I enjoy idiots, up to a point. Watching something like Fox & Friends can be as humorous as watching an old Three Stooges short, if less intellectually stimulating. But only up to a point.
(Hilariously, as I started writing this, Green Day’s song “American Idiot” started up on the random playlist I’m listening to).
But I wish the idiots weren’t so prevalent, particularly at the voting booth, but also on the Internet. As a writer, a reader, a person who values clear thought and knowledge, and an educated guy, I’m often appalled at what I see passing for communication among my fellow citizens.
A while back, I started collecting bits of idiocy I came across online. Now, I’m not talking about net-speak or texting shortcuts, or even persistent spelling stupidities like using “villian” instead of “villain.” I’m talking about people using words and phrases that don’t work the way they think they do.
I haven’t bothered sourcing these. My intent isn’t to embarrass anyone specifically. But my sources range from comments left on blog posts here and there all the way up to the Gray Lady herself, The New York Times.
I haven’t bothered with anything from the brain of George W. Bush, as the only torture he practiced that was more egregious than that he practiced on human beings was that he practiced on language. He’s in a class all by himself.
I’m going to break my collection up into serialized posts. I’m posting this stuff for two reasons: one, to laugh at the gaffes of those who can’t be bothered to make sure they’re saying what they think they’re saying, and two, to encourage anyone reading to please bother to make sure. Especially if you’re presenting your work as even semi-professional, much less professional, writing.
Now, onward to the flubs and gaffes. Can you identify them all? Continue reading