Friday, April 11, 2008

Some recent Freudian slippers

I churn out thousands of words a day as part of my job, so it's only natural that I should make a few slip ups. It's amazing how easy it is to slip into saying something quite different by the addition of one or two letters - note how 'appealing', if you change two letters, becomes 'appalling'. Even the most innocuous of words is prone to disaster. Thus yesterday, while typing -


I repeatedly made an accidental slip, omitting the e, causing me to type


Because the transcripts I work with are often about slightly dull but worthwhile subjects like plumbing and roads, I wasn't too surprised to be finding myself working away on a transcript about dams. Or, in the uncommon parlance,


Here, I continually slipped up and started typing


I think I weeded out all the 'weirds' in the end, but you can't be sure; these are the sort of thing a spell check will not weed out, and the human eye may just glance over them. But then, maybe there is just something infernal about the whole subject of human-made bodies of water, anyway. Add one letter to 'dam', and you get 'damn'. Coincidence? I think not! (Oh, all right then, it probably is.)

And then, there was a transcript with a former Army member who kept on using the word


Jointery, I should explain, is an innovation in defence circles. It doesn't appear to have made it into the dictionaries yet, but it means something like 'Joint operations', but there's a formal definition here, and a slightly less formal definition here. The spell check at work didn't recognise it either. It kept on thinking the word was


Which probably wouldn't have made a lot of sense in that transcript.

Of course, it's not too often that you come across a real zinger, a blooper that you'd love to have made. I'm not sure whether I've mentioned it before, but it was a modern transcript of an old ABC news reel about the flooding of the inimitable Adaminaby. (The whole population of the town was effectively moved so they didn't go down with the houses.) Where the original newsreader said,

And these are the men who are drowning Adaminaby...

The final transcript reads

And these are the men who are drowning admirably...

I guess it's just another case of those damned dams. So maybe I should just quit? Quite.


maria said...

You churn out thousands of words a day...?

You write fortune cookie fortunes!

Fantale wrappers!

You're a printing press!

You're an astrologist!

You design crosswords!

You work for 'Wheel of Fortune'!

Oh gosh I envy you, you seem to have the funnest job ever.

Except for the people who get to road test toys and games. I've always wondered which was more fun - writing horoscopes, or trying out every little My Little Pony and rating the pinks and purples and yellows against each other.

I think the Ponies win.

TimT said...

Oh man, writing fortunes for fortune cookies would be a tasty, tasty job. I'd have a hard time stopping myself from eating the product, though.

maria said...

Eating the fortunes or the cookies??

I wonder if they are going to make more edible, tasty fortunes?

I've yet to find a fortune cookie with a little chocolate flavoured sheet inside it, with the words "EAT ME!" printed on it

They tend to be rather flavourless white strips that say things like "A bridge over the river calms unsettled waters" "You shall find many hopes in the sack of unmeasured unburdened worries." or "Every lining has a rainbow at the end, don't despair for the fairy's wings have a four leaf bonsai ahead of them."

Well, similar

Deeleea said...

Adaminaby - came across that word for the first time in January and it took far too long for me to figure out how it ought to be pronounced...

I should have started with admirably and worked my way back...

TimT said...

I still have no idea how the inimitable Adaminaby should be pronounced!

I wonder if Adaminaby harbours any NIMBYS? Any inimitable Adaminaby NIMBYs in the house?

Email: timhtrain - at -

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