Archive for the ‘Errors’ Category

Today’s misreading: life behind piano bars

May 24, 2018

The header on the e-mail appeared to promise:

Prison Gay Nite Every Friday in San Mateo – Piano Bar this week

A piano bar behind bars, gayfolk mingle with the incarcerated at the San Mateo Jail. Not really my thing, but I know people it might appeal to. And San Mateo is about 16 miles from where I live, so it would take some effort.

The message appeared in really tiny type on my computer screen, and its actual first word was entirely unpredictable in context, so it’s not entirely a surprise that I misread it. An announcement for the actual event [called Prism]:

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A Brokavian crash blossom

May 2, 2018

… committed by The Onion recently (hat tip to Jerry Zee):

(#1)

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Faucet handles

April 19, 2018

From Joe Transue on Facebook this morning, this piece of hardware from the Pfister company:

(#1) Joe: WTV?

In three languages, a head noun meaning ‘handle’ with the modifier Verve (prenominal in English, postnominal in French and Spanish): Verve handle, poignée Verve, manija Verve.

One reader took Verve to be the noun verve: ‘vigor and spirit or enthusiasm’ (NOAD) and played with that:

Rarely do you see such lively, talented, energetic & animated handles. You are lucky to have found one. Makes lavatory stops much more enjoyable!

But Joe took Verve to be an error, and appealed to me as an authority on errors in speech and writing:

Old post… But Arnold Zwicky do you have any idea what is up with this? I think this is a seriously strange error. At first I thought it might be some sort of trade name for the part, but I’m about 99% sure they mean VALVE.

But no. As you might have expected from the form Verve in three different languages, not an error — but the name of a type of faucet handle. From the wonderful world of hardware terminology.

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this guy

March 25, 2018

Today’s One Big Happy, with a now-classic mishearing:

(#1) the sky’s heard as this guy’s

In my 5/30/12 posting “Annals of mishearing”, discussion of the sky misheard as this guy, on several occasions.

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A hopeful misreading

March 24, 2018

Glanced at yesterday’s NYT when it arrived at 6 a.m., and read the headline for the top story:

[REDACTED] Chooses Hawke
For 3rd Security Adviser
As Shake-Up Continues

Ooh, I thought, a bold appointment: accomplished actor, director, and writer Ethan Hawke, a sturdy Democrat, feminist, and activist for gay rights.

Then I looked carefully at the headline and saw that it said Hawk (referring to a hawk, someone who supports a warlike policy in foreign affairs). not Hawke (referring to Ethan Hawke).  The appointment was of überhawk John Bolton.

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acyrologia

February 22, 2018

Recently from friends on Facebook:

From one friend: “this looks as though it could be described as an eggcornucopia”. Well, no, not without understanding eggcorn as meaning ‘word error’, which would be a bad move.

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Ruthie reasons analogically

February 19, 2018

The One Big Happy from January 23rd:

Ruthie reasons analogically, but from the morphological point of view, inaccurately.

If paralegal is para + legal and the para- contributes a element of meaning roughly ‘sort of, but not real’, then parakeet must be para + keet ‘a sort of, but not real, keet’, whatever a keet is. (What of parasol and parapet?)

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The Star-Spangled Baseball

February 8, 2018

The One Big Happy from January 12th:

“song words”; from NOAD:

adverb & preposition o’er: archaic or poetic/literary contraction for over.

And then there’s the pizza mondegreen, Joe’s rationalization of these lines from “The Star-Spangled Banner”, as sung at the beginning of baseball games in the US:

O’er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.

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This week’s stellar typo

January 24, 2018

(Passing references to various sexual practices, so you might want to use your judgment.)

Today’s mail labeled [SPAM:#####]:

(#1)

The ad copy is seriously non-native English, so liquid pears for liquid pearls is an unsurprising typo, though the image of a man ejaculating liquid pears — pear brandy (Poire William(s)), for instance), pear liqueur, or pear cider — has a certain kinky charm to it.

The text in the video is clean, idiomatic English, right down to liquid pearls ‘semen’.

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tooken by the senses taker

January 4, 2018

The 12/5/17 One Big Happy, which came by in my comics feed a few days ago:

(#1)

Three things here: Ruthie’s eggcornish reshaping of the unfamiliar word census (ending in /s/) as the familiar senses (ending in /z/); her tooken as the PSP of the verb take; and (in the last panel) her use of take ‘tolerate, stand, endure’ (here with the modal can of ability and also negation; and with the pronominal object this).

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