I once had a discussion (more than a decade ago) where an anti-theist challenged me about troubling passages in the Bible. He had made an assertion for which I researched the answer, and then refuted. He then disputed my results by presenting me with an on-line version of my source. In the online version of the source, two words had been reversed in order, changing the meaning completely. I showed him the old printed text that had the proper order. It was against his druthers for my old copy to be right, but the printed version made more sense in context with the remaining commentary. At best, that error would leave the honest reader confused. For the skeptic, it provided more fodder for attack -- as was the case here.
Recently, when searching for some phrases in C. S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man, [alternate found at archive.org] I found another error that could leave the reader wholly lost due to the alteration of a single letter!
Instinct, by the only known reality of conscience and not a reduction of conscience to the category of Instinct. [highlighted: error in the online text]Now, this is likely due to spell checking by the publisher's aid. But the "correction" should have been caught and restored. Our contemporary world thinks of spelling errors as relatively unimportant. As the above passage demonstrates, that is not always true. Maybe it's all Lewis' fault for using such a non-standard adverb. He should have anticipated the future better than he did. (I hope my readers see the irony in that sarcasm aimed at his critics.)
Instinct, by the inly known reality of conscience and not a reduction of conscience to the category of Instinct. [highlighted: as printed in the original]
Folks. You better preserve all your old hard-copy books. Because the memory hole is not only due to deliberate destruction, it comes about due to poor supervision of doltish contemporary