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Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Writer's Life 1/22 - Amusing Typos

Here's a fun group of typos from, pared and edited by yours truly: In 1915 The Washington Post ran an article on Woodrow Wilson’s love life. A sentence read: “The President gave himself up for the time being to entering his fiancée.” Of course, what the paper meant was "entertaining."... Perhaps the best-known Bible blunder ever was the omission of the word “not” in “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Published in 1631, it became known as the Sinner’s Bible. In the 1795 edition of the King James Bible, “Let the children first be filled” (Mark 7:27) was printed as “Let the children first be killed.” In a 1716 edition, “Sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34) is replaced with “Sin on more.”...  A misprint in a 1955 Sears advertisement in a Colorado Springs newspaper had people calling the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD, thinking they would be speaking to Santa Claus. The man who first answered assumed it was a prank and was about to hang up when the kid started crying. A number of airmen were then assigned to the phones to act like Santa... In 1988 Gloria Quinan, owner of a travel agency, sued a phone company because of an ad typo. The caption read “erotic” rather than "exotic." A large number of inappropriate calls ensued, and the loss of loyal clientèle. Quinan was refunded not only the $230 monthly fee for the ad but was awarded $10 million for mental anguish and distress... The inscription on a statue of Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore contained two quotation errors in a line taken from The Raven. It read: “Dreamng dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before.” The obvious typo of “dreamng” was less rankling to Poe enthusiasts than “mortals,” which should have been “mortal.” For years one man wrote letters of complaint to local newspapers, which did not incite action. Finally, he took a chisel and removed the "s" himself. "Quoth the raven - 'Nevermore.'"

The rain held off long enough to allow a full session of the floating book shop, but passersby did not cooperate, despite an impressive array of best sellers. There were several browsers but no buyers. A young woman scanned each of the hundred or so titles displayed before finally asking if I had any classics. Alas, not a one. I consoled myself with the thought that my latest bank statement reflects royalty payment for a print copy of Billionths of a Lifetime and a Kindle of Adjustments. The post office also delivered the 25 copies of my new novel, Five Cents, on Saturday night. I will be mailing five of them to my niece in Colorado tomorrow. I also received a flattering email from an old friend/teammate, who says my books have "rekindled his love of reading." Thanks, Frank.
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