Archive for the ‘Errors’ Category

Patsy Baloney

June 29, 2022

On Twitter yesterday, given a little push by my posting “Did that actually just happen?”, Merrill Markoe tweeted:

The Jan 6 hearings were once again amazing, stunning and magnificent. In a related story, because it is my responsibility and my job, I have recorded the valiant attempts made by the closed-captioning software to spell Pat Cipollone [AZ: the attorney who served as White House Counsel for [Helmet Grabpussy]]

MM supplied a series of screen captures with attempts at an orthographic rendering of

/ ˈpætˌsɪpǝˈloni /

of which her favorite (and mine) was Patsy Baloney:


(#1) Left, for the committee: US Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming; right: the witness Cassidy Hutchinson

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Ask AZ: fat-fingered typos

June 26, 2022

In response to my posting yesterday on “Thing sliced ham” — “thing sliced [in English muffin topped with thing sliced ham] looks like a nice example of a pure typo, an error in hitting the right keys on a keyboard” — Mike Pope asks on Facebook today:

MP > AZ: To what extent does your understanding / explanation of typos overlap with the verb to fat-finger as used in tech (and possibly elsewhere)?

And my reply begins:

AZ > MP: As a largely tech-ignorant person, I wasn’t familiar with the usage, but, yes, another species of typo.

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Thing sliced ham

June 25, 2022

On Facebook yesterday, Stewart Kramer reported from Grandma’s Restaurant in Oceanside CA (way down south, between L.A. and San Diego):


(#1) [SK:] Thing sliced ham? Thing as in Addams family, Fantastic Four, or Cat in the Hat? None of those seem likely ham slicers, except Green Eggs and Ham. The food was good, anyway.

For entertainment, SK jumps right in with a few fictional characters named Thing, knowing full well that they’re entirely, preposterously, irrelevant. Then, commenters chose to lump thing sliced together with “spelling mistakes” that are misapprehensions about how some words are conventionally spelled, surely not what’s going on when a writer is aiming for thin sliced. Instead, thing sliced looks like a nice example of a pure typo, an error in hitting the right keys on a keyboard.

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The Stanford Dragfest

May 25, 2022

From the Stanford Events Calendar for 5/20: at 7 p.m. on Wilbur Field:


(#1) The poster

The announcement:

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A festival of the worst excesses of consumerism

March 19, 2022

The Iconsiam luxury shopping mall in Bangkok, which is both mind-bogglingly immense (like the Mall of America) and absurdly high-end (like the Stanford Shopping Center), so resembling South Coast Plaza in Orange County, except that it takes over-the-top golden glitziness to a level I don’t think has ever been attained in North America. This in a 3/16 Facebook report from my old friend Ry Schwark, who is being touristic in Bangkok and sending reports back to us. The Iconsiam complex, in the center of the city:


(#1) It all glows gold, as if the Man with the Golden Toilet had run amok along the Chao Phraya River (the two hotel towers are part of the complex)

Then two photos by Ry from the interior:

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On the error watch

March 9, 2022

I’ll start with straightforward typos, where it’s getting the fingers to hit the intended keys that’s at issue, and then work out from there. From Greg Morrow on Facebook earlier today (exchanges lightly edited):

GM: My Dad’s got the 9-inch double-serrated Wüsthof bread knife and it is sweet. I don’t cover it exactly, I just want one exactly like it.

AZ > GM: Entirely beside your point, but I don’t cover it exactly is a beautiful example of a keyboard typo: cover for covet because R is next to T.

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An American tradegy

December 3, 2021

This morning, Stephanie Ruhle, reporting a Michigan school shooting on MSNBC, and confronting the word tragedy (with /ǰ … d/ ), replaced it by tradegy (with /d … ǰ/), transposing the two consonants; she noticed the error, and “corrected” it by, alas, a repetition of tradegy, which she didn’t notice, so she just went on. Then in a later report on the shooting, she again referred to it as a tradegy, this time without noticing. 

As an error in spelling — TRADEGY for TRAGEDY — this transposition of consonants is common enough to have been listed in Paul Brians’s Common Errors in English Usage, p. 207 (and on the website), where Brians remarks:

Not only do people often misspell “tragedy” as “tradegy,” they mispronounce it that way too.

Here I think that Brians’s focus on errors in written English has led him astray, led him to treat what is at root an error in pronunciation — with the erroneous pronunciation then carried over to spelling — as an error in spelling that then is then carried over into pronunciation. Admittedly, the latter transfer is part of the story for some speakers, but the problems begin with inadvertent speech errors like Stephanie Ruhle’s. An inadvertent speech error that seems to be part of a larger phenomenon.

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From the annals of resistible offers

November 13, 2021

In yesterday’s mailbox, this indirect attempt to get me to post (about) something on this blog (untouched except for suppressing its header and the link):

With all do the respect,

I am hitting your inbox without any introduction, sorry for that.

BUT…. we did put around 230+ hours into this article about the most popular dog breeds in the world. (scanned 96 countries)

So check it:

[link]

What you think?

Paws UP or Down?

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Desert Island spelling

October 15, 2021

A wrenchingly funny E. S. Glenn cartoon in the latest (10/18/21) issue of the New Yorker:


(#1) The usual tiny cartoon Desert Island now has two neighborhoods: the customary grassy tropical island, plus a small beach zone, suitable for message-bearing  bottles to wash up on

Side notes: the castaway is shoeless, shirtless, and gaunt, his  makeshift cutoffs worn and patched — clearly, in a bad way. Meanwhile, Glenn has contrived to identify the castaway as Black (without shading his skin, as he did for the castaways in an earlier DI cartoon, reproduced below). Further, the cartoon imagines messages in bottles to be a kind of marine postal service, in which specific senders and receivers exchange messages in slow motion over great distances.

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How does Wilderrama sleep at night?

September 4, 2021

From the tv series NCIS, Season 14 Episode 6, “Shell Game”, an exchange between the NCIS-Agent characters Tim McGee (played by Sean Murray) and Nick Torres (played by Wilmer Valderrama, whose name I am forever telescoping into the portmanteau-like Wilderrama) that turns on joking with senses of the interrogative adverb how — in McGee’s question “How do you sleep at night”, intended to convey modal + means how ‘by what means is it possible?’; and Torres’s response “On my back. Naked.”, conveying truth-functional + state how ‘in what state?’.


(#1) Torres and McGee in the NCIS episode “Love Boat”, Season 14 Episode 4

Then I turn to WV the man, as a hunk with a wonderful smile (two things I post about on a fairly regular basis), and as a performer with a notable actorial persona.

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