Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23 is World Book and Copyright Day

poster for 2009 world book and copyright day

April 23 is World Book and Copyright Day. The event is sponsored and organized by UNESCO. Each year focuses on different themes:

"For the 2009 edition of the Day, UNESCO suggests to explore the topic of the paramount function of books for the development of quality education, as well as the link between publishing and human rights."

For more information about this day, visit:

World Book and Copyright Day (2009) page at UNESCO

April 23 is also a notable day for lovers of literature and poetry.

Literary births on April 23 include William Shakespeare in 1564 (day not certain); William Caslon in 1693 (English typeface maker); and Vladimir Naboklov (1899).

Literary deaths on April 23 include William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes (both in the year 1616); William Wordsworth; Henry Vaughan and Rupert Brooke. Ian MacMillian, in an article in the Guardian, wryly comments on these many poetic deaths, but inaccurately states that Shakespeare died in 1606. (But MacMillian's article is still worth reading.)

Last week, the Chronicle of Higher Education featured an article that stated The Elements of Style was published in 1919. But the book itself says "1918". And this week the Guardian can't find an editor who knows the year of Shakespeare's death.

Might mistakes in name-brand periodicals be blamed on budget cuts, or the lack of knowledge and concentration that results from too much Twitter tweeting? ... The Twuddite Maureen Dowd writes skeptically about twitterers, in her recent column To Tweet or Not to Tweet. Dowd begins the essay by referring to Alfred Hitchhock's horror movie, "The Birds", and ends by stating:

"I would rather be tied up to stakes in the Kalahari Desert, have honey poured over me and red ants eat out my eyes than open a Twitter account."