The following is a series of excerpts from a book entitled Anguished English. The book is a compilation of malapropisms and misspellings that have appeared on student examinations at the secondary school level. Here’s a chance for those of us who did not pay attention in school to learn it all once again…

1. “Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies, and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the dessert and travelled by Camelot.The climate was hot and dry so they had to cultivate by irritation.”

2. “In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, threw the java, and hurled the bisquits.”

3. “Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him. Dying, he gasped out the words, ‘Tee hee, Brutus’.”

4. “In midevil times, people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the futile ages was Chaucer. During this time, people put on morality plays about ghosts, goblins, virgins and other mythical creatures.”

5. “It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenburg invented the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.”

6. “The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. Writing at the same time was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton, who wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.”

7. “One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea. Eventually, the Colonists won the war and no longer had to pay for taxis.”

8. “Soon the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.”

9. “Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infance, and he was born in a log cabin he built with his own hands. Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Addresss while traveling from Washington to Gettysburn on the back of an envelope. He also freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation.
On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theather and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.”

10. “Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between, he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Back died from 1750 to the present.”

11. “Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large.”

12. “The nineteenth century was a time of great many thoughts and inventions… people started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Madman Curie discovered radio. Charles Darwin wrote the Organ of the Species. Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers.”

13. “The First World War, caused by the assignation of the arch-duck by an anahist ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.”

Aren’t you glad you now know what really happened?

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10 Comments on Anguished English

  1. Nicholas
    February 21, 2008 at 1:43 am (15 years ago)

    I like those versions better than the actual facts! What a priceless display of malapropisms.

  2. Dorothy
    February 21, 2008 at 5:53 am (15 years ago)

    Too funny!

  3. Kim from Hiraeth
    February 21, 2008 at 6:46 am (15 years ago)

    Oh, I laughed until the tears were streaming down my face! And I’ve seen that before!

    My favorite: Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Addresss while traveling from Washington to Gettysburn on the back of an envelope.

  4. Kristi
    February 21, 2008 at 8:21 am (15 years ago)

    Those are great. I loved the Lincoln one. If I were an English teacher today, I would take those in and have the students analyze them for mistakes and correct them accordingly. That would be a great project.

  5. . . . Dallas Meow . . . . >^^< . . .
    February 21, 2008 at 9:07 am (15 years ago)

    he was very large –

  6. . . . Dallas Meow . . . . >^^< . . .
    February 21, 2008 at 9:07 am (15 years ago)

    he was very large –

  7. The Secret Life of Kat
    February 21, 2008 at 10:34 am (15 years ago)

    Oh, that’s hilarious!!

  8. HomeandHearth
    February 21, 2008 at 10:57 pm (15 years ago)

    ‘Tee hee, Brutus’ = The best mistake ever.

  9. Lisa
    February 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm (15 years ago)

    You know, with the kids I work with I shouldn’t be surprised…but I laughed so hard I spit water through my nose….

    Happy TT!

  10. MondaythroughSunday
    February 28, 2008 at 10:54 pm (15 years ago)

    LOL..thank you for the laugh!!

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