Выпуск 18

Anguished English

We are going to offer you some extracts from

«Anguished English» by Richard Lederer.

We hope you will enjoy reading them.


«Students Bloopers Win Pullet Surprise»

Ever since, students have demonstrated a remarkable facility for mixing up words that posses similar sounds but entirely different meanings or for goofing* up simplest facts. For example «The inhabitants of Moscow are called Mosquitoes.» Sometimes the humour issued from a confusion between two words. Working independently, students have written, «Having one wife is called monotony.», «When a man has more than one wife, he is a pigamist», «A man who marries twice commits bigotry**».

One student wrote, «Each Thanksgiving it is a tradition from my family to shoot peasants». Reversing a g and q, a young man once wrote, «When a boy and a girl are deeply in love, there is no quilt felt between them». In one of a student essay: «The girl tumbled down the stairs and lay prostitute at the bottom». After reading it the professor commented: «My dear sir, you must learn to distinguish between a fallen woman and one who has merely slipped».

Some other bloopers:

    • A virgin forest is a place where the hand of a man never set foot.
    • Although the patient had never been fatally ill before, he woke up dead.
    • Arabs wear turbines on their heads.
    • When there are no fresh vegetables, you can always get canned.
    • A virtuoso is a musician with real high morals.
    • A passive verb is when the subject is the sufferer, as in «I am loved»
    • Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes, and caterpillars.
    • To be a good nurse you must be absolutely sterile.
    • When you breathe you, you inspire. When you do not breathe, you expire.
    • The human is more intelligent than the beast because the human brain has more convulsions.

Students often revise history beyond recognition:

    1. The Gorgons had long snakes in their hair. They looked like women, only more horrible.
    2. Zanzibar is noted for its monkeys. The British governor lives there.
    3. The President of the United States, in having foreign affairs, has to have the consent of the Senate.
    4. The difference between a king and a president is that a king is the son of his father, but a president isn’t.

(to be continued)



*To goof – to make silly mistakes

** bigotry – the practice of having very strong and unreasonable opinions, especially about politics, race, or religion, and refusing to consider other people’s opinions.