Archive for the ‘Errors’ Category

OBH roundup

March 28, 2014

It started with this One Big Happy cartoon, clipped from a newspaper and sent to me by Benita Bendon Campbell:



Another three for the weekend

March 22, 2014

Three more cartoons, on varied topics: a Zippy, a Zits, and a Pearls Before Swine:


Signage error (or not)

March 9, 2014

For Daylight Saving(s) Time, this photo has been making the rounds on Facebook:


The Errington (Volunteer) Fire Department is real; the question is whether this sign was an inadvertent error or whether the image has been doctored. I don’t know which.


This week’s great typo

March 6, 2014

On ADS-L yesterday, Joel Berson relayed this story on upskirting (secretly photographing under a person’s clothing; the person is almost always a woman) from the Boston Globe:

Which the highest state court in Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court — the oldest continuously functioning appellate court in America — has just ruled is not illegal.  The activity as well as the word should go viral.

The decision is that “a state law intended to prohibit ‘Peeping Tom’ voyeurism of completely or partially undressed people did not apply to people who take pictures of people who are fully clothed.”

(Yes, upskirting is a Prt + PRP compound; and there’s now a base and finite verb upskirt as well (of course).)

Berson commented:

It’s not clear to me whether the prosecutors blundered in choosing to bring charges under the “Peeing Tom” law when there might have been some other grounds.

To which Victor Steinbok wondered:

Peeing Tom? Did this happen on pubic transportation?


Guessing at meaning

February 23, 2014

Passed on by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, this entry from Failblog:

The writer has guessed at the meaning of suffrage, taking it to be related to the verb suffer.


Four cartoons

January 21, 2014

A sudden avalanche of linuistically interesting cartoons, on a variety of topics.



January 4, 2014

A Calvin and Hobbes for the season:


Just to note that New Year’s revolutions gets an enormous number of hits, some of them intended to be funny, some of them straightforward.

Classical Spoonerism

December 6, 2013

Reported by Joel Berson on ADS-L on the 4th:

grewd loaseness: Uttered (and soon corrected) by a radio news broadcaster about what a man who appeared nude in public, beat his fists on his head, and claimed he was God was arrested for.

Victor Steinbok noted that “genuine Spoonerisms” are rare, meaning that inadvertent word-part transpositions are rare (though he cited an example from his own experience: tissy pookler for pussy tickler ‘mustache’, and I’ve posted on inadvertent Oback Barama). Intentional — playful — word-part transpositions are extremely common, and so are inadvertent whole-word transpositions, reported on here fairly often, for instance in the porn quote:

You wanna fuck your shooting load! You wanna shoot your fuckin’ load!

Name that cellist

November 9, 2013

Yesterday’s Pearls Before Swine has Pig misunderstanding more expressions — this time a name:

Yo mama (literally ‘your mother’) is of course the beginning of ritual insults, and can stand on its own as a all-purpose insult.

Yo mama and Yo-Yo Ma are both built from the syllables yo and ma, in that order, with one of them doubled. So they are formally very similar.


The miracle of the penises

October 4, 2013

In the NYT on the 2nd, in “To Venezuelans, Heir of Chávez Is a Poor Copy” by William Neuman, this anecdote:

In one of his most infamous verbal flubs, in August, [Venezuelan president Nicolás] Maduro sought to make a reference to the biblical story of Jesus’ multiplying the loaves and fishes — only to have it come out of his mouth as “the multiplication of the penises.” Mr. Maduro apparently conflated “peces” (fish) and “panes” (loaves) to produce “penes” (penises). He quickly apologized and corrected himself, but the damage was done.

“A person who doesn’t know how to speak will never know how to run a country,” said Jorge Flores, 30, a messenger at a government-run hospital, who voted for Mr. Maduro but now bitterly regrets doing so.

A perfectly ordinary inadvertent blend, but one with an especially laughable result.


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