Saturday on the Couch – Are you sure that’s what you want to say? 1

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Although to do with books, I hoped a little Saturday On The Couch sidestep might be acceptable.

What I write here relates to the use of words. Books are, after all, assemblages of words, and when the use of those words is appropriate, we read and hopefully appreciate the intended message.

On occasion, though, it takes a bit of clarification to achieve that, especially when compounded by errors in spelling, placement and usage.

I offer a few examples:

I was surprised recently when reading an otherwise excellent book to find a number of ‘schoolboy howlers’.

The book – an entirely serious work on a serious subject – contained many an error in word use, mainly relating to homonyms: “…comparing the show…”, “…poured over the evidence…” and “…cruised slowly passed…” as examples (the last repeated a number of times). I mentioned it to Karen who said she would pass it by the publisher, but wondered if the response might be a case of “…what bad spelling?”

I’m keeping this brief so I can include some photographs I’ve taken in the past few months. Each contains an error that ought to provide something from a bit of a chuckle to a good belly laugh.

I hope you enjoy a slightly different Saturday On The Couch!

The first is simply dreadful spelling:



The second confuses subject and object:



The third is hilarious, and caused by poor alignment of phrases:


I mentioned schoolboy howlers earlier, and doubt Little Johnny could have done a better (worse?) job in writing this last sign!

Do you find the joy in errors as much as John? What’s the funniest sign slip-up you’ve encountered?

John Reid

  1. Don’t kill your wife with work ; let electricity do it. This was an SEC ad from long ago-some will remember what the SEC was ( and the ad ! )

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