Error of the Week: A Horse / Hoarse Error Rears Its Head
The error*, of course, is that the authors did not intend to indicate anything equine (horse) about Paul’s voice, but rather meant to say that his voice wasn’t harsh or rough (hoarse).
Hoarse is an adjective that has been in use since at least the 14th century, possibly as early as the 11th, to mean rough. It comes to us from Old English hās, possibly from a prehistoric Germanic word that indicated “dried out.” A rasping, gravelly voice is hoarse.
Horse can be a noun, verb, or adjective and is attested from the same time but from a different Old English word, hors (and horsian for the verb). Merriam-Webster Collegiate defines a horse as a “large solid-hoofed herbivorous ungulate mammal domesticated since prehistoric times.” See above or picture the palomino who could have demonstrated both horse and hoarse: Mr. Ed the famous talking horse. The verb originally meant “to supply with a horse” but the horse around construction that indicates joking and tomfoolery has been with us since 1893. As an adjective, horse can mean related to or mounted on horses, or it can mean something that is large for its kind (e.g., a horse pill).
As far as errors go, this isn't in the horse race for being one of the worst editors see.
* The error has since been corrected and could have been a simple typo of the sort that spell-check can’t detect.