The Language Perfectionist: Cringe Binge — New Funny Bloopers

I’ve long been fascinated by unintentionally amusing mistakes in the media. For years, I’ve sought and saved such howlers, appending snappy comebacks. I’m now assembling my collection into a book. Below are a few recently culled specimens.


  • Women’s health website: “Diary free lifestyle becomes mandatory for anyone who may be allergic to milk or intolerant to lactose.”

(And with a diary-free diet, you never have to eat your words.)


  • Correction: “The Smyrna, Ga., dateline on a page one article Friday about home buyers seeking smaller, simpler homes was incorrectly given in some editions as Smarmy, Ga.”

(Smarmy residents are furious about this mix-up.)


  • Tutoring company website: “Basic social skills and respect for others are essential. socialsklz:-) tools to thrive in the modern world was founded… to equip our children, tweens and teens with these tools to succeed in life….”

(Perhaps spelling should be among them.)


  • Historical novel: “The English captain had escaped in part by signaling a lady he’d bedded through the prison windows….”

(With that sort of flexibility, he should have made his escape earlier.)


  • Letter to editor: “Language will evolve in whatever way people believe best enables them to communicate…. Language will remain uniform and unchanging only as long as it serves the purpose of understanding one other.”

(Too late!)


[Ed Note: For more than three decades, Don Hauptman was an award-winning independent direct-response copywriter and creative consultant. He is author of The Versatile Freelancer, an e-book that shows writers and other creative professionals how to diversify their careers into speaking, consulting, training, and critiquing.]