A few paragraphs in to Chapter 3 of "How to win friends and influence people"—a book that I'm embarrassed to admit I've undertaken—I found what just appears to be an odd spelling for "absurd." Unfortunately, its not clear from the context that "absurd" is the intended word:

"Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absured. (...)"

If the word "absurd" was intended, it certainly seems out of place. So my question: Is this an obsolete spelling for absured? A typo? Another word entirely?

EDIT: Perhaps a homely spelling for rustic effect?

  • 1
    OED gives three variants: 15–16 absurde, 15– absurd, 16 obsurd.
    – user31341
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 15:18
  • 1
    It's just a tupo.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 22:07

2 Answers 2


It's just a typo in your edition (see for instance page 32 of this Google Books link).

By the way the adjective absurd comes from the Latin word absurdus, so it seems improbable that an older spelling would have an extra e.

Edit: I've also found the version with an extra e:

enter image description here

Because these two versions exist, I can think of two explanations: either this is a subtle joke/play on words (referring to the childish or absurd variant), or it is just a plain typo. I'm inclined to think it is the latter.

  • I'm not completely convinced. I can't see the book from your link, but both amazon and google in the US show the same spelling. The book is in its 4th edition, so it seems unlikely that its a typo that somehow made it past the first 3 editions.
    – Mike McCoy
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 15:03
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    I could see the book from the link, after clicking on one of the sections initially displayed - but I found it on page numbered 32. Is it not possible that the typo was introduced in a later edition? Are you reading a hard copy or e-copy?
    – TrevorD
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 15:09
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    It's a typo. Typos persist. Even in frequently-read books. And that's not a joke that Norman Vincent Peale would ever, ever make. Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 15:40
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    Er, but what about the author, Dale Carnegie? Mightn't he make such a joke? Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 19:11
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    The number of typos in e-books is absurdly high. As far as I can tell, it is still optical character recognition software that reads the original to create the e-book. Lots of dumb errors, and no effort to correct them. Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 21:42

4 pages later, the word appears again, this time spelled correctly. Apparently the first is a typo, but a pretty surprising one to me.

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