This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
So far as we know the Gardener's Monthly is one of the few magazines that is not ashamed to correct typographical or other errors, no matter how small they may be. The disinclination to do this often leads to the propagation of grievous errors, and leads to no end of trouble. Here before us is a letter from a correspondent, asking how to preserve walnut seeds in geiminating condition for several years. The inquiry is based on a forestry article from a Western agricultural paper, and which has been widely copied, in which the author is made to say that he purchased thirty bushels of black walnuts, which were three years old when he purchased them, and two-thirds of them died within two years afterwards. Our correspondent says that he could never get a walnut to grow after it was more than a year old, and he wonders how the germinating power is preserved so long. If, however, we give the sentence a careful consideration, we can see that there has evidently been a typographical error. "Thirty thousand" has been printed as "thirty bushels." This error must certainly have been seen by the author of the article, and, judging by what we know of sensitive correspondents, the attention of the paper probably called to it.
Yet rather than endure the little mortification of admitting and correcting the error, the whole community is allowed to believe that walnut nuts will retain their vitality for several years.
The proof-reader of the Gardener's Monthly deserves great credit for his general accomplishments, when the peculiar handwriting of the many contributors is considered. Though the editor usually glances over the proof-reader's work to watch the technical terms, he seldom finds much to correct. In this confidence he left the whole to the office while he attended the Nurserymen's Meeting at Dayton; but unfortunately just on this occasion quite a number of typographical errors have occurred. It so happens, however, that most of these are readily correctible by the reader, and need not be specially referred to here. While writing this it may be as well to say that in the handwriting of those who regard themselves as very plain penmen, whole lines have to be guessed at by printers, and the proof-reader knows what is meant by the context only. In the majority of cases where complaints come of typographical errors, they are the writer's own fault. This will probably never be otherwise; but we may ask our correspondents whenever they come to the name of a plant, or other technical word, that these at least be written especially plain, for no ordinary printer or proofreader has any faculty short of inspiration for guessing at these words.
They are not in either Webster or Worcester, and defy the usual references of the ordinary printing office.
To show how next to impossible it is to avoid typographical errors, we may note, that in an eminent scientific serial a number was recently issued in which there was a large number of errors on one page. The editor who has a laudable pride in strict accuracy, evidently felt his evil passions rise thereat, and sent corrected pages to his scientific friends. Yet with all these inducements to a perfect copy, the corrected page comes to hand with "Dr. Minks, of microgonidia-fame" instead of " micro-gonidia fame."