I have never been able to resist the tee-hee of a really bad howler in journalism. One of the very best I recall came from the cellulose (this was well before newspaper Web sites) of my hometown daily fishwrap. It was a sports story, I have long forgotten what team. The intent of the sentence was to convey how the team’s shortstop hit a lot of triples. Of course the relevant compound word had to wrap to a new line, but instead of reading triples-hitting, the line break and the hyphen occurred one letter too early — creating the awful impression of a player who had taken one two many Ex-Lax.
Today brings another example of the genre. In breaking news, an outfit called Multichannel reported on the decision by the White House Correspondents Association to play musical chairs in the White House briefing room. (In passing, huzzah to the WHCA for recognizing the patently obvious and promoting the overwhelming leader in cable news to the front row, though not the single most honorific chair.) You have to see the unintended editorial commentary on Helen Thomas’s side job and energy status. I’ll say no more….