вторник, 12 июля 2011 г.

125. What's a blooper?

"Blooper" is an embarrassing mistake or a blunder. The word is mostly referred to the times when a TV host makes a stupid error that causes laughter or embarrassment. One of such memorable bloopers was a quote from a famous Perestroika-era talk show that "There is no sex in the USSR..." [1].

The origin of the term, however, comes from baseball (as, in fact, many other American idioms do) and refers to a "fly ball missed by the fielder" (see the illustration). However, a "blooper" may also be a definition of a radio receiver that interferes with other broadcasts.

Richard Lederer, a teacher, writer, and humorist, wrote a book entitled "Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose." He illustrated his points with funny student bloopers, one of which became quite popular and has been widely quoted. Read it below and see how many bloopers you can count!

"Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, "In onion there is strength." Abraham Lincoln write the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. He also signed the Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the ex-Slaves citizenship. the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career."