‘Naughty’ error

Johan van Zyl, Gordon’s Bay

In cheerful mood I offer you a new meaning which can be attached to those brave people who travel the skies above our heads in space ships: The word which describes them actually refers to people who amount to zero.

Well, that would be the case if the spelling at the top left corner of the cover page of last week’s Bolander were correct. An “astro-naught” will really not amount to anything in life. I have an old English storybook in which there is a sentence: “He’s naught but a worthless fool.” In Afrikaans we could say: “Hy is ‘* nul op ‘* kontrak”.

In modern America they spell it “nought”, but it still means nothing.

I chuckled when I noticed the spelling error, because I know you to be a stickler for good English. And you would probably have felt like tearing your hair out… how an errant “gh” can upset the apple cart of meaning.

Fortunately the spelling in the caption below the photo of Dr Don Thomas on page 3 was correct. I wonder how many readers would have noticed it?

Mea culpa, ’twas “naught” but a slip ’twixt cup and lip! – Ed