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The nerdiest correction in the history of the New York Times

May 9, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

R.A. Dickey AP

Remember last week when R.A. Dickey as revealed to have named his bats after swords in “The Hobbit” and “Beowulf?” Yeah, well the hardcore fans were reading that article and they let the New York Times know that Dickey doesn’t know his mythical weaponry very well.  The New York Times’ correction:

An item in the Extra Bases baseball notebook last Sunday misidentified, in some editions, the origin of the name Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver, which Mets pitcher R. A. Dickey gave one of his bats. Orcrist was not, as Dickey had said, the name of the sword used by Bilbo Baggins in the Misty Mountains in “The Hobbit”; Orcrist was the sword used by the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield in the book. (Bilbo Baggins’s sword was called Sting.)

It’s a lot more fun if you imagine that passage, not as a print correction, but as being spoken by Vin Scully during a Dodgers-Mets game.  Scully would then proceed to tell you three interesting facts about Thorin Oakenshield that you never ever knew. And you wouldn’t even mind that he repeated those facts in all three games of the weekend series.

I just double checked and the reference in my post to Wyrmslayer remains technically correct, even if it’s not very useful due to my neglect to provide details about Kith-Kanan and the Kinslayer Wars.  Apologies.

  1. Jonny 5 - May 9, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Vin Scully should call all baseball games. Then the world would be a perfect place.

  2. yankeesfanlen - May 9, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Is Jayson Blair working there again?

  3. sdelmonte - May 9, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    This might be the first time that the same news story was picked up by HBT and Gawker’s (surprisingly smart) sci-fi news site, io9.

  4. cur68 - May 9, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    So Dickey isn’t as big a nerd as the Time’s reader base, ha, ha! Truly one is hopelessly nerdy if one knows this inane stuff. I’m kinda glad he doesn’t know who carried Biter,…I mean, I don’t know what any of that means! Look over there! Isn’t that a rare yellow bellied sap sucker?! (runs away…)

  5. Maxa - May 9, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    This reminds me of a line from David Foster Wallace: “The whole quantum setup ends up being embarrassing the way
    something pretentious is embarrassing when it’s also wrong.” Just substitute “nerdy” for “pretentious.”

  6. Old Gator - May 9, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Careful, people. Anyone who jerks R. A. Dickey around has to deal with me.

    Blow ’em off, Top Vol. They don’t know nuthin’.

  7. Stephen Shillingford - May 9, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    I never saw him specify who used the sword, just what book it was from.

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