If any person ever informs you that editors never commit really spectacular lexical blunders, know that said person is a rotten liar. (If they're speaking of editors broadly, that is. If they're speaking only from personal experience, I suppose they might be telling the truth, and shake my fist in resentful admiration at them and everyone they know if so.*)
The editorial team at Peter Pauper writes a lot of online descriptive copy, in order to communicate the loveliness of our journals, etc., to website customers who can't actually hold them and flip through them before buying. We like to make these descriptions fun to read as well as informative, which typically involves a bit of wordplay, and linguistic tricks such as alliteration and assonance.
I recently wrote an expanded description for our Cat's Meow Journal. When describing our journals, we often like to reference the experience of writing and thinking, in addition to discussing the journal's aesthetics. I believed I'd come up with an alliterative and moderately charming (key word, in retrospect, being "moderately") way to do both at once. It required a fairly exact synonym for "thinking" beginning with the letter "f." I was convinced that one existed. (There may well be one—I just can’t find it.) Moreover, I thought I knew precisely what this word was; my guess is that I confused it with “ruminating.”
I’m very glad I looked it up before I submitted copy that praised the “feline flair for fulminating."
*A note on this sentence and the one preceding it: I think "they" is an excellent ungendered third person singular pronoun, and fulfills a vital role not at all adequately performed by the clunky, distracting "he or she." People have used "they" in that capacity for centuries. Shakespeare used it thus. Modern writers are bringing it back. Even the Chicago Manual of Style came around a while ago. I capitulate to the current strictures of formal writing when necessary, but as sovereign of the Tuesday blog column, I hereby restore third person singular "they" to its rightful glory within my teensy realm.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Dmitrijs Mihejevs