NABOKV-L post 0005838, Sun, 18 Mar 2001 16:40:56 -0800

[Query: ADA wifhm vs wjfhm]
For those curious about such things, I add to the following
exchange the observations that my Library of America and
Vintage editions have the same error, and so does the Fawcett
Crest on its page 125 (1970): thus this same error appears in
three "independent" editions with differing pagination. Who
committed the first sin?

My British 1969 ed from Weidenfeld and Nicolson has the same
pagination as later McGraw & Hill, and has the correct 'j', as
does my differently paginated McGraw & Hill of 1969 (no notice
of which printing), where the correct form with 'j' appears on
page 168!

The French Livre de Poche edition goes ahead and translates the
coded message into French, taking the fun out of it, but still
giving the key to the unused code in the next chapter.

We all appreciate the humor of VV's trick of making some of us
pause to figure out the code for ourselves, only to discover
its key later. But I think it's even more fun read just the
plain language of the passage, skipping quickly over the code,
thus: "and this attire was hardlly convenient for making * Ada in
a natural bower of aspens, * after which she said:" where * marks
the deletion spot!

John A. Rea

> Subject:
> Re: Query: wifhm
> Wed, 14 Feb 2001 10:58:30 -0800
> vn <>
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 19:12:04 +1100 (EST)
> From: Kiran Krishna <>
> In the Vintage edition of Ada (Part 1, Chapter 25, Page 157) the first
> sentence in Van and Ada's secret code ends with the word wifhm (I am
> not
> entirely sure this isn't a printing mistake confined to my edition).
> Correctly, this should be wjfhm, and the penguin edition makes the
> change.
> However, I wonder if the error is intentional on VN's part, and if so what it signifies.
> -----------------------
> EDITOR's NOTE. The "J" is correct. Oddly, my 1969 edition (second
> printing) has the correct wjfhm on p.157 The new Library of America
> edition has the wrong "wifhm" (p. 127).