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Misquote of the MonthI seem to have slipped for several months while busy on deadlines. Mea culpa. Here's a fresh one for September, however.
"She [the prairie] ran the gamete from soft lullaby winds to tornados."
"The lawyers were attempting to sew confusion in the jury."
"Tavell was the first person to break out of Mr. Olive, a maximum security prison."
"To her right spread a large room filled with furniture covered in vinyl that looked remarkably like leather sitting on thick blue carpet."
"His crotch was begining to fill his lap."
The Best Sentence of the Year 2005:For my sins of not updating the misquote page for months and months, I give you a special
quotation gift: not a misquote, but the best sentence I read in 2005.
"I woke up with kittens all over my face."
… and now back to your regularly scheduled misquotes, typos, and other howlers …
"… I'm going to need a … detector. Preferably something
"These Grays were not good at covering their facial ticks."
"I jammed the plague to my ear."
" make him the sacrificial oat "
September 199910TH HANGING SINCE JUNE CARRIED OUT ON MURDERER.
(and boy, does his neck hurt ...)
December 1998"Republicans said to be considering a run for president include Texas Governor George Bush Jr.,
son of the former President and Elizabeth Dole, head of the American Red Cross and wife of
the last Republican contender, Bob Dole."
(another reason to use the serial comma -
"The floor-to-ceiling widows of his new office
looked out into a beautifully manicured garden . . ."
nice that he has a garden for them to look at, though.
May 1998"The dismantling of a sacred mandala is supposed to represent
the impertinence of life."
Reporter on a local Fox TV network news station,
regarding the Dali Lama's visit to Boston, and his work in helping
dismantle a sacred manadala made in his honor. (And the word he just couldn't seem to remember is: impermanence.)
March 1997"... maybe I'm in a coma, and all this time
I've really been in a bed in the intensive card ware ..."
-- From an unedited book that will remain nameless.
December 1996"... reports have suggested you may have grown a beard or died your hair."
-- He was obviously dying to dye something!
November 1996"[His] large dark eyes dropped to the ground and he shook his head."
-- Darn, he thought, I hate it when they do that.
September 1996"Fear gripped his gut like an ice-water enema."
--from an anonymous unedited manuscript
August 1996"She was known inside of the beltline as a top political strategist."
Does the author mean "Beltway"? I hope so. Otherwise, we certainly know how this woman got to the top, politically!
Marquee Sign at a New Hampshire Movie Theater:"Pinocchio Striptease"
Who Is He Riding?"[He] walked down the steps . . . to where his brother awaited him, already saddled and mounted."
From an unedited ms. Need I say more? Lesson Number One: make the objects refer more clearly to their verbs or adjectives. No, this isn't from a pornographic manuscript--but it could be in this form!
Headline on the cover of MS. Magazine (vol. 6, no. 6, June 1996)"Honest Talk About Feminisim & Real Life"
--Oops! Do they mean "Feminism"? Just proves that the largest, most important headline is always where the typos show up.
April 1996:"[She] had been sitting in her office on the phone."
--From an unedited ms. (Ouch! I wonder if a rotary phone would hurt more than a push-button?)
February 1996:"The worst part was the way they seemed to be swallowed up by the dessert."
--(Got to watch out for the cannibalistic cakes and pies. Ouch.)
January 1996:Special Silly Quote from the New York Times (c/o a posting from a friend on GEnie). From the back of the TV section:
(third paragraph)--I guess we now know that the NY Times uses electronic (computer-aided) copyediting, and someone doesn't know how to strip out the comments!
December 1995:"We'd . . . hung around in bars where they served sweetened drinks that tended to be populated by sorority girls."
--(I want to know if the little umbrellas help the girls float!)
That's Where I Always Keep Policemen . . . Or, What Happens to Obscure Pronouns"The National Guard officer looked much younger than the policeman under his helmet."
--from an anonymous novel in unedited form
Why Spell Checkers Don't Work"[It is against company policy for employees to be] . . . a member of, or supporting by word, action, or association, any organization that advocates the overflow of the United States Government . . ."
--from an employee manual of a large R&D corporation (emphasis added)
A Very Misplaced Phrase``[The woman] rolled over on the bed and clutched the covers upon which she had made love to her bosom.''
--from an unedited romance manuscript, whose title should remain anonymous
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