Funny Images Conjured up by Web Comments

By Maeve Maddox

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Sometimes I’m more amused than annoyed by spelling errors and incorrect word choices that I see in blogs and comments.

Here are a few. Let your imagination soar!

1. Looking for a laptop for my mother… she only needs a bear-bones laptop.

2. Someone said this to me one time and I balled my eyes out.

3. …his scarlet bishop’s cossack and cap.

4. The boy [who had been beaten] had whelps on him.

5. He hears a disemboweled voice.

6. The cowboy was rounding up the doggies.

7. The crust of my interest is World War I.

1. bare-bones – adjective meaning “essential.” a laptop with only the most essential features.
bear-bones – the skeletal structure of a bear (an animal of the family Ursidae).

2. balled – formed into a ball. We can speak of a “balled fist.” Yarn can be balled, as can little bits of wool on a sweater.
bawled – past tense of bawl, to cry out loudly. The word may come from an Icelandic word for the sound cattle make. Related to bellow.

3. Cossack – originally a member of a Russian military elite; a distinctive item of their uniform was a tall fur hat. Figuratively, a “cossack” is an authoritarian figure that uses any type of force to control others. The character Chekov in the original StarTrek series was fond of calling people he didn’t like “cossacks.”
A cassock, on the other hand, is a clerical garment, a long close-fitting tunic reaching to the feet. This is what the bishop probably had.

4. A whelp is the young of a carnivorous animal, such as a wolf cub or puppy. The word called for in this context is welt.
welt: a raised area, ridge, or seam on the body surface (as from scarring or a blow).

5. disembowel: to take out the bowels of, eviscerate. This is what the word “drawn” refers to in the expression “hanged, drawn, and quartered.” The word this writer was reaching for was disembodied.
disembodied in this context means that a voice was heard, but its source could not be seen.

6. doggies – a child’s word for dogs. Ex. Look at the Mother Doggy and all the little doggies!
dogy (also spelled dogey and dogie) – a motherless calf in a range herd.

7. crust – the hardened exterior of something. It could be a pie crust or the earth’s crust. The speaker probably intended to say crux.
crux – a word derived from the Latin word for cross. A cross, as we know, can be a tool of torture and execution, but its shape is also suggestive of a central nexus, like a crossroads. Both ideas contribute to the meanings of the English word crux:

1 a. a puzzling, confusing, or difficult problem : an unsolved question
b. a determinative point at issue : a pivotal or essential point requiring resolution or resolving an outcome
2. a main or central feature (as of an argument or plan)

Please share your own examples of misused words that conjure up funny images.

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17 Responses to “Funny Images Conjured up by Web Comments”

  • –Deb

    Eep! This sort of thing drives me nuts because the malapropisms ARE funny, and yet . . . how can people not know these things?? It’s worse to try to sound smart and fail miserably than to stick to the basics to begin with.

    (Although the “doggie” one I can understand–I’ve even seen that song lyric–you know the one, about “get a long, little dogie”–spelled with two G’s, so I’ll let that one slide.)

  • Vicen

    I “stick to the basics”. About #7, “The core of my interest is world war I”.

  • Norina


  • Chris M

    I always wondered what bishops did when they weren’t in worship.

    I wonder what a disemboweled voice actually sounds like.

  • PreciseEdit

    I came across this one today. While not a misuse of words, per se, this statement probably doesn’t mean what the writer intended:

    “It is with great pleasure that we announce the retirement of Dr. Gene Davis.”

    What it means: Oh, boy. We sure are glad she’s gone!

  • MidnightMarauder

    I know exactly what you’re talking about! Such mistakes can change ones address! e.g. the road i live on is Mount Mary but we get letters addressed to residents of Mount Merry/Marry/Mery!!!!!

  • Bill

    You’re probably right, but I like thinking that his scarlet bishop had a Cossack.

  • Joshua

    I love these! To me it’s almost like word play.
    A good one:
    “The guitarist picked up his instrument and plaid his heart out.” I think it’s supposed to be “played his heart out.” I prefer to hound’s tooth my heart out…

  • goinglikesixty

    Dogey! I didn’t know that! I read that sentence over and over looking for the error. Yay! 10,000 brain cells reactivated.
    10 Q

  • Mari

    I have friends who say “that doesn’t jive with me,” which of course isn’t proper. I never correct them, though I want to! LOL

  • Anna

    One of my students wrote, “In this doggy-dog world, competition is terrible.”

  • Cort

    I also love these and have a number of favorites from my newspaper editing days.
    “He was hoping to pass mustard.”
    (That might be both difficult and extremely painful.)
    “They used rod iron for the fence.”
    “He said it was his cross-eyed bear.”
    (I guess we all have demons, and crosses we must bear.)
    And my all time favorite…
    “The death rate was 100 percent for those fatally struck.”

  • Maeve

    Your comment was the first thing I read on line this morning and it started my day off with a good laugh. Love them all. Especially the cross-eyed bear.


  • skool dropout

    its better to look a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it

  • Stephen Thorn

    Oh, things like this drive me nuts! I can’t help but want to slap some boneheads and say “Spell Checker is NOT REALLY YOUR BEST FRIEND! LEARN HOW TO PROOFREAD!”

    Unfortunately, such errors aren’t confined to blogs written by semi-literate, drug-addled, narcissistic toadies still living with their parents while pretending to look for a job. You can find gaffes in any media. In my state the Dept. of Health keeps hauling out a public-service announcement every year during flu season, even though the spot has adequate evidence of idiocy in it. The ad says you can get the flu by coughing, kissing, holding hands, talking, etc. — which is patently untrue! You get the flu by being EXPOSED TO THE FLU VIRUS, which can happen through the afore-mentioned routes of transmission, but if you were isolated in a germ-free environment and talked, coughed, laughed, sneezed, or whistled Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata all day and night you wouldn’t catch the flu because you did those things!

    I have many other examples I could cite, but you probably already wish I’d shut my yap. (grins)

  • Paul

    As a medical transcriptionist, I get a lot of these, to wit:

    The patient did not feel well and eventually past out.
    The patient had tacky-cardio (tachycardia).
    Al’s Heimer disease.
    Tylen Oil (Tylenol).
    I do proof ’em (Ibuprofen).
    cat scan vs CAT scan (Did not know you could scan a cat).

    And many more…

  • Dale A Wood

    “Star Trek” is ALWAYS spelled with the blank in the
    middle, and it always has been since 1966 and earlier.

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