Wednesday, April 29, 2015



Jack Lynch, "Disgraced by Miscarriage: Four and a Half Centuries of Lexicographical Belligerence," Journal of the Rutgers University Libraries 62 (2006–2007) 35–50 (at 40-41):
An even more elaborate fake came in 1975, when the New Columbia Encyclopedia included a long entry on the distinguished American fountain designer Lillian Virginia Mountweazel, who had achieved some fame with Flags Up!, a collection of photographs of rural American mailboxes. Ms. Mountweazel, alas, met a premature end, dying in an explosion while she was researching an article for Combustibles magazine. Although Mountweazel was nothing more than an inside joke among the encyclopedia's authors, she is said to have appeared in other encyclopedias and biographical dictionaries—proof that other editors have just pilfered from the New Columbia. The term mountweazel is sometimes used to refer to these mischievous entries inserted in reference books.

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