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Headline howlers

Hilarious examples of when words go wrong

The following snippets are based on real copy that has made it into websites, newspapers, ads and the like. I've only edited them for clarity.

Some great headlines

Troops return back to front

High court to try shooting defendant

Local hero helps dog bite victim

Obesity study looks for larger test group

Grandmother of six makes hole in one

Stolen paintings found by tree

Milk drinkers are turning to powder

2 convicts evade noose: jury hung

Include your children in baking

Some misguided selling

Mixing bowl designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating.

Dog for sale – eats anything, fond of children.

Please don't handle the goods – ask for Kate.

Our new service is unrivalled inconvenience.

You don't get once-in-a-lifetime offers like this every day.

We don't mass produce useless junk – we make it by hand.

Why use another builder and get a sub-standard house when we can do it?

Some interesting ads

Sunday's sermon – 'What is hell?' Come early and listen to the choir practice.

For those of you with children and don't know it, there's an on-site crèche.

What's more beautiful for a woman to wear to a party? My answer, and I'm sure you'll agree, is 'nothing'.

We are sad to announce that Mrs Smith is recuperating from a car accident.

Mr Smith supports societies for the banning of cruel sports, country music and French speaking.

For this passionfruit mousse you can easily substitute banana for passion.

Some interesting reporting

Western women won't find it as restrictive as they think. We just ask they observe local customs and not wear anything above the knee.

Miss Smith performed several vocal solos and a return to instrumental music was greatly appreciated.

The ladies of the WI said the bring-and-buy sale was a great success. Everybody brought something they didn't need. Many of the ladies were accompanied by their husbands.

The man died after several hours waiting for an anecdote.

The fire was extinguished before damage could be done by the local fire brigade.

'Unauthorised leaks must stop' said the MP with a trace of irrigation in his voice.

The pool has rapidly taken shape since the builders threw in the bulk of their workers.

A tapestry was stolen from the church last night. Measuring nine feet by six feet, the thief has police baffled.

Not so funny

Each of these examples would sail through a spelling and grammar check. The lesson here? The importance of reading and re-reading your copy.

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