, and came back "too many records found for your search" in WorldCat.

(Drinking and Thinking, by Chuck Rogers and the Rogues, aka Roger Miller, CA$H Records, date unknown, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid