Dord: The Ghost Word


Webster’s New International Dictionary (Second Edition) was the largest book to be mass produced, but – as was revealed on 28th February, 1939 – it contained an embarrassing error: on page 771, between the entries for Dorcopsis (a type of small kangaroo) and doré (golden in colour), was the word ‘dord’. Which doesn’t exist.  The …

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The First Hijack


Pan-Am pilot Byron Rickards was surrounded by soldiers and told he had become the prisoner of a revolutionary organisation shortly after landing in Arequipa, Peru on 21 February 1931 – the first recorded aircraft hijack in history. Rickards refused to drop pro-rebel propaganda, leading to a stand-off – although, astonishingly, it wasn’t the only time …

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