Right and wrong


‘Numbers’ by mortalitas

Do you know the difference? Joe Jackson sang in 1986.

Apart from saying that I definitely love this terrific album (recorded totally live) and its rough and vigorous sound (and my fondness will surely betray my elderly age!), I must admit that it’s sometimes hard to discern right and wrong … wait a moment! I’m realizing right now that I’ve opened this post without my usual greeting, I apologize for my lack of  education! Let’s start again:

Good day sunshine and dear readers!

I don’t know why, but today I’m in a musical mood – and in a vintage mood too (Joe Jackson, Beatles, all fogey stuff for many of you)! Well, picking up the talk from where I left it off, my foreword was intended to introduce the leitmotiv of the present week on A.Word.A.Day:  apparent misspellings! Yes, words that might appear wrongly spelled, but that actually are not.

In his introduction to this week’s selection Anu Garg puts the stress on the difficulties related to English spelling mostly due to the existence of different English variants and the lack of a real common rule for each of them, which might help identify the right spelling at a glance. I must confess that I often need to take a look at the dictionary to refresh my spelling, and also that I would have never thought that this particular word might be wrong –  obviously, I’m not English and so I tend to relate any strange word to the language of my forefathers (Latins and Greeks). My English native readers probably will, here’s the word:

calyculus or caliculus

noun: A cup-shaped structure.
From Greek kalyx (cup, covering).
“It’s attached over the whole inner surface of calyculus.”
Queensland Naturalist (Australia); 1991.
About my choice of today’s pic:  As A.W.A.D. reports in the foreword to today’s word, one of the most famous mis-spells of the last couple of decades was made by an eminent computer scientist at the time when the foundations of today’s world wide web were about to be laid in early 1990: referer (correct spelling ‘referrer’). For the records, the referer value (or HTTP referer) is a value used to keep track of what Web page a user clicks on to land on another Web. Curiously, the typo was adopted by the computer industry and today it is even more common in web searches as the correct spelling. Talking about computers, my thought has turned immediately to numbers, so that’s the reason of my choice. This particular pic has also some smooth ‘musicality’ with its sinuous curves and its velvet colours, so it’s perfectly in line with my current mood.
See you soon …
Image courtesy of mortalitas

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