A mistake

Discussion in 'Danse Macabre' started by Genug, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Genug

    Genug Member

    Hello all Constant Readers.
    Currently reading the latest paperback English edition of Danse Macabre I came upon a mistake Stephen King has made originally and which has not yet been corrected (obviously).
    Indeed, on top of page 55 in this Hodder 2012 edition, he wrote « The French for left, bastardized from the Latin, is la sinistre, from which comes our word sinister. » Now the actual French word for "(the) left" is "(la) gauche", and it has been so for about five centuries, since actually there was a such a word as "la sinistre" in French for "la gauche" but it was discarded sometime during the XVth century.
    These days "sinistre" only is an adjective mealing the same as the English "sinister". In the masculine it is a noun meaning "damage, loss".
    Then again the Italian for "the left" is "sinistra".
    Wondering how Stephen King could take this observation into account without having to erase the whole sentence, I thought he may be interested by the fact that "gauche" in French not only means "left" but also "clumsy", which could quite fit the intention.
     
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  2. FlakeNoir

    FlakeNoir Beta/Moderator Moderator

    Welcome to the site. :)
     
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  3. Genug

    Genug Member

    Thanks!
    Concerning the reason I posted, on second thought I doubt it will prove useful since that mistake has been around for over thirty years and I can't possibly be the first reader to pick it out. What do you think?
     
    GNTLGNT, Neesy, Chuggs and 1 other person like this.
  4. FlakeNoir

    FlakeNoir Beta/Moderator Moderator

    I personally don't know whether this has previously been noticed sorry, but Ms. Mod (Stephen's personal assistant) will be online in a few hours and may have an answer for you.
     
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  5. king family fan

    king family fan Prolific member

  6. Moderator

    Moderator Ms. Mod Administrator

    First time I've heard it brought up but I wasn't working for him when the book first came out.
     
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  7. Haunted

    Haunted My favorite place

  8. Chuggs

    Chuggs Well-Known Member

    Hello there. Welcome.
     
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  9. Genug

    Genug Member

    Thanks for the various welcomes, and
    thanks for answering this; do you think it should be brought to Stephen King's attention?
     
    Neesy likes this.
  10. Moderator

    Moderator Ms. Mod Administrator

    Unless they're planning to do a reprinting sometime soon, it's not something that would get changed but I can pass it along to see if it's something he'd want to bother editing.
     
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  11. Genug

    Genug Member

    Well, it absolutely is a definite error and will remain such until corrected. Thanks for your attention anyway, and regards from France.
     
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  12. Neesy

    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side

    Not to be gauche or anything but maybe he was talking about the 25th century. No matter - welcome to the site anyway.

    You don't have to pick out errors in his books to join the site - it is not a prerequisite!

    On a recent trip to Paris with Ms. Mod he must have heard lots of French.

    I was not taught Latin in school so when someone made a joke about his left hand and the word sinister I just gave him a blank stare (it was an older gentleman).

    Keep on posting!
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Moderator

    Moderator Ms. Mod Administrator

    Just for the heck of it, I looked up the etymology of sinister. The first thing that came up from Google was this:

    sinister etymology.jpg
     
  14. Neesy

    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side

    Did you get a chance to see Stephen King in Paris?
     
  15. Genug

    Genug Member

    I will when I get something I deem worth sharing (or asking, etc.) Thanks for the warmth of your welcome anyway!
    I never wrote the word never existed! I mentioned the fact that St. King wrote « The French for left, bastardized from the Latin, is la sinistre » when this should have read « Five centuries ago the French for left, bastardized from the Latin, was la sinistre ». So you're proving my point exactly: these days "sinistre" has absolutely no actual connexion whatsoever with "gauche".
    Well, France is smaller than the US but quite bigger than Bangor, Maine, and all the French do not dwell in Paris ;), so no I didn't go to Paris to meet him (which would probably not have happened anyway--at best I might have hoped to het a glimpse of the man, having no way to get nearer to him). Then again he featured in some TV shows, one of which I downloaded but haven't watched yet (because I usually don't watch TV live plus I boycott the host as he once was very enthusiastic about a female write guest of his without ever mentioning she was his wife--well that's another problem altogether).
    On the other hand I just don't know what I could possibly have told Mr King, has I had a chance to talk to him--anything worth hearing I mean...
     
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  16. Genug

    Genug Member

    As I mentioned earlier, in case Mr King would care to correct his error without having to discard the whole paragraph, he could go with the idea that "gauche" in French also means "clumsy", which seems to be historically--ethymologically--connected with the left-handedness.
     
    Neesy likes this.
  17. FlakeNoir

    FlakeNoir Beta/Moderator Moderator

    I'm just curious to see if you've heard of the saying "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"? It's just that Ms. Mod (Moderator) is probably the very best person you'll come across to speak to in regards of your question. (she is Stephen's personal assistant)
    Personally, the way you're coming across, I'm not sure I'd want to pass the information on and normally I'm the kind of person to go (quite far) out of my way to help people. I know Ms. Mod is too... just a thought.
     
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  18. Genug

    Genug Member

    I never intended to sound rude to anyone, sorry about that if I seemed to. Would you please make it clear what I expressed unpleasantly?
     
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  19. FlakeNoir

    FlakeNoir Beta/Moderator Moderator

    It was tone mainly, but perhaps something has simply been lost in translation? :)
     
  20. Lisey Landon

    Lisey Landon Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the SKMB, Genug.
    I was fortunate enough to get a ticket for Hamburg before they sold out. I don't live in Hamburg, but the train ride was totally worth it, to sit and listen to Mr. King telling stories and answering questions + reading from Doctor Sleep, of course :)
     

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