A corrigenda is a printed list of errors bound into a printed text, usually a book, which were discovered too late to be corrected by the printers before publication. It is an instruction to the reader (or to a future publisher) to make the corrections. It is usually found in the plural form, but if only one error is present the singular form of corrigendum should be used. It is usually bound into the back of a book, but for a single error a slip of paper detailing a corrigendum may be bound in before or after the page on which the error appears.
A careful reader, before reading or studying the book concerned, will methodically work through the corrigenda and make manual corrections, in pencil or in permanent form, at all the relevant places in the text, cross-referenced to the page number in the corrigenda, in order that they themselves can read the text with confidence of its accuracy and also in order that future less careful readers who have not taken the trouble to examine the corrigenda will not be misled by false information. It is thus particularly important that corrigenda be acted upon in the case of technical or reference books.
The word is the gerundive form of the Latin compound verb corrigo -rexi -rectum (from the verb rego, "to make straight, rule", plus the preposition cum, "with"), "to correct", and thus signifies "(those things) which must be corrected" and in its single form Corrigendum it means "(that thing) which must be corrected".
- assuming the full form has added to it the verb sum or parts thereof, changing the meaning to the idea of necessity or compulsion
- Collins Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd Edition, London, 1986, p.352
- Cassell's Latin Dictionary, Marchant, J.R.V, & Charles, Joseph F., (Eds.), Revised Edition, 1928, p.139
- "That which is to be corrected; An error to be corrected", per: Collins Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd Edition, London, 1986, p.352