A young monk arrives at the monastery.
He is assigned to helping the other scribes copy
the old canons and laws of the church by hand.
He notices, however, that the monks are all copying from other copies, not from the original manuscript.
So, the new monk goes to the Abbot to question this, pointing out that if a scribe made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up!
Any error would be continued in all subsequent copies.
The Abbot replies, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.”
The Abbot decides to check so descends into the dark caves deep below the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked vault
…which has been unopened for centuries!
Hours go by and nobody sees the venerable old Abbot…
Our young monk was worried so went down to find him.
He finds him banging his head against the wall, wailing.
“We missed the R !
We missed the R !
We missed the R !”
His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.
Our young monk asks the old Abbot,
“What’s wrong, Father?”
In a choking voice, the old abbot replies,
“The word was…