After skimming a couple middle pages of the book, just to soak in the old Germanic goodness, I turned randomly to the introduction. First thing I noticed was a typo. Okay, a typo is not too big a deal. I became increasingly alarmed as several more typos cropped up: peple, ther, nativ, setld.
By the end of the second paragraph, I really began to wonder what was going on. After reading much more of the author's words, it was clear that he himself is educated. The language seems appropriate for 19th century philological works. But I began to wonder if something else wasn't going on. Was there some kind of weird academic movement in the late 19th century Wisconsin that favoured what almost appears to be a partly phonemic spelling (at least of common English words --- never of ancient names)? Could the author have been well educated but, somehow, unaware of "proper" spelling of English words? Could this actually be a reflection of the author's (or perhaps his secretary's) own dialect? Or perhaps reflective of his editor's education? Could it just be the publisher's cost cutting move? (Fewer letters = less ink = more money!)
What I notice is the typos are nòt random. There are clear patterns and the same spellings are used consistently.
Any thoughts or speculations as to what might be going on here?The increasing zeal for a scientific study of English and the other Germanic languages in American universities and colleges has naturally necessitated a thuro study of Gothic. Altho this language does not in all its particulars offer the most primitiv stage of the remains of Germanic speech, it is indisputably indis-pensibl for a thuro scientific knowledge of every one of its sister dialects. The recent catalogs of our higher institutions show a growing interest in the study of Gothic, and we may fairly believ that the time is not far off when also in this cuntry the study of Gothic wil either precede or at least be cultivated side by side with that of Old English (Anglo-Saxon) in all our institutions that claim to pay tribute to a scientific study of English and the other Ger-manic languages, and to be up with the times.
The present work, the first of its kind in America, was prepared with a view to facilitate and accelerate the study of Gothic in America. Hitherto the student has been compeld to uze notes, syntax, etc., to the Gothic literature of books publisht in foren cuntries, and partly writn in foren languages, and I think it is high time to hav a complete text-book of the Gothic literature and grammar of our own.