Corrections and more

 

We Were Wrong! (and we also left out some stuff)

Corrections, Updates, and Comments

The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived

 

These are the changes that have been found for us, so far, and our comments.  

The first section goes to the facts, items we got wrong, and things we left out.  This is the one you should check if you want to be double-sure of a reference, or know how bad we felt, or the reasons behind a choice you may disagree with. The first sub-section contains those that are awaiting the next printing, all the rest are in alphabetical order by character. The first printing in which such corrections were incorporated was the 5th. A third sub-section covers everything we missed -- oversights, things that are now out of date because of recent events, misstatements that can't be corrected without major trauma to the pagination, and things we simply discovered too late to include.

The second section is the same thing without discussion, and in page order; scroll down past the triple blue bars.

We've left space for the third item, a blog, with comments and arguments as they come in, whatever we feel like posting, and probably won't include your obsession with Harold's purple crayon.   We may put that on another page, but if we do, we'll give you a link or the page address.

The fourth section will hold articles that didn't get used, and whatever we happened to think of that relates to the book.  We don't have anything there now, but when we do we'll tell you here, maybe we'll add our articles on Madame Bovary, Winnie the Pooh, Bugs Bunny, and our expanded articles on Hamlet, Robin Hood, and so on.

 

Because this is a cumulative list, you'll only see all these items if you've got a first printing. If you don't see the error on your page, it's already been fixed.

 

Meanwhile here are a few 

Lessons learned in our many mistakes:

*   Whenever you think you've found the earliest character, there's always someone earlier.

*   Trust very little of what you find on the Internet. Except this, of course.

*   There's nothing like reading the original.

*   Don't paraphrase while taking notes.  Quote exactly, or photocopy.

*   If a soap's been running for 20 years, be very careful -- the villain of this year was probably the good girl ten years ago.

*   When writing about the changing worlds of entertainment and politics, never say "never."

*   Folktales have a million variations, and none of them has a  "correct" version.  Go with the Disney film.

 

Section FIRST -- CORRECTIONS and our comments (and stuff we left out); Listed by printing number, within that Alphabetically, by name. To determine the printing number, turn to the page after the Title page. At the bottom will be a string of numbers similar to the following:

         10  11  12  13  14  WBC/RRD  20  19 18  17  16  15  14  13  12

In this example, the left-most "10" indicates this copy was printed in 2010, and the right-most "12" indicates that this is the 12th printing.

---

1A

These are the errors remaining in the 15th printing, the most recent we have received.

For all previous errors (correct by the 14th printing), scroll down to section 1B.

For comments, new developments, fine points useful to settle bar disputes (but not your tab), and additional stuff we didn't have space for, scroll down to section 1C.

 

Madame Butterfly

Page 197 line 8 (4th line from bottom)

Is:      and in 1906    

Use:  and in 1904

After the disastrous 1904 opening, the opera re-debuted and was further modified in 1906, the current version.  If you're listening to CD highlights, you might not appreciate the changes.   The first act was too long, but the story couldn't have been much different -- the final version is still close to John Luthor Long's story. It's only the final tweaks that appeared in 1906, and that should matter to you only if you're going to sing one of the lead roles and need a copy of the music.

 

The Ugly Duckling

Page 172, line 5

. . .  1844

correct to

. . .  1843

The collection of fairy tales, Nye Aventyr, Book 1, which included "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Nightingale," was published in December 1844, again in 1849 and 1862, and about 30 billion times since then. The Andersen Center of the University of Southern Denmark says the Duckling was first published 1843 -- November 11, 1843.  They don't say what time.   Actually, the title is "Den Grimme Aelling," because it's written in Danish.

 

---

1B

All these have been corrected by the 14th printing:

Mary Richards

Page 252 line 4

not: Candace Bergen

use: Candice   (i, not a)

This was scheduled to be corrected in the 13th printing, and is certainly corrected in the 14th printing.

 

G.I. Joe

 

Page 143, Line last, G.I. Joe

 

Was:                         The United States has never had a presi-

            dent or vice-president or secretary of state Joe.

 

Correct to:                                                                     ... a presi-   

            dent Joe, and only one V.P. Joe (Biden, as of 2009).

 

The full sentence should read:

"The United States has never had a President Joe, and only one V.P. Joe (Biden, as of 2009)."

This underscores the problem of writing about the changing worlds of entertainment and politics.  Never say "never."

The 12th printing repeats this last paragraph of p. 143 onto p. 144, and shifts all the text down, cutting off from the bottom of page 144 onto the top of page 145

This was scheduled to be corrected in the 13th printing, and is certainly corrected in the 14th printing.

[ The twelve-inch doll went out of ]

production in 1976, and the version that reappeared in 1982 was 3¾ inches tall, perhaps reflecting the downsizing of the American military, but more likely because the new Star Wars figures were that height.  There have been several hundred Joes in the action figure line, most of them the smaller size.  Typically, each figure is made for only a single year.  The 2004 run

[ had almost 200 Joe characters, from Vietnam door gunner to Action Sailor # 16.]   

 

 

Lady Chatterley

We were consistent, and made the same spelling mistake everywhere: her name (the name of her husband) is spelled with an "e" before the "y". This misspelling appears on the following pages:

 

Page xii -- the Table of Contents, at the very bottom of that page

Page 9 -- the Ranked Order entry (#15), 1 line from the bottom of the page

Pages 245-247 -- the essay itself, a total of four instances.

These were scheduled to be corrected in the 13th printing, and are certainly corrected in the 14th printing.

 

Mickey Mouse

Page 263  line 3 :

Not:  (Wayne All-)bright followed.  

Use:  (Wayne All-)wine followed.     Wayne Allwine followed

Wayne Allwine voiced Mickey from 1977 to 2009, though reports of his last work have been difficult to place, due to the lag between the work and the cartoon's release date.  He died on 5-14-2009, the third voice of Mickey Mouse.

This was scheduled to be corrected in the 13th printing, and is certainly corrected in the 14th printing.

 

Batman

Page 113, lines 2 and 3 of last paragraph (text lines 22, 23): omit "(creator of Green Lantern)"

Nodell's granddaughter wrote to remind us that Nodell should be the only one recognized as GL's creator.   This was a copying error, "a creator" condensed to "creator,"  both versions wrong.  Martin Nodell came up with the Green Lantern, and worked with editor Sheldon Mayer and writer Bill Finger.  Nodell used the pen name Mart Dellon.  The first issue was credited to Dellon and Finger, and soon, the people working on the Lantern included Sci-Fi notables Henry Kuttner and Alfred Bester.  But their hero was not the Lantern of the 60s, Hal Jordan.   The first GL, Alan Scott, was invulnerable to metal, but could be knocked out by a wooden club.  Find his story republished in The Great Comic Book Heroes, Feiffer, 1965.  Some tales appear in a DC reissue hardcover we didn't buy.

Lesson: never paraphrase while taking notes.  Quote exactly, or photocopy.

This is corrected in the 11th printing.

 

Gatsby, Jay -- The Great Gatsby

Page 162 line 18  on Jay's family origins ...

is:    poor family who still lives in San Francisco.

use: poor farming family in North Dakota

This is the effect of the charm of Jay Gatz, who said his relatives were from the Midwest -- "San Francisco."

This is corrected in the 5th printing.

 

HAL 9000

Page 237 HAL9000 line 7

not:  Robbie  

use: "The Robot"

Robbie the Robot did appear in a Lost in Space episode, as a guest star, but he's a slightly different type from the Jupiter 2's robot.  Robbie's huge egg-like clear top is distinctive.  He starred with Ann Francis in Forbidden Planet, and appeared in a Twilight Zone episode.   "The Robot" has a much smaller head.  And a shorter list of acting credentials.  "Danger, Will Robinson!"

This is corrected in the 11th printing.

 

Kirk and Spock

Page 303 line 1

Not:  1967 to 1969

use:  1966 to 1969

Defective math.  Star Trek ran three seasons starting in 1966, but each season spreads across two years.  66-67.  67-68.  68-69.

This is corrected in the 5th printing.

 

G. I. Joe

Page 144 line 10

not Bill Maulden,

use Mauldin  (i, not e)

This is corrected in the 12th printing.

 

Norman Bates

Page 227 paragraph 2 line 12, 8th from bottom

Not:  the next morning

use: later that night

Marion Crane showered a little while after she checked in that night.  Big mistake.  A look at the hall clocks shows the attack time approximately 11PM, and Norman's cleanup is done in the early hours of the morning.

This is corrected in the 11th printing.

 

Paul Bunyan

Page 138, last word of Sidebar

Not:  bases

use: base

This was pointed out to us by a friend's daughter. We've seen a photo of the Paul Bunyan trophy; the dimensions are correct, but there is only one base (which unfortunately looks more like a 30-gallon garbage can than a tree stump).

This is corrected in the 7th printing.

 

Perry Mason

Page 297 paragraph 2 line 7

Not:  accused

use: convicted

This is corrected in the 5th printing.

 

Saint Swithin         in Who's Fictional?

 

Page 258 line 26,

Not:            St. Swithens' Day  

Correct to: St. Swithin's Day 

It's St. Swithin, not Saint Swithens

This is corrected in the 12th printing.

 

Saint Valentine

Page 51, line 5 of the article

Not :   However, none of them ever made it to sainthood

use: ...                    none of them ever made it to stardom

This is corrected in the 11th printing.

 

William Tell

Page 60  

We removed the sidebar reference lines 27-8:  Things in Switzerland have changed since then (see sidebar)

The link we had originally included, http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=2300, may not exist now.   Websites are subject to change.  The Swiss began dropping their historical certainty about William Tell a long time ago.  An officially approved Swiss school text of 1901 cautioned students that "all peoples embellish stories of their nation's origin" (original in French, Henri Cuchet), and hinted that there was only a shred of truth in the story.  What the Swiss told tourists is another matter.

This is corrected in the 5th printing.

 

---

1C

Stuff we missed or misstated slightly, and new material:

Barbie

Page 281 side bar  "Barbie has at least two videos."

Replace with            "Barbie has at least ten videos, and the list grows."

Two videos is a gross understatement.  The full list is twenty-one as of October, 2011, plus the movie "Toy Story3;" check at www.imdb.com.  We've seen in stores: Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses,  Barbie: Fairytopia,  Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus, Barbie: Mermaidia,  Barbie and the Three Musketeers,  Barbie Presents: Thumbelina,  Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper, and maybe Barbie in the Nutcracker. By the time you read this, there will be 35,000 Barbie videos at Amazon. The stores here generally stock only two at any given time, so you have time to buy more storage space.

 

In Mid-October, 2011, we were astonished to read of a tattooed Barbie, 7400 of which were sold to ADULTS for $50 each.   Tokidoki Barbie, which is NOT available from Mattel.com's Barbie Boutique, as of this writing, has black tattoos over her upper chest and one arm, and an off-the shoulder blouse.  This is a sort of black magic vodka Barbie,  or punk geisha Barbie, a role model for mid-twentyish Hollywood hairstylists and Greenwich village performance artists, not for most of the aggressively wholesome beach and date and career situations we're used to associating with our most synthetic national cheerleader.

 

What's next?

*   Radical Piercing Barbie, with multiple earrings, nose rings, plus wire and soldering iron for do-it-yourself body piercings?

*   Cosmetically Enhanced Barbie for February 2012 with plastic physical supplements and web camera for professional and Swimsuit photos?

*   Survivalist  Barbie for the 2012 apocalypse, complete with 12-gauge shotgun, deadfall trap, bone saw, skinning tools, stew pot, and recipe book?

Our favorite, though is the much-discussed and anticipated National Political Barbie, in a red-white-and-blue power suit.  Her knowledge of the world is confined to half a dozen plastic friends, and perhaps ten play sets of less than two square feet each, but she carries no known diseases, and is capable of international shipment.   Granted, those are not positive qualities for national office, but our standards have dropped over the last 50 years.

 

It turns out that Barbie was not the first doll of her kind.  in December 1941, the NY Times carried an ad for a realistically dressed 12-inch doll of a young adult,  a miniature plastic manikin apparently named "Susanna", $1.59, and patterns and enough cloth "to start a wardrobe."  She looked rather prim and somewhat Germanic, unfortunate considering the news on the front page of the Times that day.  And girls had to make, not buy, the doll's clothes.

 

Batman

Page 113-114 -- No Error -- NEW OFF THE PRESS, Fall 2011

With the restart of 52 comics of the DC universe in late 2011, a new Robin was added -- Damien Wayne, Bruce Wayne's son. Batman and Robin #1, dated November 2011, actual release 14 September, 2011. Also included in this revamping the titles BATMAN (2 Sep actual release), NIGHTWING (Sep 2; looks like Dick Grayson continues the good fight), BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT (28 September 2008) and the related comics BATGIRL, BATWING, BATWOMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE LEAGUE INT'L, BIRDS OF PREY, CATWOMAN, LEGION OF SUPERHEROES, DETECTIVE COMICS, TEEN TITANS.... Recently (late 2014) a television prequel was introduced, a limited series entitled "Gotham." And you just know that Bats will be making guest appearances with Superman, Green Lantern, and others.

 

Figaro

Page 194, line 7 -- clocks vs. watches

"years of age he invented a new clock mechanism..."

No error: More often noted was his involvement in (analog) watches, which are now more common than analog clocks, but Caron earned a moniker that has been translated as "clockmaker to the king." And clocks were more common than watches at that time. The invention (an escapement) applies to watches and clocks, and is probably still in use. The more generic term might be "timekeeping", to embrace both clocks and watches.

Page 194, lines 9-10 -- minimal error

"took her family name, Beaumarchais."

This is a quick way of putting it. Beuamarchais was the name of the family that had owned a manor purchased by the lady's late husband, Pierre-Augustin Franquet.

Page 194, line 11

"Count ... Beaumarchais"

Close enough. He purchased formal nobility, but "Count" is more of a generic honorific, because he did not acquire a specific title. We should call him Count Beaumarchais, if only to parallel Figaro's master, Count Almaviva.

Page 194, line 12

"himself took up writing in support of revolutionary causes."

Not by intent: Beaumarchais fought for his own acceptance, and put his support for the American revolution in the form of arms shipments. His first writing was in defense of himself, and his writing career began with skits and then into public performance: The Two Friends, Eugenie, The Barber ... and Figaro.

use

"himself wrote plays, some of which embodied revolutionary ideas."

Page 194, line 23

"Ain't much" is a colloquial translation, correct in its meaning. This is the version used in performances by the Ho-Ho-Kus Bathroom Renovation and Theater Company.

 

G. I. Joe

 

Page 146 add to 'Did you know' sidebar:  

An 8" figure has been/is also produced

This is a major product line, and was so even before the 2009 movie;  the "Cobra" wars soldiers are about this size.  They're all very muscular, and look more like Rocky Balboa's Russian opponent than Bill Mauldin's soldiers.  Maybe we'll ask the Commissioner to look into it, once the Pete Rose business is settled.

We deleted the Sidebar reference to full title of : The Short Stories of Saki (H. H. Munro), another writer-soldier killed in a World War (I), who wrote "The Toys of Peace."

 

The 12-inch action figure is not out of production, though you may find half as many enemy evildoer-dolls as GIs in that size.   A few of these Joe characters are still sold in 2014, and we discretely measured one Joe in a toy store in 2013.  He's described by Hasbro as 12-inches, but it's closer to 11-and-a-half.  Mathematical rounding rules allow him to be described as 12-inch. If you remove his hair and boots, we suspect he's closer to 11.3" -- but we didn't have a heated scalpel with us, and anyway, the store would have objected.

 

 

Hansel and Gretel

We've just gotten the new Zipes translation of Grimm's Fairy Tales, and this story is a little simpler:  the kids find the witch's house on their own, no bird involved.  And it's made of plain bread.  However, the family was close to starvation, and when the two get back with the crone's jewels, they learn their mother has died.  They don't ask why, they don't ask to visit the grave -- and as far as we know, they don't check the oven.

 

 

 

Kermit the Frog

Page 310, last paragraph -- not an error, but the situation has changed:

Original:  and the entire Muppet cast.  But business deals don't always go

                through, and don't always last. If it's true, don't fret.  They've

                gotten out of worse predicaments...

Could Use:

                and the entire Muppet cast.  But such business arrangements

                don't always last.  Take heart, and don't fret.  They've

                gotten out of worse predicaments...

At the time, Michael Eisner was viewed by some as Disney's evil henchman, and the Muppets being sold off as property seemed to be another of their adventure plots.   But the merger went through, and despite the death of originator Jim Henson yet another Muppet movie is expected.

See also Who Met Whom

 

King Arthur

There were two Arthurs in British culture.  The real one was known as Artorius, or Duke Artorius, and there's very little information on him.  The Arthur we know of Holy Grail fame doesn't seem to be based on anything other than the name of the real hero, and many stories were written centuries later, not from documents of the 500s.

 

 

Kirk and Spock

Note: Page 302:  The shuttle Enterprise was an engineless glider with a streamlined tail.  No Klingons were sighted during the test flight.  That we know of.

 

Marlboro Man

Page 277 line 10-11

bacco's kick, is a powerfully addictive substance. Of all cig-

arette smokers trying to quit in any year, only 1 in 40 succeed.

Replace with:

bacco's kick, is a powerfully addictive substance. Of cigarette

smokers trying to quit in any year, a small fraction succeed.

          While we have no reason to believe that our original figure is wrong (1 in 40), other studies have been done, and the quitting rate without drugs has been reported as high as 17%.  This is a good reason for not extracting a single data point from a specific year.  A general statement is much more likely to stay accurate.

          Overall, the proportion of smokers in the U.S. has dropped considerably over the last 50 years.  With the help of the new methods and new quitting aids, the smoking-cessation success rate has been talked of as being close to 50% -- but all statistics depend on the people studied: how long they've been smoking, and why they now want to quit -- if they do want to quit.   And the success rate for any group of people at 3 months is not expected to be same as the rate at 1 year, or five years.  If you claim victory after a week, then a huge number of people quit smoking, some of them dozens of times.

            Since the US smoking population has gone down by about half, you could say half the smokers have managed to quit, though a cynic might say that half of them have died from smoking.

 

Odysseus

Page 25 line 6 -- (Homer's Odyssey, which dates from about) 800 B.C.E.

Cliff Notes says 700 B.C.E., but we said "about 800" -- that's OK, both are estimates.  The Trojan War was about 1200 B.C.E. -- another "about."   The war can be dated from artifacts and comments made by other civilizations, who knew something was up.   The poem is another matter.  Roughly as much time had passed between the Trojan War and Homer as between Henry VIII and us.

Page 25 line 12-13 "The deity [Poseidon] did so [punish Odysseus] with storms that resulted in a ten-year journey of a few hundred miles home."  

Yes, that's correct, but if you want to get picky, Poseidon wasn't the only one to blame.  The crew released a bag of winds, blowing them far off course, and Zeus caused the second storm, which landed Odysseus on Calypso's Island -- where he stayed seven years.  In another incident, the ship is becalmed near an island where the cattle of the sun were kept, and Odysseus' men, running out of food, opted to eat these beasts, which was a very bad decision indeed.  Poseidon caused the storm that shipwrecked Odysseus on Phaecia/ Phoenecia, but we don't need to repeat that, since he's been blamed for storms already.

Could be revised to:  

The deity [Poseidon] did so [punish Odysseus] with storms that resulted in

a ten-year delay in the journey of a few hundred miles home.

14 characters available on that line, 13 added; OK

Page 25 line 19 "The Phoenicians saved him. . . "  -- no error --

Phoenicians, Phaecians, pretty much the same -- This is OK, though they didn't specifically save Odysseus' life, they saved him a very long dangerous walk by sending him home in one of their ships.  If you've seen photographs of the area, you know that Greece is well corrugated with crags and hills, which accounts for the independence of the many Greek city-states.  Travel was physically difficult.  A land route would have taken Odysseus through the freshly desolate and probably dangerous remnants of Troy.  So yes, they did save his life.   Might be better as : "The Phoenicians aided him" but let's not quibble.

Page 25  -- 6 lines from the bottom -- (line 26 and) line 27  -- no error --

"Pressured by her suitors, she [Penelope] declared she would marry the man who could bend an extremely stiff bow that belonged to Odysseus."  

But a better phrasing might be: "Pressured by her suitors, she [Penelope] declared she would marry the man who bent, and shot best with, a stiff bow that belonged to Odysseus."

FYI:  There was more to Penelope's demand -- the suitor had to shoot an arrow through 12 rings.  But yes, you do have to bend the bow in order to use it, and that required an enormous amount of strength -- or the foresight to use a different bowstring. None of the suitors had either quality. Only Odysseus was able to do that. How did Odysseus know that HE would be able to bend -- let alone fire -- his own bow? He'd been away for 20 years, and much of the last 10 were spend in the bed of a witch. He's 20 years older -- but not 20 years more physically fit. Wouldn't Penelope (and her husband) have been red-faced if the bow's owner couldn't accomplish her challenge? Of course, we know he had help from certain gods. That's always an advantage. 

 

If you really, REALLY, want to know:

The 12 rings have also been translated as 12 axes -- but how do you shoot an arrow through an axe? It appears the axes were made with loops for attaching to the belt or some such anchor on the body (an Internet search revealed photos showing bronze axe heads with little loops) . The loops must have been at the axe end, so the head wouldn't scrape your leg (or worse) while you walked, and thus if the handle was stuck in the ground, the loop remained at the top. If the loop is a tenth the size of the axe-head, that's a pretty exact target. Even a single ring is a challenge -- but 12 in a row? Perhaps Penelope was simply taking no chances.

 

Peter Pan

Page 179 line 12

was: hospital has contracted with

use: hospital commissioned

line 14

was: to Peter Pan, due to appear in 2006

use: Peter Pan in Scarlet, which appeared in 2006

(plus an additional comma at the end of line 13.)

Our first printing appeared before the Peter Pan sequel appeared, and we felt uncomfortable accepting as a fact something that hadn't happened yet; that sequel is now an accomplished fact..

 

Robin Hood

If there was such a man, he certainly wouldn't have given out his real name and location, or the names of his comrades.  A century after Robin was supposed to have prowled Sherwood, there were real people who gave their name as Robinhood -- perhaps as a tribute, a trade name, or a snub of the authorities.

 

Romeo and Juliet

Page 186, text line 3: (Romeo) sixteen years of age, she thirteen

Shakespeare defines Juliet as two weeks short of 14, and Romeo's age is not given.  The two lovers die at age 16 in Boccaccio's tale of Girolamo and Salvestra (Decameron, Day 4, 8th story), and the two lovers are 18 and 15 in an earlier tale of Ippolito and Leonore.  In Shakespeare's direct source, Arthur Brooke's poem, Romeus and Juliet, Juliet is 16 and Romeus is a youth "Upon whose tender chin, as yet, no manlike beard there grew."  Keeping the age difference at 2-3 years, Romeo is therefore 15 or 16 -- and 16 is more consistent with Romeo's prowess at swordplay.

"Romeo, Romeo, how old art thou, Romeo?"

See Branden Books: Romeo and Juliet: Original Text of Masuccio, Da Porto, Bandello, Shakespeare (1992).     

and Olin H. Moore, University of Ohio Press, The Legend of Romeo and Juliet.

 

Saint Valentine

Of the three Valentines we listed, one was only a Pope, and we doubted the existence of the other two.  The Valentine who lived in Africa is largely a mystery, that's all we found on him.  Valentine of Terni (then called Interamna) was an actual  bishop and a Saint.  He may also have been the priest Valentine who was killed in Rome, sixty miles away.  The Valentines of Rome and Interamna were executed on the same road, and on the same day of the year, either due to a perverse Roman sense of symmetry, or because they were one person.  These two men (or man) are officially recognized in references such as The Catholic Encyclopedia, and Butler's Lives of the Saints.  Our celebrated Valentine may have been the fictional side of the priest of Rome, or a composite character.

Aside:  in the Roman era, there does not seem to be much distinction between a martyr and a saint.  

 

Siegfried

Page 202 line 7: the sidebar:  

not: staged together as...

use: first staged together as The Ring of the Nibelungen in 1876

(The Siegfried/ Ring operas were staged together in other years, and in recent years, annually.)

We should, to be fair, note that World Wars I and II were principally fought between Germanic countries: Germany, France (a Germanic tribe, the Franks) and England (two Germanic tribes, the Angles and Saxons) -- and the United States (descended from England in government, and England and Germany, in early population.)   Think of these nations from an Indian, Arab, or African viewpoint, and you'll see the point.  Hitler's persecutions and war make Germany the standout.

 

Sindbad The Sailor

Pages 94-5

Title -- One thing we left out, which you'll discover when you read the tales: Sindbad is a traveling trader, not a seaman, and only in modern film is he depicted as a captain, commander, or pirate.  This is not an error, since the modern translations of the Arabian Nights refers to him as the Sindbad the Seaman, Sindbad the Sailor, Sindibad of the Sea, etc.

Lines 25-6

  25  ..."The name Sindbad means "traveler" in

  26  Sind, a dialect of India."

Not India.   Should be:  Sindh, now a part of Pakistan.  

Sindh is now part of Pakistan.   Sind (now spelled Sindh) was thought of as part of India -- the whole region -- when Galland, Burton, and Lane did their famous translations.  Geographically, it's still called the Indian subcontinent.  

            As a language, it's called not Sind, but Sindhi, and although it may be dialect to us, it is regarded as a separate language, and is now written in a variant of Arabic script.

FYI:   Cultural factors influence the meaning of the term, and Sind-abad suggests Sindh + abadi, or ancestry, someone from Sindh, but without named town or family, and therefore a wanderer.    

The translation "traveler" is credited to a professor of North African Folklore.  He noted that Sind-bad doesn't work in Arabic.  Sir Richard Burton's footnote says that Sind-abad doesn't work in Persian, though ábád is a word for region or habitation in that language. He noted that the name form -----abad occurs in names from India    However, "abadi" is an Urdu word for ancestry, habitation or village, and is seen in the town names Islamabad, Hyderabad, etc.  

Dr. Mazolph (Germany), editor of The Arabian Nights Reader,  2006, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, ISBN 0-8143-3259-5, told us that translating Sind+bad  "leads the wrong way,"  and confirmed Burton's rejection of a Persian construction.

So it's not an Arabic name, not a Persian name, but maybe possibly farther east.  

"Sindhu" is a Hindustani/Sanskrit word for Ocean, and we suspect a multi-lingual pun.  Perhaps our seafarer's name can be misconstrued in a dozen languages.

 

Sidebars we didn't have space for:

*   At least two scholars believe that Sindbad's tales originated in India, and we've read a Sanskrit story that describes a man getting a ride from a huge bird (Roc) and other adventures ("The Travels of Sānudāsa, The Merchant", available in Tales of Ancient India, U. Chicago Press).        

*   Galland did have an Arabic manuscript for Sindbad, but it wasn't connected to the Sherezade stories.  It was inventoried, but it's since been lost.

Page 94:   3rd line from bottom (lines 27, 28)

Sindbad's seven trips each begin with him, a merchant

embarking on a journey and becoming shipwrecked.   And the stories

. . . .

No. Mostly shipwrecked.

replace with:

     Sinbad’s seven trips each begin with him, a merchant,

embarking on a sea journey with other traders.  And the stories

. . . .

In the first and second voyages the "fun" begins when he's left behind (accidentally, so he claims).  In the third voyage his ship is beached intact, and then attacked and dismantled.

Page 95

Though our plot summary is generally correct, we seem to have been too caught up in his adventures, and mixed some details with Greek and Iroquois myth. We'll put that to good use later, and write a story in which Sindbad finds an 800-foot turtle and gets Donald Trump to build a hotel on it.

Here's a complete rewrite of page 95:

returning to Baghdad. The adventures are what happen in between.

     One of the stories reverses an ancient Egyptian creation myth, in which the earth emerged from the oceans. Sindbad lands on an Eden-like island that is really the back of a huge fish. It submerges, taking down everyone on it. The merchant survives by using a large wooden bowl as a lifeboat.

     Another tale repeats the Cyclopes episode from The Odyssey. Sindbad and others land on an island inhabited by a giant, who eats some of them. The survivors blind the giant with hot irons and escape on a boat they have built. But other giants hurl large rocks at them, and kill many of the men as they flee.

     On a different trip, a king provides Sindbad with a wife. She dies, and is arrayed with her jewels for burial. However, by local custom, her husband must be interred with her in a communal grave -- a large closed cave. Sindbad is placed in the chasm along with the body of his wife and enough bread and water for him to survive for a few days. Several days later, a woman is placed in the cave with her dead husband. Sindbad kills her and steals her food and water, and also her gold ornaments and gems. After that, he kills others placed in the cave and gathers great wealth in jewelry and enough food and water to search the cave until he finds an outlet and escapes. He makes no effort to help these unfortunate spouses; he simply murders them.

     On his last trip, he marries a daughter of yet another king. Her father dies, and Sindbad inherits enormous wealth. He then returns to Baghdad, where he and his wife live happily ever after.

     Sindbad brings us the message that murder and mayhem are a normal part of the business world. In the name of Allah, let's reject that idea.

 

Superman

Page 270-271  -- No Error -- NEW OFF THE PRESS, Fall 2011

With the restart of 52 comics of the DC universe in late 2011, a new "Superboy" was added, a Kryptonian-Human clone; SUPERBOY #1, November 2011, actual release 14 Sep 2011, and of course SUPERMAN #1, 28 Sep 2011. Also included in this revamping of the titles: ACTION COMICS, JUSTICE LEAGUE, LEGION OF SUPERHEROES, SUPERGIRL.... And we have to expect that the Superman family will make guest appearances (would YOU say "You're not welcome here" to Superman?) with Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash, and others.

   

The Ugly Duckling

Page 172

According to three translations (references on request), the duckling is not turned out by the kindly crone, he leaves on his own, and later he flees a farmhouse because the children frighten him, not because he frightens them.

Text lines 14-15:

However, she soon turned him out because he could not

lay eggs.

 

Correct to: (lines 14-15)

However, when he found he was expected to lay eggs and

give up swimming, he left.

 

Text lines 18-20 :

frightened his children. As a result, he was again turned out

and had to spend the rest of the hard winter in misery and pri-

vation.   

Correct line 18 to

frightened by his children. The duckling fled the farmhouse

 

The (second) rescuer (line 17) is, in Danish, a "Bondemand:" Bonde = farm, so he's a farm-man or farmhand, and the presence of an open pail of milk is enough to establish that it's a farmhouse.  We would like it to be a warm house, but that's not necessarily reasonable in the 1840s, and it isn't stated -- warm enough to let him revive, and the milk doesn't freeze, which means it's over 35F.

 

The first rescuer (line 13) is an old woman who wants duck eggs, but she's patient, and never hints at the sharpened duck-cleaver our author-friend Ed Rand would have foreshadowed in the hands of a villainous poultry-dealer.   The duckling has been there three weeks, and he decides to leave, mainly because he misses swimming

 

A friend questioned whether the duckling was really "ugly" or if he was simply "different."   Yes, he's "ugly" specified in the title (we translated some of the Danish from a text on the website of The University of Southern Denmark) and this is reinforced through the story.  It amounts to the same thing.   A kid will easily tease anyone who's different -- too tall, too fat, four-eyed, etc. -- and "You're so ugly!" is always an insult. This was echoed by our contributor and colleague E. F. Watkins, who posted a commentary 19 July 2011 @ www.efwatkins.com/blog/

The abuse the duckling suffers is certainly relevant to the bullying issues that have surfaced in the past couple of years.   Don't tease, don't dis.

 

Who Met Whom?

Page 206.  below line 11 - No Error -- but there were many such meetings, and here are a few more:.  

In the Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonis?" Apollo meets Kirk and Spock, and several other of the crew, including a lady we'll call Lieutenant Cleavage.  The god-human romance doesn't do nearly as well as Kermit and Miss Piggy's.  In "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" (2005), we expected the two stars to play the lead roles, but no, Kermit plays the Scarecrow, and meets Dorothy and the Wizard, both played by human actors.  Piggy plays the good witch, Glinda.  Not much of a part.  Maybe they'll get the leads in the Muppet version of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"    

Kermit played Scrooge's clerk, Bob Cratchit (1992), and so did Mickey Mouse (1983) so they both met Ebenezer.  Betty Boop played Snow White in the 30s, but few people consider that acting.  Betty never steps out of her own character.  Dracula and his son met quite a few characters at "The Monster Mash", but sorry, we don't have the full guest list.  Everybody's met John Doe, or walked right past without noticing him.  

 

---
---
---

Section SECOND -- Listed by page order -- ERRORS ONLY -- line by line

 

Page xii -- the Table of Contents, at the very bottom of that page

Not:: Chatterly

Use: Chatterley

This was scheduled to be corrected in the 13th printing, and is certainly corrected in the 14th printing.

 

 

Page 9 -- the Ranked Order listing, near the bottom of that page

Not:: Chatterly

Use: Chatterley

This was scheduled to be corrected in the 13th printing, and is certainly corrected in the 14th printing.

 

 

Page 51, line 5 of the article Saint Valentine:

we had:   However, none of them ever made it to sainthood

use: ...     none of them ever made it to stardom

This is corrected in the 11th printing.

 

Page 60, in the William Tell essay

            remove the sidebar reference lines 27-8:

            use: (blank, just omit)

           Omit : http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=2300.

This is corrected in the 5th printing.

 

 

Pages. 94-5 of the Sindbad the Sailor essay 

Line 26

Was: Sind, a dialect of India.  

Use:                Sindh, an area now part of Pakistan.

Line 28

Was: embarking on a journey and becoming shipwrecked.  And the

Use:    embarking on a sea journey with other traders.  And the

 

Page 95

To view the corrected page as a whole, see the table box in the first section of this page, under Sindbad. However, due to technical limitations, the box does not show the correct number of lines nor words per line. To check line by line, use the following enumeration:

Line 3

Was:

     Two of the stories recapitulate Middle Eastern creation

Replace with:

     One of the stories reverses an ancient Egyptian creation

 

Line 4

was:

myths in which the earth was born when the backs of giant

Replace with:

myth, in which the earth emerged from the oceans. Sindbad

 

Line 5

was:

animals emerged from the oceans. In one he lands on an Eden-

Replace with:

lands on an Eden-line island that is really the back of a huge

Line 6

was:

like island that is really the back of a huge whale, and in the other,

Replace with:

fish. It submerges, taking down everyone on it. The merchant

Line 7

was:

he visits a continent that is the back of an enormous cow:

Replace with 

survives by using a large wooden bowl as a lifeboat.

Line 9

was:

Sindbad lands on an island inhabited by a one-eyed giant who

Replace with:

Sindbad and others land on an island inhabited by a giant who

Line 10

was:

eats some of his fellow passengers. The survivors blind the gi-

Replace with:

eats some of them. The survivors blind the giant with hot irons

Line 11

was:

ant with a burning timber and try to escape on a boat they

Replace with:

and escape on a boat they have built. But other giants hurl

Line 12

was:

have built. But other giants hurl large tocks at them and kill

Replace with:

large rocks at them and kill many of the men as they flee.

Line 13

was:

many of the men as they are leaving.

New: Sentence and paragraph are concluded on line 12. Make this a blank line for now. This will be corrected by instructions at the bottom of page 95 corrections.

 

Line 14

was:

     On a different trip, he marries the daughter of a king. She

Replace with:

     On a different trip, a king provides Sindbad with a wife. She

 

Line 15

was:

dies, and is regaled with all her jewels for burial. However, by

Replace with:

dies, and is arrayed with her jewels for burial. However, by

Line 18

was:

chasm along with the body of his wife and enough bread and

Replace with:

chasm along with the body of his wife and enough bread and wa-

* the word "along" can be omitted if space requires

Line 19

was:

water for him to survive for a few days. A week later, a woman

Replace with:

ter for him to survive for a few days. Several days later, a woman

Line 20

was:

is placed in the cave with her dead husband who is decked out

Replace with:

is placed in the cave with her dead husband. Sindbad kills her

Line 21

was:

in all his jewels. Sindbad kills her and steals her food and water

Replace with:

and steals her food and water, and also her gold ornaments and

Line 22

was:

as well as the gems. After that, he kills others placed in the cave

Replace with:

gems. After that, he kills others placed into the cave

Line 27

was:

     On his last trip, he marries yet another daughter of a king.

Replace with

     On his last trip, he marries a daughter of yet another king.

 

When these changes are made to the entire page 95, any blank lines should be removed. This will restore proper indent format.

 

 

Page 113, lines 26-27, in the Batman article, near the bottom,

Not      created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger (creator of Green Lantern).

Use     created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger.

This is corrected in the 11th printing.

 

Page 138, last word of Sidebar to Paul Bunyan essay

Not:  bases

use: base

This was pointed out to us by a friend's daughter. We've seen a photo of the Paul Bunyan trophy; the dimensions are correct, but there is only one base (which unfortunately looks more like a 30-gallon garbage can than a tree stump).

This is corrected in the 7th printing.

 

Page 143, last line, G. I. Joe essay

Was:             The United States has never had a presi-

                      dent or vice-president or secretary of state Joe.

 

Correct to:    The United States has never had a presi-

                      dent Joe, and only one V.P. Joe (Biden, as of 2009).

 

The 12th printing repeats this last paragraph of p. 143 onto p. 144, and shifts all the text down, cutting off from the bottom of page 144 onto the top of page 145

This was scheduled to be corrected in the 13th printing, and is certainly corrected in the 14th printing.

 

[ The twelve-inch doll went out of ]

production in 1976, and the version that reappeared in 1982 was 3¾ inches tall, perhaps reflecting the downsizing of the American military, but more likely because the new Star Wars figures were that height.  There have been several hundred Joes in the action figure line, most of them the smaller size.  Typically, each figure is made for only a single year.  The 2004 run

[ had almost 200 Joe characters, from Vietnam door gunner to Action Sailor # 16.]

Page. 144 line 10

not   Bill Maulden,

use   Mauldin  (i, not e)

This is corrected in the 12th printing.

 

Page 146 added to 'Did you know' sidebar:  

     An 8" figure has been/is also produced

 

 

Page 162 line 18 on (The Great Gatsby) Jay's family origins ...

is:     poor family who still lives in San Francisco.

use:  poor farming family in North Dakota

This is corrected in the 5th printing.

 

Page 172 line 5 (The Ugly Duckling)

is:     1844

use:  1843

 

Page 172 lines 14-15

is:        However, she soon turned him out because he could not

            lay eggs.

use:     However, when he found he was expected to lay eggs and

            give up swimming, he left.

 

Page 172 line 18

is:        frightened his children. As a result, he was again turned out

use:     frightened by his children. The duckling fled the farmhouse

 

 

Page 179 line 12

was: hospital has contracted with

use: hospital commissioned

line 14

was: to Peter Pan, due to appear in 2006

use: Peter Pan in Scarlet, which appeared in 2006

(plus an additional comma at the end of line 13.)

 

 

Page 197 (Madame Butterfly)  line 8 (4th line from bottom)

Is:      and in 1906

Use: and in 1904

 

 

Page 202 (Siegfried) line 7: the sidebar:  

not:  staged together as...

use: first staged together as The Ring of the Nibelungen in 1876

 

 

Page 227 (Norman Bates article) paragraph 2 line 12, 8th from bottom

Not:  the next morning

use:  later that night

This is corrected in the 11th printing.

 

 

Page 237 (HAL9000) line 7

not:   Robbie

use: The Robot

This is corrected in the 11th printing.

 

 

Page 245-247 -- (Lady Chatterley essay) four misspelling instances

Not:: Chatterly

Use: Chatterley

These were scheduled to be corrected in the 13th printing, and are certainly corrected in the 14th printing.

 

 

Page 252 (Mary Richards essay) line 4

not:  Candace Bergen

use: Candice (i, not a)

This was scheduled to be corrected in the 13th printing, and is certainly corrected in the 14th printing.

 

 

Page 258 (Who's Fictional interlude) line 26,

Not:             St. Swithens' Day  

Correct to: St. Swithin's Day 

(It's St. Swithin, not Saint Swithens)

This is corrected in the 12th printing.

 

 

Page 263 (Mickey Mouse essay)  line 3 :

Not:  (Wayne All-)bright followed.  

Use: (Wayne All-)wine followed.

This was scheduled to be corrected in the 13th printing, and is certainly corrected in the 14th printing.

 

 

Page 277 lines 10-11

bacco's kick, is a powerfully addictive substance. Of all ciga-

rette smokers trying to quit in any year, only 1 in 40 succeed.

Replace with:                                                

bacco's kick, is a powerfully addictive substance. Of cigarette

smokers trying to quit in any year, a small fraction succeed.

 

 

Page 297 (Perry Mason) paragraph 2 line 7

Not:  accused

use: convicted

This is corrected in the 5th printing.

 

 

Page 303 (Kirk and Spock) line 1

Not:  1967 to 1969

use:  1966 to 1969

This is corrected in the 5th printing.

 

 

Page 310 last paragraph: not an update, but an update offered

Original:  and the entire Muppet cast.  But business deals don't always go

                through, and don't always last. If  it's true, don't fret.  They've

                gotten out of worse predicaments...

Could Use:

                and the entire Muppet cast.  But such business arrangements

                don't always last.  Take heart, and don't fret.  They've

                gotten out of worse predicaments...

 

Bios (first page inside the front cover)

Allan Lazar: omit reference to Fairleigh Dickinson Dental School

The FDU Dental School no longer exists, and references would be confusing.

This is corrected in the 6th printing.

Allan Lazar, MD, passed away on 23 August, 2011, at the age of 80. Regrettably, there is no fix for this.

The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived

 

Corrections Page last updated July 12, 2016