Friday, 30 December 2011

Mississippi literacy program iss lacking

At first I thought this was a joke.


Nope. 'Fraid not.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A bit of a joke

There are 10 types of people in the world.

Those who understand binary and those who don't.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Interesting typo

Thanks to The Sydney Morning Herald for this article.


The woman's husband paid it?

Sounds like AD208 was the correct date after all.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Santas ' grottostrophe

Spotted in Burnley town centre last Christmas.


Not in the right place. Not an apostrophe. Not even a comma.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Gifts R U'S

When I was walking along the beach in Spain one evening recently, this sign jumped right off the shop front and hit me between the eyes.



The plural of cadeau (which is the French word for gift) is cadeaux, not cadeaus.

If the plural was cadeaus (and I've written it twice now so surely you would have noticed) there would be no apostrophe between the u and the s.

The mistake of inserting an apostrophe before the s in plurals is often made in written English.

But, in French, apostrophes are only ever used to replace a missing letter. There's no such thing as an apostrophe to denote possession in that language.

I wonder what letter the shop owner thinks is missing. The x perhaps?

And why is presents not written as present's? Such inconsistency.

Finally, the shop is in Spain. Why use the French word in the first place?

English, fair enough. Many English people go on holiday to the Costa del Sol. Indeed, many live there.

But it's not as if the place is teeming with French people. After all, they have their own south coast to enjoy. If anything, the word should have been the German for gifts. There were hundreds of Germans there. So Geschenke would be my choice. That would be Geschenkes, or rather Geschenke's, in the shop owner's parlance.

OK, it's beginning to sound like a rant now so I'll stop before it gets out of hand.

But how did I notice the error in the first place?

It's a gift.

Monday, 19 December 2011

No tea for Widow Twankey

Thanks to John H for pointing this one out which he read on MailOnline last week.

An unfortunate typo was published in the Whitley Bay Playhouse Aladdin pantomime programme.

The T was missing from Widow Twankey's name.

Seems like someone at the printers decided to toss it off.

Friday, 16 December 2011

'Ave a Maria

There you were last Monday, casually browsing The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila website, as you do, hoping to find a link so that you could watch the installation of the city's new Archbishop, Luis Antonio Tagle.

You came across this message.

'There will be live streaming of the Rite on www.tvmaria.com and www.quiapochurch.com'

Excellent.


Well, yes, excellent if you chose the second link.

If you chose the first link, however, probably not quite so excellent...


...depending on your inclination I suppose.

But certainly not what you were expecting.

Maria's from Liverpool, by the way, in case you were wondering, and offers hardcore transgender videos and an escort service.

Manila's Catholic leadership has yet to comment on the typo mix up between the .com and .net sites.

I guess they're too busy being enthralled by the bewildering antics of a bloke parading around in infelicitous clothing.

Nah. They're probably watching Maria.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The final cross word

I'm finishing off the current series of acrostics with this article which The Guardian published in July 2011, just after the closure of The News Of The World. It features that paper's final crossword where several hidden messages and keywords were revealed once the puzzle was solved.

The article includes several links to other acrostics, some of which I've mentioned in recent posts.



So, did you spot the hidden message? As the caption says, the message they've 'left'?

No?

Well, I'm not going to spell it out.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Aut-acrostic

Here's another hidden message, this one by the TV presenter James May. It was published in Autocar's Road Test Year Book on 23 September 1992.


If you can't make it out, the red initial letters from each consecutive page, with appropriate punctuation added, read...

So you think it's really good, yeah? You should try making the bloody thing up; it's a real pain in the arse.

Thanks are due to Sarah, aka minervamoon for taking the time and trouble to scan the individual pages and make up the final image shown above.

She says 'I really don't know how they could have missed that before they put it out for publication, though, unless they just trusted him enough not to mess with his own segment. The preceding four spreads spelled out ROAD TEST YEAR BOOK in exactly the same fashion, and even were one not aware of the trick, it just seems natural to keep on reading the red capitals.'

May was sacked as a result of his prank, but only because some eagle-eyed Autocar readers wrote in pointing out the acrostic and asking if they'd won a car for doing so.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Frank Peters 1 John Pifer 0

I'm indebted to Peter Sands for this glorious example of an acrostic and the first one I remember hearing about. Up until now I'd never actually seen the page and I was beginning to think that the story was apocryphal. I'm really pleased to find it isn't.

The events took place at the Darlington-based Northern Echo and they centre around Frank Peters, the night editor responsible for the arrangement of the text on the front page of the paper. I've taken the following details from Sands's blog.

In 1982 a brash Canadian called John Pifer was employed as executive editor by the Echo owners with a brief from head office to 'sort out that nest of vipers'. He managed to upset or sack just about all of the old school. His prized head though was that of night-editor Frank Peters, a martinet who ruled the subs room. Peters sported a handlebar moustache, occasionally wore a kilt, and was a stickler for accuracy and style.

Eventually even the formidable Peters was ground down by Pifer and decided to quit for a position at The Times with his old editor Harold Evans. On his last day in charge, Peters ran a leg of shorts on the front of the broadsheet as usual. But this time the first letter of each headline, when read vertically, spelled out...well, you can see for yourself.


Peters rode off on his moped for the last time, leaving instructions that whatever was changed on Page 1, the shorts had to stay. This alerted the composing room overseer to the fact that something was amiss. He spotted the offending headlines and asked the subs to change them. In support of Peters, they refused.

The fallout was amazing. Letters were sent to The Times advising that Peters was an undesirable. His official leaving party, after working for the Echo man and boy, was cancelled. Those subs who refused to change the shorts were said to have undermined the paper's editorial judgement and were forever tarnished.

Apparently advertisers had been upset and threatened to boycott the paper (although in reality it became a collector's item) and for years later the group's executives would only discuss the whole affair in hushed tones.

Frank Peters died in 2004. I can't find any reference to John Pifer.

Maybe Frank's message had the desired effect.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Hidden message

Monday's post was about the insertion of an inappropriate word into a newspaper article. In that particular case the word was clearly visible, but it reminded me of the more subtle methods that disgruntled journalists have used in order to slip messages through sub-editors' nets.

Acrostics have the advantage of being difficult to spot, especially in the high-pressure, deadline-sensitive environment of the newsroom.

One of the prime examples is Stephen Pollard's parting message to Richard Desmond, the new owner of the Daily Express, in his final, apparently innocuous, editorial in that paper about organic farming.


Difficult to spot, that is, until you've seen it. And then it stands out like a sore thumb.

I have to make it clear at this point that the emboldening of the first letter of each sentence as shown above did not appear in the original article which, unsurprisingly, doesn't appear to be available online.

Unfortunately for Pollard, his acrostic backfired. The Times, the paper for which he was leaving the Express, cancelled his contract as soon as his ploy became common knowledge.

In fact, before he started his new job.

On Friday at 6am there'll be another post. Get it first on Facebook and twitter. The links are at the top of the page.

Monday, 5 December 2011

WTF is that doing there?

For those of you with a sensitive nature, please look away now.

OK. Made you look, made you stare...

A small but significant piece of text somehow popped up in an article which was printed in last Thursday's edition of The Greenville News, South Carolina's daily morning paper.


By the way, someone else has highlighted it, not me. I think it's clear enough without.

An apology appeared on the paper's website later the same day.


So, what's the story here? A disgruntled employee? An intoxicated sub editor?

I don't suppose we'll ever find out but it certainly smacks of axe grinding to me.

I see that the report comes via The Associated Press, the organisation that produces the widely-used AP Stylebook, the reference book on standards used by broadcasters, magazines and public relations businesses the world over. It includes sections on capitalisation, abbreviation, spelling, numerals and usage.

F*ck knows if it includes a section on this issue.

At least Paul Newberry, the AP Sports Writer and innocent author of the article (without the addition), saw the funny side of it.


The next post will be at 6am this Wednesday when I'll be finding a more subtle message than this one in a newspaper article.

Join me on Facebook or twitter to be among the first to see it. The links are at the top of the page.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Men of the cloth

I had to smile when I saw this.



Unfortunately, as with so many critics of other people's typos, the author is not without error himself or herself.

The picture shows a man dressed in what appears to be a medieval tunic. Hardly a "bible times" (sic) outfit. In fact, probably about 1000 years off the mark. And not even, I think, made from muslin.

I take the point and enjoyed the piece.

But stone throwing in a glass house is always a risky business.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

fine art printing for photographers exhibition quality prin

Whisky, Tango, Foxtrot?

I know, I know. But this is the actual headline.

I came across it while trawling for articles about fine art printing. I still have no idea what the site is about.

I believe it's a blog but, judging by the content, it's been created by a loop-pedalling zombie on acid.


Here's a link to the site, if you dare visit. It's not at all pretty.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Connecticut man wins election due to typo

Am I being too cynical or could this only happen in America?

James R Butler ran for office but it's his son, James J who's been accidentally elected.


According to all the reports, James J, the son, has no choice but to remain elected whether he likes it or not. His resistance is hindered by the fact that he shares not only the same address but also the same birthday as James R, his father. So, according to the records, JJ is categorically the one who stood for office and therefore becomes the reluctant winner. Imagine how the news must have affected his poor old dad.

Here's the offending section of the ballot paper.


Having been involved with the printing of ballot papers in a previous life, I can virtually guarantee that this could not have happened in the UK. There are simply too many checks and double checks made on every part of each ballot paper to allow an error like this to slip through.

But, to get back to the story, I wonder what JJ was doing when he heard the news that he'd been elected instead of his old man. Playing golf? Supervising the barbie? Casually watching TV?

An old episode of Dallas perhaps?

The one in which we find out who shocked JR.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

I'm On The Road To Nowhere

Hmm. Five Roads Roundabout.


I'm guessing that the fifth road must take you directly to Hogwarts.

Oh, wait. I'm sniggering because there are only four roads. But actually there are only two, surely?

Wizardry abounds.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Facebook fiend

Another from the Facebook files. This one comes courtesy of Greg L.

Not for the easily offended.


Tempting as it often may be, I wouldn't stoop to such relentless harassment.

Funny to witness someone else doing it though.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Printing error, NI Water? Come off it.

Shame on you, Northern Ireland Water, for blaming your mistake on a printing error.

The picture and text below are taken from an article which appeared in the Belfast Telegraph on 27 October.

Northern Ireland Water is facing another embarrassing blunder after a misprint of its helpline number appeared on leaflets sent to thousands of homes across Northern Ireland.
The new leaflet from the water agency, which provides information about protecting pipes from freezing during the winter, has already caused confusion among some householders trying to ring the helpline.
It provides information on how to protect pipes from freezing, and what to do if your pipes freeze or burst, and forms part of NI Water’s public winter awareness campaign.
Part of the advice is a contact number for its emergency line.
The number given on the inside of the leaflet is missing a digit, and householders trying to use it are met with only a dead line.
A correct version of the helpline number is printed on the back of the flyer.


NI Water has admitted the blunder, but said it won’t be re-issuing the leaflets.
In a statement issued to the Belfast Telegraph, NI Water said the mistake was a 'printing error'.
'This error has been quickly corrected at no extra cost,' it said.
'NI Water would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused with regards this number.'

For the record, the printer (read that as both person and machine) prints only what is set, proofed, read, approved and sent.

What you meant to say, NI Water, is that someone that works for you, either directly or as an agent, made a mistake. Not that the mistake was a printing error.

But you're a corporate. Therefore you naturally pick some anonymous person or machine to blame rather than admitting responsibility yourself. Pah!

Yes, it may have been set incorrectly and it may well have passed through all the internal checks that printers carry out so meticulously. (Just checking, NI Water. You did use a meticulous printer, right?)

But the responsibility for content lies fairly and squarely on the customer or the customer's agent who signs off the final proof.

NI Water. That's you.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Good marketing begins at home

I managed to salvage this email just as it was disappearing into the black hole I call my spam folder.

It seems to me that this organisation, which is marketing its fantastic, accurately-targeted database, should practise a little navel gazing. I'd be surprised if they come up with much more than fluff.

Click to enlarge

For those that aren't aware, my company is actually 'doing business' in the Printing and Publishing sector.

Unless they're counting the wood used in papermaking.

No. That would almost amount to joined-up thinking.

Sorry, Guideon Fischer of exportmaillist.com

Your database? Monumental fail.

Monday, 14 November 2011

With a banjo on my knee

Remember this from 2008? Greg L's latest contribution is an oldie but definitely worth a mention.

For the record, the error was spotted by someone involved with printing.


Interestingly enough, there's no reference to the Council's reaction in the BBC article.

Here's what the Birmingham Post had to say.

Despite the gaffe, council officials have insisted the pamphlet - a second print run of the Recycle: Your Questions Answered - will not be recalled, pulped or reprinted.
The mistake was spotted by Jon Cooper when the leaflet was delivered to his Kings Norton home. The 37-year-old, who works for a Midland packaging firm, said: “I emailed the council last week, after the leaflet came through my door, to draw attention to their mistake.
“I work in the packaging industry and we have to check all our printed materials thoroughly, because if we don’t spot a mistake you can be sure Sainsbury’s or Tesco will, which is why I can’t believe nobody at the council noticed this before the leaflets were sent out.
“I’m a regular visitor to the States, so when I saw that image on the back of it I instantly knew that it was a US city, not Birmingham in the West Midlands, so I 'Googled' it and found it was an image of Birmingham, Alabama.”
Mr Cooper added: “I would have thought the city council would be a bit more bothered about the image that they put out of this Birmingham, especially if it’s going into hundreds of thousands of homes.
“I am sure this was a simple mistake by whoever was asked to find a picture of the city, but who is checking this stuff?”
A city council spokesman claimed there was "no point tinkering with it” and described the offending photo as “a generic skyline picture”.
He added: “The picture on the leaflet is meant to symbolically represent an urban area. Since its first publication last year, the leaflet has been well-received by residents, and is the most requested document to be produced by the Fleet and Waste Management Department.
“Feedback from households has been very positive - the leaflet has achieved its aim of informing citizens about the recycling options, both doorstep and other, that are available to them.
“On a total production run of 720,000 copies, the council has received just one query about the use of a generic skyline picture.”

I wonder if the council spokesman studied at the David Brent Management School. 'A generic skyline picture...meant to symbolically represent an urban area'. Yeah, right. So why not use a photo of Glasgow or Leeds? Or even, dare I suggest, Birmingham? Birmingham, England, that is.

I like the statement that the leaflet 'is the most requested document to be produced by the Fleet and Waste Management Department'. So exactly how many documents does the Department produce? I'm inclined to think that this may well be one of a small number. A very small number indeed.

A very small number such as one, for example.

Apparently, Marketing Birmingham, the agency charged with promoting the city nationally and overseas, declined to comment on the council's case of mistaken identity.

Can't imagine why.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Disorientated after extraordinary rendition 2

The second in the Lost In Unusual Translation series.

Thanks once again to Greg L for submitting these gems from engrish.com and chairmanlol.com




Wednesday, 9 November 2011

WW2, yes. WWII, OK. But WW11?

Here's Don Krasin.

According to the caption, he fought in - and survived - World War Eleven.


Goodness only knows exactly when World War 11 will take place, but it looks like Don came back through the time machine relatively unscathed as well.

Unless, of course, he's only 18.

Monday, 7 November 2011

A klear-kut kase

If this klanger hadn't been raised on Facebook, I wonder when it would have been korrekted.


I like this quote:

This serves as a reminder to all our staff to double-check their work, the Southern Gas spokeswoman added.

Here's hoping the gas-related work they were carrying out was also double-checked.

If not, at least the fire engines won't have far to travel.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Tain't what you do, it's the way that you do it

The headline writers at the Washington Post's Express magazine either know exactly what they're doing or may well have suffered a whole omelette on their faces recently.


I have to own up to a degree of naivety with regard to the headline as I hadn't come across this particular meaning of the word taint before. I must lead a very parochial life and the significance was lost on me until I looked it up.

So thank you, Urban Dictionary, for providing some very funny definitions including the least rude of my favourites "tain't one thing nor the other".

Libya Ferrets Out Gadhafi's Taint.

Ooh er, Matron.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A canny deal in Scotland

Those Scots sure know how to offer a good deal.

Our eagle-eyed Typo Spotter Greg L snapped the fantastic saving to be made on parsley in the Tesco store in Byres Road, Glasgow.

A canny deal indeed.


In fact, a real canny Scottish deal.

As in: Ye cannae see the duffrence.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Savile Row

Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile OBE KCSG. RIP.

Most of us in Leeds loved Jimmy Savile and we were saddened by his death. It won't be the same on the roads and in the restaurants of Roundhay without seeing him around.

There were many people talking about him on the day he died and I was interested to see whether his name was trending on twitter.

I quickly discovered that one of the reasons his name wasn't trending as much as I would have expected was that many people, including (rather surprisingly) BBC Look North's Facebook Page, were spelling it incorrectly: Saville rather than Savile.

It's an easy - and common - mistake to make but one that has irked me a little over the years.

In order to make amends, I tweeted.


I used the hashtags #jimmysavile and #jimmysaville because they were both being used in other tweets. As you can see, it's clear from the content of my message that I know how to spell his name correctly.

While I was looking at the trends, one tweet I came across asked a question.


I replied with an explanation.


A pretty straightforward answer as far as I can see.

But it yielded a somewhat predictable reply.


OK. In all fairness he's making a point in what appears to be good humour. After all, no one likes a smart arse. I didn't reply since antagonism is something I try to avoid.

In my defence, however, I would argue that I tweeted in order to help the correct spelling of Jimmy's name to trend rather than the incorrect one. And to give an honest, clear answer to the question he posed.

I'm pleased to say that JimmySavile did start trending eventually.

So all's well that ends well. Or so I thought.

A little later he tweeted again.


Hmm. Charming. Nevertheless an admirable example of defence via attack.

I'd like to know how he comes to that conclusion. I refer, of course, to my alleged misspelling, not to my state of mind. Though I think I'd be right in claiming that I'm neither of the names he called me.

Anyway, once more I didn't reply as I guessed it would just develop into a playground argument (didn't, did, didn't, did, etc) and prompt more name calling.

At the time of writing, he hasn't tweeted again. I'd like to think (but I don't know) that he's realised his error and has been shamed into silence.

So, if you come across Paul NG Hughes of East Kilbride, aka @poly_uk on twitter, please say Hi to him from me. And you're welcome to elucidate him on my behalf.

In the most polite way possible, of course.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Complete apostrophage

Oh my goodness. Where to start?


I spotted this one, which was displayed in a Brooklyn bar window, over on Apostrophe Abuse.

I particularly like how the 'designer' has dealt with the lack of room for the second L in FOOTBALL.

And after that, it's...well it's just downhill all the way to be honest.

If you see anything like this which you think the rest of us would enjoy, please send it to me at peter (at) mytypohumour (dot) com

I'll always acknowledge your contributions.

Monday, 24 October 2011

It's a fair bet

A fair bet that this is the unfortunate result of using a standard one-size-fits-all message template.

Thanks to Tom L, another of our regular readers, for sending it in.


If you have any similar daft messages or letters which you think others would enjoy, please send them to peter (at) mytypohumour (dotcom)

I'll acknowledge you and / or your web site if and when they're posted.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Canon Helix in Digital Cameras Review. What the...?

Don't let the title put you off. That's the easy part.

If anyone can make head or tale of the rest of this article, I'll...Well here in Leeds we have an expression concerning my backside and Lewis's shop window.

I don't promise to perform that particular act. Besides, it's infinitely more difficult now that Lewis's no longer exists.

But full marks to you if you can decipher any sense at all from what appears to me to be a random array of words.

I can't guarantee that the page still looks the same but here's a link to the original article.

This is the first section of the offending piece as it appeared in Digital Cameras Review on 7 October.


It doesn't improve...


And finally...


Anyone still in the building?

If so, one last thought. What on earth is an article about Web-to-Print software doing in a camera review anyway?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Banging on a big base drum

John H, one of our regular contributors, sent this pearl to peter (at) mytypohumour (dot com)

Please do the same if you see anything you think we'd all enjoy.


It's the first post of a thread he found on the Pearl Drummer's Forum.

As a drummer himself, John feels somewhat disloyal posting something which, in his words, 'belittles drummers'.

It reminds me of one of the many jokes about drummers, often repeated by drummers themselves.

What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend?

Homeless.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Learning kerning

For those of you who know about kerning, you might like to try your hand at this.


And for those who don't, it will help explain what it's all about.

You'll find it here.

Let me know your score. And I might reveal mine.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Disorientated after extraordinary rendition

Or simply lost in unusual translation.

Thanks to Greg L who submitted these beauties taken from chairmanlol.com and engrish.com




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