I’ve got Adventures in Reading here, a textbook from Holt, Reinhart and Winston (ISBN 003098632) that says on p. 382,

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,

(It’s Kipling’s “Recessional”.)  And there’s a footnote there that says,

shard: a hard or brittle fragment—here, a bullet from the “reeking tube” of a gun.

That’s the kind of thing that drives me nuts. I take it my readers can see through that. Who but an English literature expert doesn’t know that bullets are lead, not iron, and are cast, not shattered?


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