Google Books' Biggest Screw-Up Danger??

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Sep 24 20:54:22 UTC 2007

On 9/8/07, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> To my dismay I have discovered yet another pitfall in Google Books.
>   After the maddeningly familiar gap created by pages "not part of this book preview,"
> a book by Deputy Soviet Foreign Minister A. Y. Vyshinsky entitled _The USSR and
> World Peace_ (N.Y.: Ayer, 1949), suddenly becomes at p. 143, without even the warning
> of a new albeit hidden title page, a rather different book, _The Mind on the Wing_, by
> Herbert F. West, a collection of essays on books and book collecting.

Here's another good one...

This one displays metadata for  _The Common Sense of Political
Economy_ by Philip Henry Wicksteed, but actually contains the text of
two entirely different books: _J R McCulloch: A Study in Classical
Economics_ by D P O'Brien, followed, naturally enough, by _Focus
Structure in Generative Grammar_ by Carsten Breul! (I was looking for
the Breul and found myself in econo-land.)

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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