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Blunders And Bloopers In Print

May 22, 2008
By Joyce Schenk
From time to time, I stumble across something in the print....newspapers, advertising, a newsletter....that gives me reason to chuckle.

It’s amazing how we humans can screw up something as straightforward as a simple sentence.

Or, how we can abuse those little marks we use for punctuation.

For instance, yesterday, my friend, Sandy, gave me a newsletter she received from a local society for plant fanciers. The creator of this club communication loves the attention-getting exclamation mark. In fact, in the three-page document, she liberally sprinkled a bumper crop of 31 of the sentence enders.

And, to call special attention to one of the questions she posed, she popped out a trio of question marks.

I guess she REALLY wanted to know the answer to the query.

But, punctuation aside, there are so many other goofs in newspapers I can seldom get through one without finding reason to laugh out loud.

So, with this in mind, I’ve dug back into my files....I’ve been gathering these for many years....and here are some errors of interest to our area readership:

A column on nature told of the lovely summer visitor to the county, the goldfinch. However, a goof at the keyboard recorded, instead, the thrill of “Seeing a GOLDFISH bathing in a puddle on a paved street....”

A Jamestown Post-Journal story from long ago told the financial situation at the Mayville landfill. The report said the landfill deficit was “down from the $4.00 a day it was losing in early summer to $1,025 a day in August.” And we think the economy is in a bad way NOW.

In a report from the Health Department in Mayville some years back, the director of environmental services for the county reported on training programs to “pass on information to owners and FOOT handlers in the restaurant business.”

An old news item in the Post-Journal described a boat mishap on Chautauqua Lake. Fortunately, the fishermen involved were able to “paddle toward shore with makeshift ROWS.”

Another PJ photo story included underwater pictures “taken on the author’s scuba diving trip to Grand Cayman Island NEXT YEAR.”

I guess the bottom line is this, folks: don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers!! (Except, perhaps, this column.)


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