Recently, we told you about Apple’s attempt to censor the word “jailbreak” — and apparently, we’re just going to have to accept stuff like that as an increasing part of modern life, because now it’s been discovered that an eBooks publisher, while putting out the infamously long and dull Russian tome “War and Peace,” decided to find and replace everything with “Kindle” in it to “Nook”.
The problem being, of course, that “kindle,” as a word with an actual meaning instead of a consumer product, shows up eight times in the text, meaning the find-replace job the publisher did turned it into “Nookd”.
It appears to be a case of Ctrl-F gone wrong. An astute reader named Philip broke the story on his blog, noting that his reading of the classic was interrupted by the sentence “It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern…” The blogger noticed more and more uses of the word “Nookd,” leading him to examine a paper copy to find a more accurate translation that used the word “kindled” instead.
The best explanation, we think, comes from a commenter on the blog, who says “This obviously wasn’t done by Barnes & Noble, but by the publisher who submitted the book to Barnes & Noble. They created a Kindle version of this public domain book first, realized they used ‘Kindle’ somewhere in their submission, and did a quick find-and-replace to change ‘Kindle’ to ‘Nook’—never once thinking it would affect the book’s text rather than just whatever they put in the title page.”
Barnes and Noble had nothing to do with this, but it says something that companies are so terrified of offending huge media corporations that they’re accidentally willing to butcher classics in their haste. It also says something that they expected nobody to even notice in the first place.