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When Words Fail Us

Everyone, no matter how well educated or gifted in his or her use of the English language, will at times reach for a word and grab the wrong one. Because so much of what we do at snopes.com involves staring at the written word day in and day out, we've pulled together a collection of online linguistic misfires we found particularly entertaining. (Hey, we spend our days staring at computer screens. It doesn't take much to amuse us.) Some of these howlers were clearly instances of wrong words being chosen in place of similar-sounding right ones, but others were just as clearly the result of common phrases having been misheard by those who later tried to put them to use.

This is our collection of mangled English, as lovingly gleaned from the Internet over the past few years. We present it not because we're incapable of making equally side-splitting mistakes, but because sometimes the most innocent of remarks proves the funniest.

From the "It was collated too" file:
Only after he realized we caught him red handed, he told me the entire sorted story of why he did what he did.
From the "Once the chickens have flown the coop" file:
I have my company attorney trying to get in touch with her to re-coop my foolish and negligent loss.
From the "Global affairs" file:
... and they have this world wind romance.
From the "He might not be much to look at, but at least he's honest" file:
Once I open the door to the room, she was in my arms, legs around my waste.
From the "Kinkos or Kmart?" file:
Man ... I'm really starting to love this game! It's kinda like the girl next store.

From the "When one of those half-hearted gals just won't do" file:
But for all intensive purposes she has a good reputation and the gents who see her adore her.
From the "Las Vegas offers three-play, five-play, ten-play, fifty-play, and hundred-play video poker, but some people still aren't satisfied" file:
There was no four play so I was not feeling very turned on.
From the "Too much Wonder Woman will do that to you" file:
The autopsy revealed that Kevin had died from a heroine overdose.
From the "Fear of wild drumming" file:
What if someone in your household called this number? Will there be negative percussions?
From the "You mean there was vanity before the Material Girl hit the scene?" file:
She has a pre-Madonna complex.
From the "It's slippery and expensive" file:
I heard that if you played Stairway to Heaven backwords, it says something about Satin.
From the "Some parents just don't want to be eaten" file.
I remember haveing some fight with my mother and father one night along the lines of they are not being fare.
From the "And they want secretaries and file clerks too" file.
We are having to support and supply all their medical needs when they end up getting aides.
From the "Fishy come-on" file.
Yes, YOU are a beautiful woman ... both the outer person and the inner sole.
From the "No wonder his socks have holes in them" file.
I used to search my house high and low looking for secret passages. Not even a laundry shoot.
From the "What would you say to a little duck?" file.
I believe that all fowl language should be banned from all T.V. and Movies.
From the "Vegetables sneak in everywhere" file.
The email was full of carrots so I cleaned it up and got rid of all forwards and list of names attached.
From the "Ancient Rome takes over America" file.
I think it's pretty pathetic that our children can NOT even say the pledge of the legions in our schools today.
From the "Cotton the act" file.
Is it true that Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, has converted to the Muslin faith?
From the "Duty be damned" file.
Rumor about consuming energy drinks causes testicles to shirk. Is this true?
From the "Presidential fight club" file.
Is there any truth that Obama has duel citizenship and does not qualify to be President?
From the "Everyone grieves in his or her own way" file.
I balled for hours after my dog died.
Last updated:   13 November 2014

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