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Pedants' corner


(9 Posts)
Witzend Tue 15-Oct-19 17:33:44

I was reading an old Ruth Rendell recently, where much of the plot revolves around the homeless/rough sleepers.
One of these spoke of '...some geyser...' as in some bloke or other - I did a double take since to me a geyser is the thing my granny had in her old fashioned bathroom!

I checked in my fat Oxford dictionary and 'geezer' is certainly there. Just surprised that it wasn't picked up either by an editor or by RR herself at the proof-checking stage.
The odd minor typo is often going to get through, but this is definitely not a typo!
Is it just me, or would this have jumped out at anyone else?

Calendargirl Tue 15-Oct-19 17:38:46

Yes, I would have noticed!

Septimia Tue 15-Oct-19 18:28:45

'Geysir' is the name of the most famous hot spring in Iceland, hence the name geyser for a water heater.

'Geezer' is definitely the old bloke!

Namsnanny Tue 15-Oct-19 19:01:28

To 'GEEZE', is to act like a geezer. That is one who injects heroin or other hard drugs now, so I'm told!

Urmstongran Tue 15-Oct-19 19:10:30

Me too. I love books. I’d love to get paid for proof reading.

Typical Virgo!

Oopsminty Tue 15-Oct-19 19:15:42

Yes, I'd have spotted that.

What really annoys me is when a Register Office is called a Registry Office. I see this all the time in both books and the press. The BBC are regular culprits as well. I am no proof reader and I'm sure my grammar and punctuation is well below par but I know my Register Offices!

Drives me nuts!

BradfordLass72 Wed 16-Oct-19 00:41:40

I find mistakes like this in many books and have come to the conclusion that editors (and authors) see it as a sign of weakness to consult a dictionary smile

Words frequently used incorrectly include:

prone (even online dictionaries are now giving incorrect definitions because of long, bad usage) It means face down. Supine is lying on your backl. You cannot "lie prone and look at the stars".

Brackish - current incorrect usage is 'dirty'.
Proper usage is 'a mixture of fresh water and salt, as in an estuary'.

Recently seen in a book by an author of about 30 novels (so should now be familiar with English) 'he poured the brackish water from the decanter into the vase. of roses'
Thus killing the poor beggars!

And my pet hate, 'Prodigal' I have lost count of the number of times I have heard and seen this used to imply someone who returns. I want to shout, 'Dammit, have you never looked in a dictionary?!' smile

It means a spendthrift.
Someone who has been away and comes back, unless they threw their money about in profligate fashion and came home boke, is NOT a prodigal.

I'll get off me soapbox now.......grin

Septimia Wed 16-Oct-19 09:18:42

I prefer proper books, but the one good thing about my Kindle (apart from being able to read in the dark) is that I can report errors (like those above) and typos.

I've been known to do it quite frequently. It might not actually do any good, but it's VERY satisfying!

Elegran Wed 16-Oct-19 09:29:01

I second that "Geysir" is the name of a specific gushing spring in Iceland, which did indeed gush a long way up into the air until fairly recently, when it lost a lot of its power and now is only half the man jet it used to be. The name spread to all springs that intermittently fire hot water into the sky, and from there to water heaters in bathrooms, and to old men who intermittently hold forth with a lot of hot air - so in that way a geezer is still a geyser.

I would agree, though, that they are now spelt differently. Maybe that is because those referring to old men as geezers were not familiar with the Icelandic spelling and spelt it as it sounds?