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For as long as newspapers have been in existence, starting with the first one published in England in 1665, mistakes have shown up in most if not all of them. With few exceptions, none were made on purpose.
My mother was a fine lady who enjoyed reading the daily newspapers throughout her lifetime, yet one of her strangest pleasures was finding mistakes in the paper. She usually underlined the mistake with a pen, cut it out and slipped the clipping into her pocketbook where she carried it for days while waiting to point it out to anyone who would listen.
She always included the statement “I should have been a proofreader.”
This mistake-finding endeavor of hers was not carried out with any degree of malice. Instead, she seemed to truly embrace and enjoy it as if it was a fun hobby.
Therefore, in honor and memory of my mother, the following newspaper goof-ups as found in various recent newspapers throughout the U.S. are provided for your reading pleasure.
They all came directly from the pages of “The Mammoth Book of Humor,” edited by Geoff Tibballs and published by Carroll & Graff Publishers in 2000.
Included are a selection of newspaper headlines and excerpts as found in a mixture of articles.
Among the better headline offerings are:
• “Father should be included in planning for first child.” (Richmond News-Leader)
• “Something went wrong in jet crash, experts say.”
• “Officer convicted of accepting bride.” (Raleigh News & Observer)
• “New study of obesity looks for larger test group.”
• “Santa Rosa man denies he committed suicide in South San Francisco.”
• “Grandmother of eight makes hole in one.”
• “Cold wave linked to temperatures.”
• “Lack of brains hinders research.” (Columbus Dispatch)
• “Blind woman gets kidney from dad she hasn’t seen in years.”
• “Man run over by freight train dies.”
• “Thugs eat, then rob proprietor.”
• “Include your children when baking cookies.”
• “Teenage girls often have babies fathered by men.” (The Sunday Oregonian)
Among the other good ones are:
• “Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Walts of Vendocia are announcing the approaching marriage of their daughter, Carole, to Mr. John H. Buchanan. The couple will exchange cows at 7:30 Saturday evening.” (Delphose Herald of Ohio)
• “Mr. Travis lost a finger when a poisoned dog to which he was administering an anecdote bit him.”
• “According to the complaint Mrs. O’Donnell says her husband started amusing her three days before the marriage.”
• “Dale Martin, an entertainer, has been ordered by a provincial court judge to avoid making anyone pregnant for the next three years.”
• “Miss Hazel Foster’s gladioli garden has been attracting considerable attention of late. She spends many hours among her large collection of pants.”
• “Dog for sale: Eats anything, fond of children.”
• “We note with regret that Mrs. Calhoun is recuperating from an automobile accident.” (Florida Baptist Witness)
• “George Burrell has had charge of the entertainment during the past year. His birth-provoking antics were always the life of the party and he will be greatly missed.”
• “The murder of the man and the finding of the body was followed by a series of tragedies, including the suicide of the murdered man.” (Idaho Falls Times Register)
• “The Sunbeam Band of Central Baptist Church, meeting at ten clock at the church where transportation will be provided to a picnic will be hell in the county.”
• “On July 11 he suffered a stroke but with the loving care of his family and his efficient nurse he never fully recovered.”
• “After Governor Baldridge watched the lion perform he was taken to Main Street and fed 25 pounds of raw meat in front of the Fox Theater.” (Idaho Statesman)
Keith Barnes is a reporter for the Johnstonian News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.