Saturday, June 18, 2005

I am a huge fan of typos, mishearings, malapropisms, and any other way language can be turned on its ear. Sometimes corrections in newspapers are great sources of linguistic hilarity. Today, there was one in the New York Times:

Because of a telephone transmission error, a front-page article yesterday about Walt Disney's plans to serve shark's fin soup at its theme park in Hong Kong misstated the species of another Asian culinary delicacy, which had been seized by the authorities. It was pangolins, a type of anteater, not penguins.

But that's not nearly as hysterical as another recent New York Times correction:

Because of a transcription error, an article last Sunday in Summer Movies, Part 2 of this section, about the director Don Roos rendered a word incorrectly in his comment about the use of onscreen titles in his film ''Happy Endings.'' He said, ''I love foreign films, which have a lot of signage in them'' -- not ''porno films.''


Debra Hamel said...

My husband pointed that first one out to me earlier. It wasn't the penguin/pangolin thing that amused him most, but rather the Times' euphemistic "telephone transmission error." You mean, your reporter didn't hear the guy right?

gayle said...

Hi Debra! Thanks for writing! Your book sounds wonderful. I cracked up over the "telephone transmission error", too (although the penguin/pangolin mixup was what really got me!)