Saturday, July 31, 2010


Each Saturday morning, I receive an e-mail from one Michael Quinion, who maintains a fascinating website called World Wide Words. Its sub-head tells us what it's all about: "Michael Quinion writes on international English from a British viewpoint." The weekly e-mail is always a fun read, but the department I enjoy most is the one titled Sic!, and I am taking the liberty of quoting it verbatim today. If you get at least one smile from this, then may I suggest you sign up for the newsletter here. Enjoy!
  • The July issue of the British magazine Juke Blues had an article about the soul record producer Willie Mitchell. Its first sentence read, "Born on 1 March 1928, in Ashland, Mississippi, the Mitchell family moved to Memphis, Tennessee when Willie was just two years old." "What an odd family," commented Reinhard Fey. "Parents and children born on the same day."
  • The website of the Courier-Mail of Brisbane on 26 July headlined a story thus: "Motorbike rider killed after hitting 170km/h before slamming into car and crashing through sound barrier." Thanks to Colin Burt for spotting that. Sound must travel slowly in Brisbane.
  • Chuck Crawford, in Louisville, Kentucky, could hardly believe his ears when a weight-loss-regimen company ran an advert on TV for its meals. A supposedly happy woman gushed: "The first meal I tried was delicious, and I found that each one was better than the next!"
  • The International Edition of the New York Times reported on 25 July on a combined South Korea and US naval war game, quoting Kim Yong-hyun, a North Korea analyst: "North Korea will try to fend off the mounting joint pressure from the United States and South Korea by retching up tensions in stages."
Oh wotthehell - these are fun. Here's last week's Sic!:
  • Helen Thursh spotted a headline on 15 July in the News-Gazette of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Inspections had turned up problems at same-day surgery clinics: "Reused devices, tainted sanity areas among lapses seen at 22 of 29 facilities inspected."
  • A sign, says Ray Neinstein, that's posted conspicuously in three places at Ralph's Ice Cream in Glen Head, New York, announces that "coupons will only be accepted a week after their expiration date."
  • Monday’s Yahoo! News, Gary Christian notes, had an article headed "WWI troops found in mass grave reburied in France". It reported, "The ceremony was attended by Prince Charles, wearing a grey suit hung with military decorations and top Australian officials."
  • Stephanie Stapleton, who lives in Florida, found this AP headline on Thursday: "Georgia man sentenced to life in Maine." She wrote, "The weather's bad there, but is it that bad?"
Thinking about it, I'm going to add the link to the weekly Sic! to my link list on the left, at least for a while. That way you have easy access to it. Have an example to contribute? You know where the comment link is!

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