Thursday 9 April 2015

Howlers 12

Sam and Dave Cameron may be privileged, but they’re hardly “chinless wonders”, as somebody called them.

Arc Deco (Art Deco)

a blouse in cool creap (crepe)

It was written in Egyptian hydroglyphics.

Sliver ye timbers! (It’s “Shiver my timbers!” as in “shatter my planks”.)

post hawk, propter hawk (or talk), argumentum ad homonym (from Neal Whitman @literalminded)

I consulted the oricals. (oracles)

The genii was out of the box. (Genies usually live in bottles. It was the evils of the world who lived in Pandora's box.)

Have a looksy. (look-see)

From a bygone ear. (era)

The fires of our love are nothing but dead ambers. (embers)

It rang the death knoll. (knell)

O’Say Can You See (BBC iplayer site)

The singer was a real pre-Madonna.

They pulled off a real coupe. (coup, pronounced “coo”)

His explanation was inchoate. (incoherent)

The prices were draw-dropping. (jaw-dropping)

the strong arm of the law (BBC continuity. The arms of the law are usually "long".)

the tricoleur of revolutionary France (Times, March 2015. It’s tricolor or tricolore. Why not tricouleur? It just isn’t.)

There are about 600 million fossils proving creation. We keep asking them to show one fossil to prove evaluation and they fail to do it. (@harun_yahya)

a soluble but determined Irishwoman (Andrew Billen, Guardian. Surely “voluble”. His stuff is always full of typos. Does he phone it in?)

I take it to task, on behalf of all the other introverts, to share with you some little known facts about us. ( I take ON the task. “To take someone to task” means that you tick them off. But thanks, anyway!)

a perfectly coiffered hairdo (Mail, coiffeured) Euphemia has gone down for posterity as the possessor of the most famous pubic coiffeur in our history. (Times 2014-08-23. A coiffeur is a hairdresser – what they produce is a coiffure. And shouldn't that be "to posterity"?)

Football is occupying an uncomfortable moral ground. (BBC News. Try "in an uncomfortable moral position".  In a battle, whoever has the high ground has the advantage. That's why people try to occupy the moral high ground, metaphorically.)

Tattoos were once the preserve of sailors, prostitutes and criminals... Now they are most likely to be found daubed onto the skin of Britain’s middle class. (Times 2014-08-02. You daub paint onto a canvas – thickly, with a brush. Tattooing is more like etching or engraving.)

Bob Fosse cut open a new vein in Broadway dance. (Times caption, July 2014. When you “find a new vein” in any art or enterprise, you’re imagined to be mining a new vein of gold, not bleeding someone to death.)

A letter to the Times complains you can’t smoke a pipe in the street on a 10-minute cigarette break. “This may go some way to explaining the lesser-spotted pipe smoker. That, and the sniggers I seem to elicit from passers-by.” (Lesser-spotted doesn’t mean “rarely seen” or “vanishing”. A Spotted Woodpecker has spots. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is the smaller version.)

More here, and links to the rest.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely - some of these are positively poetic, though not the Fosse, which gets a 'what were they THINKING?'