February 10, 2010

From the Dept. of We All Make Mistakes

A few days ago I posted on this New York Times article about the memoirs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was happy to see memoirist friends like Craigir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B002IKLMKW and Nateir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0618773436 get some front-page love in the New York Times, but I thought the author missed the theme of the memoirs and used a hackneyed phrase -- "the futility of war" -- to describe it. I also thought the article read like a 4,000-word labor of love that had been pared down to about 1,400. I then got this email from the author, Elisabeth Bumiller.

Subject: spelling penalty box
As I just posted on your blog (not sure if you or anyone is minding it in the snowstorm), you are in the penalty box of the spelling of the English language. I appreciate your comments, but you mispelled my name. It's Elisabeth with an s. 
Cheers, Elisabeth
That email, though, was quickly followed by this one.
Subject: On the other hand...
I just noticed that I misspelled misspelled.
This just goes to show you that we all make mistakes, I guess. Anyway, apologies to Elisabeth for misspelling her name. I have now sent out an offer to do a Q&A with her on the memoirs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and hope she accepts. (And that her editors at the Times allow her.) It's a good subject, I think, that would interest readers of this blog, and again, her article read as if there was a lot there that somehow ended up on the cutting room floor.