Auto Error Correct or Auto Correct Error

From a legal newsletter

Fun with Spelling

Clients and/or opposing parties may be puzzled or insulted if you accidentally recommend 'medication' or 'meditation' rather than 'mediation', even though the former two may be more appropriate to the case. It has happened!!
Configurations calling for a team with a wide scope of practice.

And so for day 1965

Fiddlehead Farrago

Other titles in the series are Touch Will Tell and Walk With Your Eyes. The one that interests me is Listen to a Shape. It seems to harken more to the synesthetic experience. All are with words and images by Marcia Brown.

Listen to a Shape positions its opening under the sign of a curled fern frond or fiddlehead. It promises to bring to fruition the metaphorical import of roundness.

ROUND curls up
       on itself.
Round things
       bring you back
       to where they
And faithfully the book ends with an illustration of unfurled fronds.

Round objects also fly you around the world in this age of searchable clip art.

There's a restaurant in Nanaimo. It's called the Fiddlehead Bistro and I have here borrowed its logo with a horizontal flip.

Almost like a Japanese crest. Trace of an artist who has truly listened to shape.

And so for day 1964

Boys Will Be Girls Will Be Boys

In retrospect there is a hint of gender politics in Eric Partridge's entry on "boys will be boys"in his 1964 compilation A Book of Essential Quotations. He adds to the quotation from Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Anthony Hope's gloss:

"Boys will be boys." "And even that," I interposed, "wouldn't matter if only we could prevent girls from being girls."
The source of that quip is The Dolly Dialogues [1894].

And so for day 1963

Purrfect Pun

In the age of cat videos, one comes across an apt little bit of verse from John S. Crosbie in Crosbie's Book of Punned Haiku. (New York: Workman Publishing, 1979).

There is nothing worse
Than poems about cute cats
It is all perverse.
If you think this is bad, I've seen worse — from Crosby himself — a haiku that ends limerick-like with "caramel knowledge."

And so for day 1962

Setting Up the Punchline

"Playing against Type" by Doug Gibson - review of Gutenberg's Fingerprint: Paper, Pixels and the Lasting Impression of Books by Merilyn Simonds

The final section of the book allows Merilyn Simonds, the early adopter, to predict where books are going. She notes that readers are now "encouraged to explore and engage with the text. The reader's role is no longer passive, it is active, even though he or she can't actually affect the outcome."
The latest catchphrase-which may well be obsolete before this book is printed-is "augmented reality," or AR: virtual images laid over real ones to create an "augmented" display. AR integrates graphics, sounds, touch (haptics), and smell into a real-world environment, blurring the line between the actual and the computer-generated.
"Smell." Really? Hold that unlikely thought.

The key phrase here, I think, is "which may well be obsolete before this book is printed." Certainly, anyone reading this book to learn about the future of reading will find that while Merilyn Simonds's book raises many questions, it is too sensible to produce many confident predictions. Although it is notable that she has put a lot of time and effort in turning her out-of-print paper books into digital e-books.

A final detail, one that Bob Gottlieb [American editor and publisher] would like: the endpapers for the precious little book are specially created, with the help of the artist Emily Cook, from paper whose fibre comes from daylilies picked from Merilyn Simonds's garden. In discussing this process, Merilyn the Essayist tells us that way back, about 1780, Matthias Koops in London decided that for printing books, paper made from straw would be ideal. Nicholas Basbanes, in his 2013 book, On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History (published by Gottlieb's old company, Knopf) writes about handling a book based on straw. After more than 200 years, the paper still held "the agreeable aroma-of fresh-cut grass."
Worth holding the thought to catch that whiff.

And so for day 1961

Triggers, Paratexts and Interpretations

Lynne Pearce in Woman Image Text: Readings in Pre-Raphaelite Art and Literature suggests that the figure depicted in John Everett Millais's Mariana is caught in a distinctive moment: "Mariana is presenting her body for inspection, while she gazes desirously into the eyes of the Archangel Gabriel represented in the stained glass." Curious to observe if the gaze is returned, one turns to plate three to inspect the reproduction. Inconclusive. Indeed it is difficult to confirm that the figure of Mariana is indeed looking at the angel. However, one notices that plate three (Mariana) is situated on the right page and plate two (Beata Beatrix by Dante Gabriel Rossetti) on the left page of the open book and that the figures of Mariana and Beatrix by their positions as reproduced in the book might be seen to converge on the stained glass angel. He may be looking at her but is she looking at him? Reproductions in Pearce's sources are marshalled to make the claim. The article "Subliminal Dreams" by George MacBeth in Narrative Art edited by John Ashbury and Thomas B. Hess provides a black and white detail of the upper left quadrant followed by a colour reproduction. The layout induces a subtle repetition: left page the b&w detail, right page the first page of the article, [turn the page] left page the colour reproduction of the full painting. The manner of the disposition of the illustrations supports the critical story that is being offered. Interestingly Pearce in introducing a quotation from an Andrew Leng article that quotes Macbeth's article fails to mention that Leng remarks upon the tone of Macbeth's "post-Freudian enthusiasm" in whose prose "[t]he erotic implications of the painting which Ruskin ignored are made abundantly if facetiously clear [...]". Leng's article is now available on the Victorian Web. In "Millais's "Mariana": Literary Painting, the Pre-Raphelite Gothic, and the Iconology of the Marian Artist", Leng draws upon how knowledge of Tennyson's poem affects the reading of the painting. In the online verision of the article there is to be found a thumbnail reproduction of the painting that is hot linked to a larger image.

Paratexts push if not produce the interpretations of the painting: that gaze is certainly askance.

And so for day 1960

Cartes Postales

A plug for Adam Bunch's Toronto Dreams Project

Postcards left about public spaces. Postcards that connect to historical anecdotes and figures. Postcard drop off spots are documented in a blog and via Instagram.

No 41 - one of my favourites

Emma Goldman was the world's most notorious anarchist in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Exiled from her home in the United States, she would eventually spend some of her final years living in Toronto, giving speeches, organizing meetings and raising money for the causes in which she believed including pacifism, labour rights and birth control. She died while staying at a friend's home on Vaughan Road.

Postcards have been left at the place she died and places where she spoke.

And so for day 1959

They Are Other

Marilyn Dumont
The Pemmican Eaters

The anaphora would be oppressive if these last three lines were not broken off into a separate stanza.

these are not the lines between English and French
these are not the lines between oral and written history
these are not the lines of the rope that hung Louis
The poem is cunningly entitled "Lines" for what we have here are lines of flight. Two lines referencing bisections followed by a line that coils.

And so for day 1958

Stein - Ashbery - Chiasson

To - from - of

William James described consciousness as the "alternation of flights and perchings," suggesting that we tend to overvalue the "perchings," the nouns or the primary verbs in a sentence that steal the spotlight from the little words, like "in," "and," "but," "or," and "of."

From The New Yorker, Dan Chiasson reviewing poetry by John Ashbery
I find it interesting that the reference to William James is also applicable to Stein. One recalls her many experiments with words like "with" such as "if" and other such words. Take for instance this excerpt from "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene" where we have highlighted with
There were some dark and heavy men there then. There were some who were not so heavy and some who were not so dark. Helen Furr and Georgine Skeene sat regularly with them. They sat regularly with the ones who were dark and heavy. They sat regularly with the ones who were not so dark. They sat regularly with the ones that were not so heavy. They sat with them regularly, sat with some of them. They went with them regularly went with them. They were regular then, they were gay then, they were where they wanted to be then where it was gay to be then, they were regularly gay then. There were men there then who were dark and heavy and they sat with them with Helen Furr and Georgine Skeene and they went with them with Miss Furr and Miss Skeene, and they went with the heavy and dark men Miss Furr and Miss Skeene went with them, and they sat with them, Miss Furr and Miss Skeene sat with them, and there were other men, some were not heavy men and they sat with Miss Furr and Miss Skeene and Miss Furr and Miss Skeene sat with them, and there were other men who were not dark men and they sat with Miss Furr and Miss Skeene and Miss Furr and Miss Skeene sat with them. Miss Furr and Miss Skeene went with them and they went with Miss Furr and Miss Skeene, some who were not heavy men, some who were not dark men. Miss Furr and Miss Skeene sat regularly, they sat with some men. Miss Furr and Miss Skeene went and there were some men with them. There were men and Miss Furr and Miss Skeene went with them, went somewhere with them, went with some of them.
Notice just how queer the with-less passage sounds: They were regular then, they were gay then, they were where they wanted to be then where it was gay to be then, they were regularly gay then.

And so for day 1957

Finding Ideal Grace: Resisting the End to the Ends of Being

The tension builds and resolves itself into a theory of becoming the genius of the place — our matter returning to scatter throughout the niches of the ecosystem.

How will they view us, the receiving angels
Who perhaps find it easier when the dead are shipped in smoothly
Headfirst, arms across the breastbone, smiling
As if all along this is where they had wanted to be
How will the angels receive our kind
Who will be dragged in feet first, face down, hands
Far outstretched, the broken nails
Black with the dirt of some local habitation?
"How will they view us, the receiving angels…?" by David Constantine collected in Elder

And so for day 1956

Well-Placed Errors

Weird spellings to capture less-weird distinctions…

What is exposed to computability is not the object in and of itself but one of its phases observed in a site-specific location open to a given machine-process.

Back in April 2004, Adrien Miles and Jeremy Yuille composed a Manifesto for Responsible Creative Computing in which one of the key statements is that computer literacy is synonymous with network literacy. I am venturing the suggestion that network literacy deals with "computible" objects. Such objects are indeed computable they are also as often remarked fungible.

And yet I am totally unhappy with this ible/able play I have initiated if it doesn't keep in mind that there is a material substratum. The digital technologies allow us to play with faithful copies. Replication is at the heart of the matter. And an ethics in its structure. Yuille and Miles, in the context of their manifesto and from the perspective of teaching students who work with the soft artifacts of the creative industries, place _praxis_ between _knowledge transfer_ and _learning_. Under the rubric of praxis is the following single sentence:  "Breaking, gleaning and assembling is a theory of praxis for these literacies." Sure if you are dealing with the breakible copies, the gleanible copies and the assemblible copies -- morphs on the computible.

Morphiblia -- the object of study of humanities computing.
Banking on the fungible … As Yuille and Miles write "Learning happens when things work, different learning occurs when things don’t work."

And so for day 1955

The Leisure Problematic

On Kellogg's Six-Hour Day (1996) by Benjamin Hunnicutt

Do we live to work or work to live? The question of how important work is in our lives is central to Hunnicutt's study of Kellogg's daring social experiment, which began in 1930 and lasted until 1985. At the start of the depression, W.K. Kellogg replaced the traditional three eight-hour shifts at his cereal plant with four six-hour shifts. In the downsized world we live in, it is hard to conceive of a CEO who would add a shift in order to employ people laid off by other plants and raise the six-hour shift workers' wages more than 12% to make up for the loss of two work hours per day. The other half of his plan was to increase people's involvement in their community and their families' lives. Kellogg workers, especially the women, managed to find things to do with their extra time until WWII; after the war, workers, particularly men, seemed less able to find ways to fill their unstructured time. Using interviews with Kellogg employees dating back to the program's beginning, as well as various studies on work, Hunnicutt (Work Without End) paints a sad picture of a society where people prefer buying things to socializing, a world where a shorter work day is no longer desirable because few know what to do with their spare time. When the six-hour day came to an end in 1985, women were the only ones who protested. Most men had succumbed to the belief that working longer was more manly and that going home after six hours to be with the family was not really the thing to do. This examination of the American attitude toward work is not light reading, but it could serve as a wake-up call for a nation in big trouble if the jobless future comes to pass.

From Publisher's Weekly
I wonder if the gendered dynamic would still apply in the 21st century.

And so for day 1954

Understanding Situations, Developing Scripts

Jerome Bruner
Actual Minds, Possible Worlds

Egocentric perspective

Michael Scaife and I [Bruner] discovered, as I mentioned in passing, that by the end of the first year of life, normal children habitually follow another's line of regard to see what the other is looking at, and when they can find no target out there, they turn back to the looker to check gaze direction again. At that age the children can perform none of the classic Piagetian tasks indicating that they have passed beyond egocentrism. This finding led me to take very seriously the proposals of both Katherine Nelson and Margaret Donaldson that when the child understands the event structure in which he is operating he is not that different from an adult. He simply does not have as grand a collection of scripts and scenarios and event schemas as adults do. The child's mastery of deictic shifters suggests, moreover, that egocentrism per se is not the problem. It is when the child fails to grasp the structure of events that he adopts an egocentric framework. The problem is not with competence but with performance. It is not that the child does not have the capacity to take another's perspective, but rather that he cannot do so without understanding the situation in which he is operating.
Listening to Cat Stevens "Where Do The Children Play?" Tea For The Tillerman

And so for day 1953

Name Recognition

From "Sofa Rhyme" F.R. Scott in The Eye of the Needle

Egg, ego, id.
Genes, janes, johns.
Homo, hetero, pansy,
Hurtling down to Kinsey.

Oedipus, Priapus,
Sade … and Masochism …
Deeper, deeper, Canada !
Santa Claus ! Brock Chisholm !
And who you may wonder is Brock Chisholm and what is his relation to Santa Claus? He's a denier.
He received many awards and honours and also his share of criticism for his attacks on superstitions, myths and methods of indoctrinating children. His attack on teaching children to believe in Santa Claus received national comment.
From the Canadian Encyclopedia entry

Scott here stands in the great tradition of Alexander Pope whose The Dunciad immortalized names that might otherwise be forgotten.

And so for day 1952

Still Point Sipping

A previous posting about a tea poem by Robert Finch focused on the accoutrements. This poem, a tour of a tea merchant's shop, derives some of its verve and energy from an enumeration of types: Ling Ching, Chunmee, Pi Lo Chun, Bai Mu Dan pearls. The latter give the poem its arresting final image:

Bai Mu Dan pearls
from this Spring's first-snow pickings,
fingertip-rolled round petals of jasmine
slowly unfurl, greening
his kettle of clear well water,
each sip unhinging
in that first, stilling cup of tea.
"Tea Merchant" in Red Lacquered Chopsticks by Betty Warrington-Kearsley.

And so for day 1951

Accroche-toi à ton rêve

150 stories | 150 récits

Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

It's a collection of vignettes and thought pieces with French and English side by side.

From the conclusion of the text by Janice Stein recounting an encounter on the Toronto subway:

Just then the subway lurched, stopped and the lights went out. The young man began to tremble; he told me that when he finds himself in a confined dark space, he returns to the cellar he hid in when Aleppo was bombed. I reached out to hold his hand and reassured him that he was now in Toronto. He grabbed my hand and held tight — to Toronto. À ce moment-là, la voiture a tangué, s'est arrêtée et nous avons été plongés dans le noir. Le jeune homme a commencé à trembler. Il m'a raconté que lorsqu'il se retrouve dans un lieu sombre et confiné cela le ramène dans la cave où il se cachait pendant les bombardements à Alep. Je lui ai tendu la main et l'ai rassuré, lui disant qu'il était bien à Toronto. Il m'a pris la main, la serrant bien fort, jusqu'à Toronto
Double take on my part. That last bit in French back translates "all the way to Toronto" which of course is nonsensical since the actants are already in Toronto. The English is obviously metaphorical in its reach — it's about connecting with the people and the place of Toronto. Lost in translation. "Il m'a pris la main, la serrant bien fort; s'accrochant à Toronto."

The translation is attributed to Laroque Linguistic Services Inc.

One wishes that they had been able to channel the lyrics to the Electronic Light Orchestra "Hold on Tight" with its importation of French — Hold on tight to your dream.

And so for day 1950

Death By Chocolate

Long before there was a cake by that name, there was an anecdote:

It was said that a nobleman of Louis XIII's court had offended the honour of one of the ladies-in-waiting. She was so incensed that she poisoned a cup of chocolate she prepared him and just before he died, he held her in his arms and whispered, 'The chocolate would have been better if you had added a little more sugar; the poison gives it a bitter flavour. Think of this the next time you offer a gentleman chocolate.'
Reported by Jennie Reekie in The Little Chocolate Book

And so for day 1949

Residues For the Colour Blind

These are from a series inspired by Fisher Price alphabet magnets.
Feel Happier in Nine Seconds by Linda Besner

glassblowers trumpet delicate lullabies

darkness worships sparklers
Translated into marked and unmarked letters:
glassblowers trumpet delicate lullabies

darkness worships sparklers
Like turning up the bass … not quite capturing the fluted subtleties of g-l-ass-b-lowers

And so for day 1948

Colour Analysis

from "Our Baby"

Art irritating Life
from "Your Happy Place May Be in Need of an Undersea Princess"
she said 'caca d'oie' and I said 'war.'
she said 'cuisse de nymphe effrayé' and I said 'peace.'
All in Feel Happier in Nine Seconds by Linda Besner

And so for day 1947

Hibiscus syriacus

James Schuyler
in The Home Book

while the trees lean in folds and the rose of Sharon blooms
and blooms at each twig and branch tip like a toy tree
the lines themselves carry over like the overburdened shrub itself — it's that repetition that crosses the enjambement — almost toppling over

And so for day 1946

Grotesque Appeals

It's from a 1964 speech (The White Problem) collected in The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings. And is given this configuration by Raoul Peck in the film and book, I Am Not Your Negro compiled and edited from texts by James Baldwin:

In this country,
for a dangerously long time,
there have been two levels of experience.
One, to put it cruelly, can be summed up
in the images of Gary Cooper and Doris Day:
two of the most grotesque appeals
to innocence the world has ever seen.
And the other,
subterranean, indispensable, and denied,
can be summed up, let us say,
in the tone and the face of Ray Charles.
And there has never been any genuine confrontation
between these two levels of experience.
What was continuous prose gains a new energy and incision with the line breaks. In the best and most honest of receptions, it forces us to re-read the originating essay and its animating spirit that calls for the facing of truth in order to work through history, recognizing the price of transformation, in order to take the first awkward steps towards survival.

And so for day 1945

Or Words to That Effect

The fate of a text by F.R. Scott, "W.L.M.K."

I was led to the library copy because I saw multiplied across the WWW citations containing the same error ("oderly decontrol"). The library copy netted another accidental ("conscription is necessary") which one reader corrected in the Robarts Library copy with a big fat F in blue ink which is closer to the popular conditional.

[The "is" is silently corrected to "if" in online versions that netted "oderly decontrol".]

Further research reveals that the often cited phrase "conscription if necessary but not necessarily conscription" reverses the syntax of what William Lyon Mackenzie King uttered in much more compact and clipped phrasing:
"Not necessarily conscription, but conscription if necessary"
But there is space in the popular imagination for poetic liberties.

And so for day 1944

Between Bites

The main ingredient …

DINNER. A major daily activity, which can be accomplished in worthy fashion only by intelligent people. It is not enough to eat. To dine, there must be diversified, calm conversation. It should sparkle with the rubies of the wine between courses, be deliciously suave with the sweetness of dessert, and acquire true profundity with the coffee.
Alexandre Dumas Dictionary of Cuisine edited, abridged, translated by Louis Colman.

And so for day 1943

Perfectly Steeped in Its Lore

Robert Finch. "A Cup of Tea" in The Grand Duke of Moscow's Favourite Solo

This begins with a description of the equipment needed and goes on to muse about labour and climate.


How many gestures till a cup of tea
Is there to drink! The kitchen tap must free
What in the kettle goes, where it must stay
Until it boils. Meanwhile a simple tray
Will come in handy, with a spotless cloth
And napkin, that the whole array be couth.
Next, cup and saucer, most important these,
Since they may make or mar the best of teas,


The hands that pick and dry and pack the leaves,
Oh, the poor pittance that their work receives


There are the gestures, too, of sun, wind, rain,
Their cultivating labours and, again,


The tea is ready. Could more gestures be
Even thinkable? Yes, one more — pour the tea
Sipping tea has rarely been so informed.

And so for day 1942


Not always driven by profit motive.

'War,' said I to myself, 'is the evil genius of a time; but good food for all is a daily and a paramount necessity.' These reflections led to a further communication with Messrs. Smith and Philips, of Snow Hill. I took out a patent for the stoves. This I did not like to do before I had introduced them to the Government, as every one would have supposed that I wished to make money by the patent. The object of a patent, after such a decided success, was to secure the solidity and perfection of the article. As it was difficult to make, and certain to be badly imitated, my reputation must have suffered. Instead of being expensive, they will be sold at a reasonable price, sufficient to repay the manufacturers, and to leave a fair profit; thus placing them within the reach of all — the million as well as the millionaire.
Alexis Soyer The Chef at War

And so for day 1941

No Exit: Many Entrances

Written as if in the shadow of Derrida.

Fresh air always seems freshest outside an archive. We wander down to one of the cafés on campus and sit staring over a sun-drenched lawn dotted with students out enjoying the day. And when talk turns to the Bay Area light and the way Berkeley today looks like a painting from the Sixties or Seventies by David Hockney or Richard Diebenkorn, we catch ourselves wondering whether we can ever really leave the archive.
Deaths of the Poets Paul Farley & Michael Symmons Roberts

And so for day 1940

Notes on Slave Gardens


Scholars have long understood that the slave plantation system was the model and motor for the carbon-greedy machine-based factory system that is often cited as an inflection point for the Anthropocene. Nurtured in even the harshest circumstances, slave gardens not only provided crucial human food, but also refuges for biodiverse plants, animals, fungi, and soils. Slave gardens are an underexplored world, especially compared to imperial botanical gardens, for the travels and propagations of myriad critters.
From Note 5 on "Plantationocene"
Donna Haraway "Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin"
in Environmental Humanities, vol. 6, 2015, pp. 159-165

A debate waged among southern plantation owners about the desirability of these gardens. Some argued they encouraged domestic tranquility and tied slaves more securely to the land. Others felt the gardens, and the independence they encouraged, led to discontent and distracted slaves from labor in the fields.
Babbette Block's sculpture
Brookgreen Gardens Lowcountry Trail Sculptures, Murells Inlet, South Carolina
Female Enslaved African Stainless Steel, 8 1/2' high
Male Enslaved African Stainless Steel, 9' high
There is another garden pointing to modern slavery — design by Juliet Sergeant
cultivating a different kind of awareness.

And so for day 1939

Observations on School for Indians

The poet bears witness.


We walked through the crowded class-rooms.
No map of Canada or the Territories,
No library or workshop,
Everywhere religious scenes,
Christ and Saints, Stations of the Cross,
Beads hanging from nails, crucifixes,
And two kinds of secular art —
Silk-screen prints of the Group of Seven,
And crayon drawings and masks
Made by the younger children,
The single visible expression
Of the soul of these broken people.

Upstairs on the second storey
Seventy little cots
Touching end to end
In a room 30 by 40
Housed the resident boys
In this firetrap mental gaol.
F.R. Scott "Fort Providence" (Section V of Letter from the Mackenzie River 1956) in The Dance Is One (McClellan and Stewart, 1973).

And so for day 1938

Process is Not the Same as Flow

My Mother Was a Computer by N. Katherine Hayles.

[…] the world is not a collection of preexisting objects but a continuing stream of processes. Although we customarily assume that the world preexists the processes, from a perceptual point of view the processes come first, and the objects we take as the world emerge from them. It is precisely this flux, this ongoingness of process from which the world emerges, that the realist in effect erases by privileging the underlying forms as the essential reality.
I am moved to ponder sedimentation. "Flux" is the kernel of the concretion. A rest. Arrest.

And so for day 1937

Profs and Porn Star Names

A most curious error crept into My Mother Was a Computer by N. Katherine Hayles. Montreal professor Eric Savoy appears as Ric Savoy in a discussion of a Henry James story (In the Cage). The name change takes on a deliciously twist since the passage in question is about rent boys and "Ric Savoy" sounds like a hustler. Here is the context in Hayles:

One might generalize this argument by noting that it applies to anyone occupying the subject position of woman. There is historical evidence that at the time James wrote the story he may have been aware of recent scandals involving telegraph boys and prostitution. In Ric Savoy's reading of the story, the allusions to prostitution stand in for the more scandalous prospect of male homosexual prostitution and the fear that the lower-class telegraph boys would testify against their aristocratic clients.
Google Books review function is useful for tagging such errors and generating a list of errata.

And so for day 1936