Another example of e-publishing string-replacement gone wrong, from the Kindle edition of Ed McBain's Blood Relatives, originally published in 1975:
The problem here, of course, is that someone turned "hang" into "noindent" in the middle of the words change and changed. This is different from the case of kindle → nook, and the case of its → it's, in that the substitution involves leakage into the book's text of an attempt to correct its text-formatting metalanguage, presumably changing (or, I should say, "cnoindenting") one way of indicating a "hanging paragraph" into another, or perhaps cnoindenting a hanging paragraph into a block paragraph.
It's therefore oddly appropriate that I had already marked this work for a Language Log post, on account of a clever replaying of the Cretan Liar paradox, which also involves a subtle transgression of the language/metalanguage boundary:
Carella didn’t know any private eyes. He knew a lot of cops, though, and hardly any of them behaved the way television cops did. […] Television cops were dangerous. They made real-life cops feel like heroes instead of hard-working slobs. Carella did not feel like a hero when he got back from the Criminal Courts Building that afternoon. He had left the down-town area at 11:45, and it was now almost 12:30, and he still hadn’t had lunch, and the first thing he saw on his desk when he walked into the squadroom was a memo from the Police Commissioner. The memo may not have disturbed Carella had he not just been thinking about life imitating art imitating life and so on. But it disturbed him now. It very definitely disturbed him. This is what the memo read:
ATTENTION ALL UNITS, BY ORDER OF THE COMMISSIONER
1] EFFECTIVE THIS DATE, RUBBER STAMP SIGNATURES MAY NOT BE USED ON ANY OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE.
2] EFFECTIVE THIS DATE, ANY ORDERS OR INSTRUCTIONS SIGNED WITH A RUBBER STAMP SIGNATURE ARE TO BE IGNORED.
The memo was signed by the Police Commissioner, Alfred James Dougherty. There was only one trouble with the memo. In signing it, the commissioner, or his secretary, or one of his aides had used a rubber stamp.
Carella looked at the memo and at the rubber stamp signature.
The commissioner had clearly ordered that effective this date rubber stamp signatures could not be used on any official correspondence. The memo also stated that any orders or instructions signed with a rubber stamp signature were to be ignored.
Carella’s perplexity was monumental.
He sat at his desk and read the memo again, and then he read it a third time, and tried to decide what he should do about it. His deductive reasoning went something like this:
(1) The commissioner’s memo had been signed with a rubber stamp.
(2) Therefore, the commissioner’s memo was to be ignored.
(3) If the memo was to be ignored, then the use of a rubber stamp signature on official correspondence was still permitted.
(4) And if the rubber stamp signature was still permitted, then any orders or instructions signed with such a signature were not to be ignored.
(5) Therefore, the commissioner’s memo was not to be ignored.
6) But if the commissioner’s memo was not to be ignored, then it outlawed all rubber stamp signatures, and since the memo had been signed with a rubber stamp, it clearly was to be ignored.
(7) Therefore, the commissioner’s memo was to be ignored and was also not to be ignored.
Carella blinked, and looked up at the clock. Only two minutes had passed since the commissioner started causing him heartburn. He decided to go out to lunch.