History Is a Foible Agreed Upon

Rob Kyff on

When, in the course of human events, high school students write American history papers, watch out! Teachers have sent me these delightful bloopers and typos:

"It started a quasi-navel war with France." We were belly to belly, and France blinked.

"Puritans believed that itch craft was the most conspicuous manifestation of Satan's presence." They saw it as the work of Old Scratch himself.

"All the gold in the U.S. was in Fort Knocks." Now THAT's hard money!

"The search warrants were often based on heresy." Wouldn't that violate both freedom of privacy AND freedom of religion?

"Hoover's attempts to stabilize the economy were feudal." In a manor of speaking.

"Under the Constitution, the U.S. was aloud to add lands." Especially Illinoise.

"Women's rights advocates made their voices herd." By stampeding to the polls?

"Franklin D. Roosevelt began giving fireside chants." NRA, TVA! Our New Deal is here to stay!

"Ben Franklin's message is that it's a doggy-dog world out there." Ben was such a wag!

"During the Great Depression, many Americans were in a dior situation economically." They couldn't afford designer clothing from France.

"Here's a synapses of early electronic and communication privacy laws." My brain is firing up already!


"During World War I, Congress passed the first statue to prevent the divulgence of government secrets." The Statue of Dis-Liberty?

"In 1849, people of all kinds flocked to California in search of golf." Were they headed to Pebble Beach?

"The British navy was boarding U.S. ships and seizing crew members they believed to be desserters from the British navy." These escapees loved key "limey" pie.

"The men who delivered short patriotic speeches during World War I were called four-minuet men." Perhaps they danced around controversial issues.

"Luciano was sentenced to one year in jail for possession of heroine." And perhaps for kidnapping?

"One group that opposed the Vietnam War was the Central Committee for Conscious Objectors." They must have refrained from sleep-ins.

"Popular sovereignty would determine weather those territories would be free or slave." The outcome was, apparently, a bit cloudy."

The government had suspected Katz of illegal gamboling." I wonder if he "skipped" bail.

"Public support for capital punishment has dropped, according to a Gallup Pole." Did this Czech the number of executions?


Rob Kyff, a teacher and writer in West Hartford, Connecticut, invites your language sightings. Send your reports of misuse and abuse, as well as examples of good writing, via email to or by regular mail to Rob Kyff, Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate Inc.



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