Language abuse…order matters

Posted: January 8, 2019 in Humor, Words
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s Tuesday, so it must be time for a language abuse post.  Today is all about modifiers that aren’t placed in the right place, thus conveying rather different meanings than the writers intended, more fun from Richard Lederer’s Anguished English.  Hang on, because here we go.

No one was injured in the blast, which was attributed to a buildup of gas by one town official.

Yoko Ono will talk about her husband, John Lennon, who was killed in an interview with Barbara Walters.

Plunging 1,000 feet into the gorge, we saw Yosemite Falls.


Two cars were reported stolen by the Groveton police yesterday.

After years of being lost under a pile of dust, Chester D. Thatcher III found all the old records of the Bangor Lions Club at the Bangor House.

Do not sit in chair without being fully assembled.

Here are some suggestions for handling obscene phone calls from New England Telephone Company.

The judge sentenced the killer to die in the electric chair for the second tie.

  1. we have the same town official … but we hope we can survive ;O)))))

  2. Tish Farrell says:

    ‘Do not sit in chair without being fully assembled.’ Advice for life, I should say, Janet 🙂

  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    Each one of these is cringe-worthy!

  4. says:

    Grammar can save lives! Thanks for the chuckle 😊

    • My pleasure. I do love reading things like this, but they drive me a bit mad in real life. So much language abuse around!!


      • says:

        I know. There are some new words creeping into our vocabulary. What used to be eventually is now aventually. There are many more, but that one gets me every time a hear the news. Not only are they bringing us false or unsubstantiated new, but they don’t know how to pronounce the words they’re reading.

      • There are so many mispronounced words and misused words. “Awesome” is one of my favorites. So few things are truly awesome.


  5. Dan Antion says:

    I have to pass this onto my grammar-nerd buddies – thanks!

  6. brainsnorts says:

    can’t tell you how often someone i know says something like this but just doesn’t “hear” it, even after i try to explain.

  7. AggieSoon says:

    I think I can be guilty of a few of these. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I truly enjoy these posts. They are a true commentary. Well selected.

  9. Cee Neuner says:

    Some of these are hilarious. 😀 😀

  10. I’m enjoying this series, Janet. I am a bit worried about the poor farmer…

  11. belocchio says:

    So I’m not alone shouting grammatical corrections to the tv newscaster, or circling corrections in the newspapers or magazines. As a professional writer (i.e. one who gets paid to write!) I call it “lazy writing” . An example how often do you hear this phrase used …. “something went terribly wrong). Don’t get me started. But you have me laughing Janet. Cheers Virginia

    • My mom and I always hear these things. Misuse of “lay” and “lie”, for instance, and so on. Not only is there lazy writing, there’s plenty of lazy talk! Drives me a bit crazy.


      • belocchio says:

        You and your Mom are absolutely right about lazy talk. My gripe is the use of the word “awesome” to describe everything from a cake to a football game. I know, I know – I’m not the grammar police. Cheers Virginia

      • I do often feel like the grammar police but try not to get to irritated. Sometimes I even succeed. 😉

  12. JT Twissel says:

    Hilarious! Especially the first and John Lennon being killed at the hands of Barbara Walters! Thx for the smiles!

  13. These are so funny!

  14. Jet Eliot says:

    Fun and entertaining, Janet, thank you.

  15. de Wets Wild says:

    Remind me never to have an interview with Barbara Walters…

  16. dweezer19 says:


  17. JANE says:

    These are fun… thanks for helping to start the week with a chuckle.

  18. Sherry Felix says:

    I see grammar errors in emails a lot.

    • I do, too, Sherry. I once did a post on putting comma between a person’s name and the rest of the sentence when addressing them directly (as in “Great post, Janet.) When people responded positively, I saw lots of “Great post Janet”, which made me wonder if I’d really made my point. 🙂

  19. happyface313 says:

    🙂 I love them… once again, great examples.
    I’m always learning – from these, too!
    Have a very HAPPY week, dear Janet! 🙂

  20. joey says:

    This would be funnier if correcting these sorta things wasn’t a large portion of my job, Hah! Sometimes there are some doozies though. A lil dangler doesn’t bother me, while other phrasings create a whole new image! 😛
    Great share!

  21. It wasn’t ‘the best of days’ when I read this post, and of course my mood transformed from the joy of reading this!