The Word Guy Blooper Patrol has been working overtime to send me mistakes that have appeared in print. Can you spot the blots?
1. "Rescue personnel summarized the occupants must have abandoned the vehicle." In a nutshell, they scrammed. (Spotted by Cynara Stites, Mansfield, Connecticut)
2. "The state also interviewed 10 and disposed three current employees." Did their testimony include throw-away lines? (Cindi Frey, Tolland, Connecticut)
3. "(You should) buy products with less packaging, eat leftovers and compost." Ick! (Skip Livingston, Hopewell, New Jersey)
4. "(He) was then charged with failure to disobey the signal of an officer." That's a crime? (Jane Blanshard via email)
Two from Mark Lander of Old Lyme, Connecticut:
5. "You will not cry or wine (about car prices)." Or cry in your beer?
6. (From a column about second weddings): "...another isle to walk down and another officiant." An island honeymoon both times?
7. "In 1961, weary of ordering a full-scale deployment of troops, President John F. Kennedy sent 18,000 military advisers to South Vietnam." Signing all those orders can be exhausting. (Patricia Rinaldi, via email)
8. "Every product will be at your beckon call with this brush." Can you beckon AND call? (Ellen LeSure, via email)
Two from Kathleen Patricia Egan via email:
9. "Property taxes appear to be the principle reason (for retirees leaving the state). Do taxes violate their principles?
10. "We also offer repelling equipment for the serious rock climber." To keep away pesky mountain insects?
Two from Jo Ann Lawlor of San Jose, California:
11. "(They were) arrested for not promptly disbursing when ordered to by police." Pay up or you're under arrest!
12. "(Professional Santas) are finding work at outdoor shopping centers, which comes with the added challenge of inclimate weather." A result of global warming?
13. "It was ying and yang." Was someone consuming a few Yuenglings? (Henry McNulty, Cheshire, Connecticut)
14. "Cities do not want to pay that exuberant rate to put it (the body of a dead whale) in a landfill." Neither the whale nor the taxpayers are exuberant. (Moreland Houk, Trenton, New Jersey)
1. surmised 2. deposed 3. place a comma after "leftovers" or write "perform composting" 4. failure to obey 5. whine 6. another aisle 7. wary 8. beck and call 9. principal 10. rappelling 11. dispersing 12. inclement 13. yin and yang 14. exorbitant
Rob Kyff, a teacher and writer in West Hartford, Connecticut, invites your language sightings. Send your reports of misuse and abuse, as well as examples of good writing, via email to [email protected] or by regular mail to Rob Kyff, Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.