Pas de Deux

‘In Pale Fire, Nabokov notes an “absolutely extraordinary, unbelievably elegant” verbal curiosity: “A newspaper account of a Russian tsar’s coronation had, instead of korona (crown), the misprint vorona (crow), and when next day this was apologetically ‘corrected,’ it got misprinted a second time as korova (cow). “

The artistic correlation between the crown-crow-cow series and the Russian korona–vorona–korova series is something that would have, I am sure, enraptured my poet,” he wrote. “I have seen nothing like it on lexical playfields and the odds against the double coincidence defy computation.” ‘

Source: Futility Closet