Sometimes you find a treasure in unexpected places — like an overlooked or somewhat forgotten book on a dusky shelf just waiting to become your new friend. Such was the case with Anguished English – An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon our Language by Richard Lederer from 1987.
I spent a delightful afternoon visiting its 177 pages of tortured, teased, and tormented text of brilliantly blundered bloopers and inspired gibberish guaranteed to have you laughing out loud.
Below is a sample of the many ways to easily mangle and confuse words (and readers) within written communication.
A word by any other spelling – Student attempts with similar words
- The amount of education you have determines your loot in life.
- Adolescence is the stage between puberty and adultery.
- Having one wife is called monotony. When a man has more than one wife, he is a pigamist.
- Wyatt Burp and Wild Bill Hiccup lived out West
- Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.
- H2O is hot water. CO2 is cold water.
Buy it now! Not quite the whole truth in advertising
- Dinner Special – Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00.
- Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.
Not perhaps the best job description
- Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel.
Church Bulletins with best intentions
- This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. White to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
- The choir will meet at the Larsen House for fun and sinning.
- For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
- The women included their husbands and children in their potluck suppers.
Poorly placed typos
- The spacious home of Judge and Mrs. Clayton was the scene of a beautiful wedding when their youngest daughter, Carol was joined in holy deadlock by Mr. Fox.
- Our paper carried the notice last week that Mr. Oscar Hoffnagle is a defective on the police force. This was a typographical error. Mr. Hoffnagle is, of course a detective on the police farce.
Headlines – Short and interesting
- MEN RECOMMEND MORE CLUBS FOR WIVES
- SQUAD HELPS DOG BITE VICTIM
- LAWYERS GIVE POOR FREE LEGAL ADVICE
- JUVENILE COURT TO TRY SHOOTING DEFENDANT
- CALF BORN TO FARMER WITH TWO HEADS
“The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.” George Bernard Shaw. Enjoy the book!