June 02, 2002
Typographical Humor

The Weekly Standard's current index page includes this entry for last Tuesday:

Taking One for the Team
Catherine Millet's memoir closes out the age of French psuedo-intellectualism.
by David Brooks

Given that using big words one does not know how to spell (or pronounce, or both) is a common symptom of pseudo-intellectualism, misspelling that very word as "psuedo-intellectualism" is particularly unfortunate.

Of course, I only mention this because it reminds me of something else (and not just Tom Sharpe's Wilt, "the man with the grasshopper mind"). When I was in high school, some of the nerdier students liked to play around with a rhetorical trick that involved accusing someone else of something that the very form of the accusation proved the speaker guilty of. Confused? An example will show what I mean. In fact, the only example I can remember was accusing someone else of being a pseudo-intellectual, but pronouncing the first part either "puh-SOO-do" or "SWAY-do". Thanks for reminding me, Weekly Standard!

One more amusing typographical error:

On the back of the dustjacket of a good book on Petronius (Gian Biagio Conte, The Hidden Author, 1996), there is a plug for the translation of Petronius' Satyrica (better known as the Satyricon) by R. Bracht Branham and D. Kinney ("also from California") that reads in full:

"Among the earliest European 'novels' . . . the book has also become a text in the history of pronography."
    -- The Washington Post

I would like to think that the unfortunate copy editor or typesetter who came up with 'pronography' was thinking of the French term for successful courtesans ('les grandes horizontales'), but it's probably just a happy coincidence.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at June 02, 2002 10:21 PM


Posted by: hjk on January 14, 2003 11:35 AM