Wretched English

(a collection celebrating the unlimited potential of the
English language for being unintentionally amusing)


institute Sesquiotic

Scam letter



The full collection (please send more)

A new twist on an old scam


The latest additions to my collection:

Typo in a local community weekly newspaper, in the Police Blotter section:
At 3:14 a.m., a man was observed operating a vehicle in an erotic manner.
[Rosemary Tanner]

The Alberta Government announced approval for overnight stays in a particular private medical clinic. The announcement was accompanied by several PDF files, one of which was the minister's criteria for assessing these kinds of requests. The file was named
[Jon D. Brehaut]

Typo in a recipe transcription:
Stew for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes, their juice and the sock.
[James Harbeck]

Further down in the same recipe:
Or make a mound of rice in each owl and spoon the soup around it.
[James Harbeck]

From the June 2002 issue of Vintages, the LCBO's monthly magazine of wine news and reviews:
Château Montelena is the winery that started the California wine craze when they shocked the vinous world by winning the legendary 1976 blinding tasting in Paris.
[I'll bet they were shocked (as they groped their way to the door!). —Diana Tyndale]

From a blurb in the program for an event honouring athletes:
...his dog-eared perseverance...
[ Don't you smile at the mental image that conjures? —Anne Judd]

On the packaging for a metal odor-removing disc from Starfrit:
Efficient – economical – unusable
[Cheri Frazer]

Headline from the Globe and Mail online:
Talks cancelled after suicide bombing re-scheduled following Palestinian leader's denunciation of terror
[So, what was rescheduled? The talks? Or the suicide bombing? —Warren Harbeck]

From an ad in Time magazine:
Istanbul is a city of dozens of uncounted mysteries.
[James Harbeck]

From a box for an office appliance:
Hand shredder
[I don't plan on shredding many hands, though I think it will work well on paper when I turn the handle. —Dawn Hunter]

The nutrition information from a 120 gram package of Nong Shim Neoguri Udon:
Protein 9.42g
Fat 16.9g
Carbohydrate 78g
Sodium 2185g
Potassium 253g
[Do you suppose I should see a doctor before eating that much salt? —James Harbeck]

From a health article:
women of childbearing potential should bake reliable birth control methods
[Hmmm... I guess this would be the Martha Stewart method. —Trish Rawn]

Instructions for a baking contest:
Cover your baking with plastic wrap and indicate your name (and if it contains nuts).
[Cheri (nuts) Frazer]

Sign on an otherwise unmarked door down a corridor in a small Toronto threatre:
[Lee d'Anjou]

Headline from a CP article in the Calgary Herald:
Cop assigned
to guard PM
charged with
drug dealing
[After I wondered which PM had been charge with drug dealing, I read
the first sentence of the article:]

A Halifax RCMP officer charged with drug trafficking was headed to Ottawa to become a bodyguard for the prime minister before he was arrested, a TV news program reported Tuesday night.
[By then I knew who had been charged with drug dealing, but I had to read on to be sure no prime minister had been arrested. —Patsy Price]

Topic for a meeting of the Alberta Association for Teachers of ESL:
Enhancing Stress in the ESL Classroom.
[Steve Roney]

From a health news article:
Research has shown that at least half of the time couples have difficulty conceiving, a male component is involved.
[James Harbeck]

Headline in a Perth, Ontario, newspaper:
Perth's water continues to pass
[Sally Noonan]

A hand-written ad for a seminar at a psychology conference:
"Neurotic conflict resolution by eating disordered women."
[So far as I know this methodology has not caught on widely. —Michael Rowan]

The washing directions on the hang-tag of a scarf:
Something Separately
[I can almost envision the Korean manufacturer on a bad phone line to his cousin in the States confirming what should go on the tag: "What Separately? —M. Wlochal]

Subject line of a spam:
Attract Men with Bigger Breasts!
[Not usually what I look for in a man... —Riça Night]

Subject line of a spam advertising toner for printers:
boner supplies
[James Harbeck]

From a packet of Chinese snacks:
To Agitate Family
[Actually, in Chinese, it means that this snack will bring excitement to anybody who eats it. —Olyvia Wangsa]


Further submissions are invited. Please send them to seamus@harbeck.ca.