Q: Origin and extension of "Finger-Fehler"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Mar 9 15:47:34 UTC 2009

At 3/9/2009 09:59 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 2:00 AM -0400 3/9/09, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>>>I assume "Finger-Fehler" was created for chess.  When did it become
>>>extended to describe a typing error?
>>>Or is this the wrong list because it's German?
>>If it's used repeatedly in English, it's English, I guess, at least sort of.
>>I just did a superficial Gugelblick.
>>Of course "fingerfehler" is English-language (and interlingual) chess
>>jargon for a long time, just like "zugzwang", "j'adoube", "en passant", etc.
>>Outside chess, I see the expression from 1982 (ostensibly) at G. Books,
>>from 1994 at G. Groups. Also from 1965 (ostensibly) at G. Books (with
>>disgusting snippet) apparently referring to a typing error but in a
>>chess context.
>>"Fingerfehler" (= "finger error") ~ "lapsus digiti" ~ "slip of the finger".
>>There is an alternative "Handfehler" ~ "lapsus manus" (sometimes "lapsus
>>manu" [error?]) ~ "slip of the hand".
>But I assume typos incurred when one is typing with one's toes are
>called "foot faults".

Nein -- Fuß-Fehler.


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