... Countdown’s resident lexicographer Susie Dent has testified to the effectiveness of lalochezia, or “the use of swearing to alleviate stress and frustration”, after discovering that her new book Word Perfect was printed with a host of typos.
Dent said on Thursday that she had just found out that the initial printing of Word Perfect, which is described by its publisher as a “brilliant linguistic almanac”, had been completed using an early version of the text. “I’m so sorry about this. I’ll be in touch as soon as I can with details on how we’re going to fix it,” said Dent on Twitter, where she described herself as “gutted” over the error.
Her publisher John Murray also apologised. “We’re very sorry that, due to a printing error, early copies of Word Perfect are not word perfect. We’re taking urgent steps to recall these copies, reprint and resolve this swiftly,” it said, adding that customers needing a replacement should get in touch. However, copies have already made it to many UK bookshops.
Dent told the Times: “I just opened it up and saw there was something wrong in the acknowledgments. And then I had to close it because I felt a bit sick. There are quite a few errors. I haven’t counted them and I don’t really want to.”
Dent has appeared in the Channel 4 quiz show Countdown’s Dictionary Corner since 1992. In Word Perfect, she provides the stories behind a word for every day of the year, from why May Day became a distress call, to the meaning of “snaccident” – unintentionally eating a whole packet of biscuits.
The root of the Ancient Greek λάλος (lálos), λαλέω (laléō), λαλιά (laliá) + the English -chezia [representing the Ancient Greek χέζω (khézō, “I defecate”) + -ῐ́ᾱ (-íā, “-ia”, suffix forming abstract nouns)] https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/lalochezia