Archive for the ‘Errors’ Category

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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From the culture desk: admirable words, admirable things

September 2, 2021

(Plain-spoken appreciative references to penises and fellatio, plus an extended and explicit man-on-man sex scene, so not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest.)

Gastronomy, essays, calliphallicity, poetry. Starting with the New Yorker on 9/6/21 — “Food & Drink: An Archival Issue” — in a “Gastronomy Recalled” column there. From the print magazine, the head and subhead for the piece:


(#1) From the great gastronomic essayist M. F. K. Fisher

Then from the on-line magazine, this version, with the accompanying photo (by Carl Mydans / The LIFE Picture Collection / Shutterstock) and its caption:

(#2)
One does not need to be a king to indulge his senses with a dish.

But, with my imperfect aged eyes — I now misread things so often I’ve pretty much stopped cataloging my errors — and my penis-attuned brain — I am an unapologetic phallophile —  what I read was:

One does not need to be a king to indulge his senses with a dick.

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Twirly and girly

August 3, 2021

The One Big Happy from 6/5, in which Ruthie struggles, eggcornishly, to rationalize an unfamiliar name with familiar parts:

Mary, Susan, whatever.

Meanwhile, I now have “Honey Bun” from South Pacific in my head:

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proofreading

July 14, 2021

🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷 The One Big Happy strip from 5/28:

We all, from time to time, come across a word we haven’t experienced before (or didn’t register having experienced it), and just guess, often tacitly, at its approximate meaning as the world goes on around us. Little kids, having had much less linguistic experience, do this all the time; they pretty much have to.

To this end, they use similarities to words or parts of words they do know, and Ruthie is an especially analytic kid, keen on finding word-parts in unfamiliar material — plenty of examples in earlier OBH postings on this blog. In this case, the word is in fact straightforwardly analyzable into two familiar parts, and Ruthie gets that.

Oh, but what are those parts? Phonologically /pruf/ (a N spelled proof) and /rid/ (a BSE-form V spelled read).  No problem with the second, but there are several Ns proof; the compound proofread is an idiom with one of those Ns in it, but not the one that Ruthie detects.

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tenure, tenor, tenner

June 15, 2021

The One Big Happy cartoon from 5/21, in which the word tenor (which is apparently unfamiliar to Ruthie) leads Ruthie to a word with a similar pronunciation, whose meaning she knows (at least approximately) — tenure:


(#1) I got tenure at Ohio State in 1970, but the singing boyfriend didn’t come along until years later

That’s an error taking us from tenor to tenure. Meanwhile, on the comedy stage, a pun takes us from tenner to tenor.

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