Language Snoopers Nab the Bloopers

Rob Kyff on

Eagle-eyed readers have sent me these mistakes from newspapers and magazines. Can you spot the blots?

No. 1: "The mayor seems unphased by the closed-door policy." No. 2: "They line them up on fireplace mantles." No. 3: "The decrepit buildings at the end of the parking lot would have to be raised." Now that's some heavy lifting!

No. 4: "The rivalry between the two teams has laid dormant for a couple of years." No. 5: "The rooster has a comb and waddle." Is he chubby? No. 6: "Some simple measures could help staunch the spread of the epidemic."

No. 7: "It would only exasperate the situation." No. 8: "This restaurant can also be the sight of your next private party." No. 9: "Don't be surprised if another tournament birth is on her itinerary." Is she pregnant?

No. 10: "The lawyer conspired to commit absentee ballet fraud." Were there calls for his dis'barre'ment? No. 11: "The anthology is also widely used as the principle text." No. 12: "The fire was discovered at 3:30 a.m., but with the help of volunteer firemen the building was completely burned down in 25 minutes."

No. 13: "His theory has been born out by experience." No. 14: "Some moments in American history strike a cord in our hearts." A coronary artery? No. 15: "I ended up delivering (the baby) -- a breach birth."

No. 16: "He owed up to the mistake he made." No. 17: From a review of a food supplement: "I found these to be a great addition to our healthy regiment!" An army marches on its stomach. No. 18: "The movie contains impolite language and double intended jokes."


No. 19: "Working with a Realtor will give you piece of mind." No. 20: "... the industrialist Pennsylvania Dutch" Amish, Incorporated? No. 21: "He was painting for a commercial publication in a serialized manor."

No. 22: "If people scrutinize the guide closely, they'll see that the overarching theme mirrors tenants of strong writing." No. 23: A photo caption: "Glastonbury High School students disembark from their busses to enter the school on the first day of classes." Were their moms kissing them goodbye? No. 24: "(Authorities are) investigating a video that shows a scantily clad woman exciting a fire truck in San Jose before entering the Pink Poodle strip club." A hooker and ladder truck?


No. 1: unfazed; No. 2: mantels; No. 3: razed; No. 4: lain; No. 5: wattle; No. 6: stanch; No. 7. exacerbate; No. 8: site; No. 9: berth; No. 10: ballot; No. 11: principal; No. 12: despite the help? No. 13: borne; No. 14: chord; No. 15: breech; No. 16: owned up; No. 17: regimen; No. 18: double entendre; No. 19: peace; No. 20: industrious; No. 21: manner; No. 22: tenets; No. 23: buses; No. 24: exiting


Rob Kyff, a teacher and writer in West Hartford, Connecticut, invites your language sightings. His new book, "Mark My Words," is available for $9.99 on 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 2023 Creators Syndicate Inc.




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