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We know what you meant, but this is what you said

We know what you meant, but this is what you said

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 8:00 pm
By: By Glenda Caudle

We know what you meant, but this is what you said | Glenda Caudle, Just A Thought

Let’s laugh.
It’s more comfortable for me to snicker at you, but I’ll have to accept a few guffaws aimed at me this time as we explore mistakes and almost-blunders we’ve spotted here at The Messenger.
• This from a meeting notice we received for a local political party. I won’t say which one it was, except to point out they wouldn’t have wanted me there. There were some interesting folks they were seeking out, though, with this notice:
“Please come to an important meeting. All (name of party) are invited to attend. We need young (name of party) and pole workers.”
Now, I know what they were looking for was someone to show up at the election polling places and keep an eye on things as people cast their votes, but when I read this notice, all I could think about is where all eyes would be focused if a real “pole” worker actually volunteered and showed up dressed (or undressed, as the case may be) for the occasion.
• Weddings are sources for such fun. Not only are many of the descriptive phrases used to record the date easy to mistake, but there are so many spelling challenges to deal with. Consider the following write-up that was submitted to The Messenger’s Women’s Editor:
The bride’s gown featured “capped sleeves and a key hold back…”
Clearly, no other young lady could hold a candle to this fair bride, much less a key. We imagine, however, that the writer meant to describe a “keyhole” back, which would form a picture in the reader’s mind of a garment featuring a rear view that had a circular open space with a narrow rectangle beneath it to expose the skin of the back from shoulder to about mid-waist.
Still on the subject of weddings:
The reception menu included “anti pasta.”
It is possible there were guests with a strong antipathy toward noodles, but the more likely explanation is that a wonderful offering of olives, anchovies, salami, cheese, mushrooms and peppers, known as antipasto, was actually provided. The word means “before the meal” and not “opposed to spaghetti” as the two-worded offering suggests.
And then there was this:
“ … the Bible was wrapped with a burlap bough.”
We’ve noted the fancy for “rustic” weddings lately, but we seriously doubt anyone has stuck a copy of the Old and New Testaments in the branches of a tree. What is much more likely is that they tied a burlap strip in a big country-style bow.
And finally, from the celebration related to the wedding:
… guests were served on “heirloom China.”
China, with an uppercase “C,” is a country. We have had no reports of anyone marrying in northwest Tennessee and then taking their guests to the Orient for a big party, although it is possible. We think it far more likely, however, that this couple provided edible goodies on delicate and, perhaps, antique pieces of a ceramic material known as china (with a lowercase “c”).
• The following notice showed up on a Messenger reporter’s desk recently:
“… excepting donations for a local non-profit”
This organization may have been willing to bar or exclude funds — which is what “excepting” means — but we imagine they would much prefer to “accept” them for the worthy cause.
• In a police report on the arrest of a semi-clothed female in a local night spot, the officer mentioned observing the following:
 … condom “rappers” laying in chairs.
None of us pretends to be an expert on the lyrics of rap music, but we’re betting no performer describing himself as a “rapper about condoms” was actually on the premises that night. We think it far more likely there were some wrappers that had once held the product — well, you get the picture, I’m sure. And we won’t even talk about them “laying” in chairs instead of “lying.”
• This one showed up in a story about a new purchase by Samburg city officials and was our own mistake, but we caught it before you saw it. Thank goodness.
“The city bought the half-acre lot near the four-day stop on the north side …”
We know there are times of heavy traffic in that area, but so far as we can tell, no one has ever actually had to sit in their car for anything like 96 hours. Just to be on the safe side, however, approach all traffic signs cautiously in that area the next time you get a hankering to spot a Bald Eagle or eat some catfish and hushpuppies.
• This one was all mine, I must admit. It was a News Note headline that almost made it into print and into our readers’ hands:
“Selling bee planned”
There’s nothing like misspelling a contest devoted to correct spelling. The headline should have read “Spelling bee planned.” Of course. Go ahead. Point a finger and guffaw all you want. I can take it. It’s why they pay me the big bugs.
Special Features Editor Glenda Caudle may be contacted by email at glenda

Published in The Messenger 5.10.13


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