Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sucking the err out

Sunday morning papers. I've been reading for 10 minutes and have seen the following in print :

  • "they sicked the lawyers on him"
  • "recently released from a Hawaiian hooskow" (referring to jail)
  • "the [name of high-priced hotel] is a favorite spot for the hoi polloi"
  • "and it's still not clear what effect the restrictions will have on we, the media, ..."
  • "he plums the depths of depravity in a new role"
  • "One out of five are overweight..."
  • ''caused him to bear his fangs over that..."
  • ''known as a card shark among his poker buddies"
  • Headline: "Dolphins whistle each others names"

First to post the corrections in Comments here will get a (semi-)fab item from the prize closet. USA readers only (sorry! postage!). And previous winners are eligible.


Anonymous Chris said...

OK, let me try:

- they sicced the lawyers on him
- from a Hawaiian hoosgow
- a favorite spot for the high and mighty (or some other phrase like "rich and famous")
- the restrictions will have on us, the media,
- he plumbs the depth of depravity
- one out of five is overweight
- caused him to bare his fangs over that
- Dolphins whistle each other's names


10:18 AM  
Anonymous smirktastic said...

-not sure
-not sure
-us, the media (or just the media)
-one out of five is
-bare his fangs

today I also read "referendums" and "curriculums" in our Sunday rag. Blech!!!

10:20 AM  
Blogger K.B. said...

1. I suppose the correct form of the first one is "sicced," if it even has a correct form, but I personally would shoot anyone who didn't use "set."
2. "...hoosegow..."
3. Technically speaking, it should be "spot for hoi polloi", but this ignores that, first, use of "hoi polloi" is a hanging offense; and second, if it's a high-priced hotel, why are the masses haunting it? (Is this supposed to have something to do with stalking celebrities?) Put a red line through it and demand it be rewritten.
4. I assume this one is supposed to be some kind of clever allusion to "We, the people"; despite that, it should be "us, the media," but "those of us in the media" would be (marginally) better, or, if you really want to go for broke, just "the media."
5. "...plumbs the depths..."
6. " overweight..."
7. "...bare his fangs..." but this is another cliché whose use should be vigorously discouraged.
8. "...each other's..."

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to go with all of the above, but spell the second one "hoosegow" (delightful origin: Spanish "juzgado," courtroom).--Jim, texmeister2 AT yahoo DOT com ...

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

"...they sicced the lawyers on him..."

"recently released from a Hawaiian hooskow" [I actually see no errors here]

"...the [name of high-priced hotel] is a favorite spot for the hoity-toity..." [hoi pollo means common people; context says they want a term for the elite]

"...and it's still not clear what effect the restrictions will have on us, the media..."

"...he plumbs the depths of depravity in a new role..." [plumbs, not plums]

"One out of five is overweight..."

"caused him to bare his fangs over that..."

"known as a card sharp among his poker buddies" [though card shark is commonly misused]

Headline: "Dolphins whistle each others' names"

10:24 AM  
Blogger K.B. said...

A trip to Wikipedia later: Oh, I'd never heard "hoi polloi" used to mean "the rich and famous." Very well, it should be "spot for hoi polloi,", or "haunt of hoi polloi," or better yet, "haunt of the rich and famous."

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops ... my comment referred to the first one posted (Chris's).--Jim M.

10:25 AM  
Blogger K.B. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:32 AM  
Blogger K.B. said...

Correcting myself...

In the "card shark" fragment, I suppose it technically should be "card sharp," but inasmuch as it's bad writing anyway, I think the use of "card shark" is one of the rare cases where a corrupted metaphor is as illuminating as the "proper" form or perhaps even more so.

(I thought the error was "among" for "amongst", but a trip to my dictionary has informed me that this is a usage difference.)

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

I'm not a native speaker, but acc. to my dictionary, "hoity-toity" is a derogatory term. There is an interesting usage note regarding the article at

Also, my dictionary also allowed for "sicked" as well, although I usually see it only written as "sicced".

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Also, the same dictionary gives both "hoosegow" and "hoosgow". Interesting etymology though...

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Number three should be "hoi aristoi," as I learned from Scott Westerfeld's fun book So Yesterday.

12:48 PM  
Blogger SuperHolmie said...

Hell! I read your page at 2am and just now checked back... are you stealth, or what?

1. sicced
2. hoosgow or hoosegow
3. hoity-toity
4. the media. Ditch the possessive. But if you're going to keep it, I guess change it to us, the media.
5. plumbs
6. is overweight
7. bare
8. card sharp
9. If it's a headline, shouldn't it be capitalized? And, each other's names.

1:19 PM  
Blogger gigi said...

for the third one, are you referring to ska band Oi Polloi?


3:07 PM  
Blogger Gene said...

1. sicked -> sicced
2. a Hawaiian -> an Hawaiian
3. hoi polloi -> refers to common people. I suspect the writer meant "Republicans". :-)
4. we, the media -> us, the media
5. plums -> plumbs
6. are overweight -> is overweight
7. bear -> bare
8. among -> amongst
9. each others -> each others'

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Interestingly, both hoosegow and the slang term 'the jug' come from juzgado. I won't post the corrections again, as I can't see the point once they've been correctly identified (as I believe kb was the first to do).

3:05 AM  
Anonymous GPO said...

Yep, reading the newspaper these days never fails to bring to mind a little rhyme I once read...

I have a spelling chequer
It came on my pea see
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea

Eye ran this poem threw it
Your sure real glad two no
Its very polished in its weigh
My checker tolled me sew

(from the Spellchecker Song)Author Undetermined


8:21 AM  
Blogger J said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:34 AM  
Blogger J said...

- Journalists
- Watch
- Too much
- American Idol
- And drink
- Too much
- Vodka
- To be bothered with
- Proper grammar

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Ingrid said...

The Hoi Polloi are the ordinary folk! What are they doing at (Ritz Carleton, Four Seasons, St. Regis, The Plaza, etc.)?


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