Take Care with “Album”
A reader deplores the mispronunciation and misspelling of the word album as “ablum”:
… often misused by DJs and music commentators which is really sad!
The word album comes from Latin albus, “white.” In ancient Rome, an “album” was a blank tablet into which edicts and other public matters were inscribed. In the 17th century, German scholars kept autograph books to which they gave the Latin term album amicorum. Later the term was applied to scrapbooks that contained souvenirs. In his 1755 dictionary Samuel Johnson defined album as “a book in which foreigners have long been accustomed to insert autographs of celebrated people.”
“Photograph albums” date from the 1850s. “Record albums” (33 1/3 rpm) came along in 1957. NOTE: See Jim Clinton’s account of earlier record albums in his comment below.
A Google search for the misspelling “ablum” yielded 773,000 hits.
Not all of the hits were unintentional.
For example, Ablum is a Polish surname.
“Ablum” is also the deliberately misspelled title of a music album for children recorded by a group called Duplex.
Most are probably unintended:
How to make your dynamic photo slideshow and online photo ablum and photo gallery
Kindly browse our e-ablums
Photo Ablum Binders for Sale
Sometimes “ablum” is followed by the correct spelling, suggesting that the first one was a simple typo. In this example, however, the misspelling occurs twice:
…[I] never did like the ablum art idea… [I] have gone through all of my songs and found the ablum info…
Whether misspellings of album result from careless typing, supposed wit, or ignorance, the result is the same: an unnecessary misspelling. Careful writers will want to take a good look at the word before hitting the send or publish button.
Browse all articles on the Spelling category or check the recommended content for you below:
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