Spelling counts

What your third-grade teacher told you is truer than you realize. It turns out that a spelling error tripped up a pitiably minor plagiarist who was using cribbed essays to climb the career ladder as . . . an occasional columnist for a Fort Wayne newspaper.

The story was new media, but, ironically, at its core was a very old-media concern—getting the little things right. Friday night, I got an e-mail from a fan of that notable Dartmouth professor of philosophy whose name started this whole thing. And guess what? Jeffrey Hart misspelled his name. It's Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, not Eugene, not Hussey. When I entered the misspelled name into Google, it only turned up a couple pages of hits, and Hart's essay was on the first page, so I spotted it right away. But if Hart had spelled the name correctly and Goeglein had pasted it as such in his own column, Hart's decade-old Dartmouth Review essay, which mentioned the professor only in passing, would probably have been far back in the queue in the 20,000 Google hits his real name gets. And I probably would not have seen it—after all, I was just trying to find out how "notable" he was.

Mental note: always submit plagiarized material to fact check for a good once over.