I saw an amusing typo the other day: "ferule cats." I suspect this was a cupertino, which is when you misspell a word and then spellcheck changes it to a correctly-spelled word, but not the one you intended to use. The right word was feral, which the American Heritage Dictionary defines as:
- 1a. Existing in a wild or untamed state.
- 1b. Having returned to an untamed state from domestication.
- 2. Of or suggestive of a wild animal; savage: a feral grin.
- Etymology: From the Latin fera, meaning wild animal, from ferus, meaning wild.
Ferule is a bit different:
- Noun: An instrument, such as a cane, stick, or flat piece of wood, used in punishing children.
- Verb: To punish with a ferule.
- Etymology: From the Middle English ferul, meaning fennel stalk, from the Latin ferula, meaning fennel stalk, rod.
Now I am disappointed. A story about a cat used to punish children would be pretty interesting, I think.