Lakes and Forests

Musing on a Misprint

In a literary novel I recently read (the title of which I’ll keep to myself) the book's hero walks past a number of muse cottages. And I wondered what they might look like. Does one Muse live there? Or are there several Muses? And how would you call on them? Would it be like a kind of market, where you could select a suitable Muse for your mood and needs? A sort of Red Light District for the bits Up There? (After all, most artists work for money if they can. Ideally a lot of money.)

Or is it a kind of village – a colony for Muses? They’d come back here to rest and roost after a hard day of inspiration across the city.

Either way, I like the idea. How convenient to have a Muse to call whenever you run out of ideas. I should contact the book’s author and ask him how to get there.

I'll be disappointed. I know it. Because probably it's no more than a symptom of Creeping Malaprop. Forgivable in a piece produced for a deadline; but it’s a shame to find this kind of thing in a book published by a grown-up publisher that prides itself on attention to detail.

In the same book, our hero visits an Italian hotel where he finds a beday (sic) in the bathroom. Presumably bidet is another word the author has heard but never seen, and he didn’t bother to check.

The regrettable thing about all this is that more people are writing than ever before – but often their reading is not as various as it could be. So mistakes like these become embedded as people copy and learn from each other.

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