Adele Young


Hope you didn’t miss the Holly Belly Boutique

We like to start the new year by looking back at the typographical and grammatical errors that almost made it, and some that actually did make it, into some of Greater Media Newspapers’ publications during the previous year.

This ain’t the “Oprah” show: In a story about local efforts to aid the Gulf areas ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we almost wrote, “South Brunswick has already sent a truck full of supplies as well as gift cars [cards] to the local businesses still standing after the hurricane.”

Cars would have been better, but we’re sure gift cards were most welcome.

Most schoolchildren would love this any day of the week.

“The community notification system can also be used to telephonically notify the entire school population of nonemergency situations, such as snow closings and early dismals [dismissals].”

Sports teams pride themselves on their powerful names: the Attack, the Stingers, etc., but in one Sports Short item, we almost gave a team a doozie of a moniker:

“After falling behind 19-9 after one quarter, the Cougar defense tightened the noose. They held the Scarlet Flies [Fliers] to just 10 points in the next two quarters, while Colts Neck put up 28 to take a 37-29 lead” into the fourth quarter.”

In another sports item, we had equal rights a little confused with perhaps a “Saturday Night Live” skit: “The biggest change in scholastic athletics was the advancement of girls’ sports going from nonexistent to parody [parity] with the boys.”

This never ceases to amuse: “Middletown was approved for a $203,000 award to acquire the 4-acre Fisler tract, located between Church Street and Broadway. The undeveloped parcel … will be maintained as a natural land buffer, said township pubic [public] information officer Cindy Herrschaft.”

Fortunately, had this been published, Cindy, a former Greater Media Newspaper employee with a great sense of humor, probably would have called to thank us for giving her a chuckle.

Most people think football when they hear Penn State. Our editorial assistant was thinking otherwise when she was typing up campus news last spring: “Adam J. Weiss, son of Diana and Jeffrey Weiss of Manalapan, has been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Penn State University, Stage [State] College, Pa.” A college for theater majors perhaps?

Talk about convenient … In an article about kosher wines, we almost wrote: “This generation is more sophisticated, more traveled than other generations. Their taste in wine is different. They like dryer [drier] wines.” Who knew we could make wine right in our dryers!

Quite a load to carry: “Six Flags Great Adventure offers a variety of job opportunities and programs for students. Promotion opportunities, paid internships, student load [loan] assistance, scholarships and college planning coupled with 3,800 employment opportunities prepare individuals for career advancement.”

Most people with student loans would say there’s not much difference between the two words!

And the Word on the Street is …

In our Word on the Street column, we asked, Do you find yourself shopping around to find the least expensive gas?

Thanks to our poor typing, we almost had Diane Smith of Cedar Knolls saying: “I love [live] in Morris County where it’s $3.07 a gallon. I fill up where I work [in Hazlet]. I’ll only get gas here where it’s $2.83.”

Guess she doesn’t think the lovin’ in Morris County is worth the extra few cents a gallon (the way we worded it)!

We also asked this question in our Word on the Street column: Should bear hunting be allowed to control the population in New Jersey?

New Jersey is the most densely populated state, but few would suggest any kind of hunting as a way to reduce our population; actually our housing prices the past few years have been doing a great job of persuading people to leave the Garden State.

Best excuse yet for calling out sick: “Swimming in the creek could cause a staff [staph] infection.”

Cockadoodledoo: “At 7 p.m. the Hindenburg was directed to come in for a landing during a 45-minute break between two major thunder cells. On board were 72 VIP passengers, out of 93 passengers, who were going back to Germany and then on to England for the crowing [crowning] of King George.”

Most royals don’t need much prompting to crow.

Beware the misplaced modifier: In a story about the Keyport Business Alliance Santa’s Workshop for children, we almost wrote: “Decorated with wrapping paper, glitter and plenty of tinsel, Carol Avella pointed out a Christmas tree.”

Actually it was the tree that was decorated with glitter, tinsel and wrapping paper, but we’re sure Ms. Avella would have looked very festive in glitter and tinsel, too.

Sign of the times: Nothing’s more helpful than signs on trains.

“North Jersey Coast Line stations where work has been deemed finished include Belmar, Aberdeen-Matawan, Asbury Park, Hazlet, Manasquan, Middletown, Point Pleasant, Red Bank (addition [additional] signs to be installed soon) and South Amboy.” Soon, subtraction and multiplication signs!

How about those Dixie Chix [Chicks]? The way we were going to spell the name of this band sounded more like a cereal than a country music group.

On one of our front pages, we “teased” to a story inside the paper about a young man who was starring in an upcoming film, noting that despite his major acting rolls [roles], the East Brunswick native hasn’t “gone Hollywood.” Now one has to wonder, are those “rolls” served with butter or jam?

For a good Clause?: Ever since the first “Santa Clause” movie, we have been seeing the Jolly Old Elf’s name misspelled on a regular basis in our stories and photo captions. Perhaps Santa Claus has become a grammarian or an attorney. Anyway, it’s just a matter of time before this gaffe slips into print.

Time travel: In a story about letters a Union soldier wrote home to his sister-in-law who was caring for his children after his wife died, we almost gave historians a gasp with a 1962/1862 date for the story, which thankfully was caught in time.

Egg on our face

We’d like to think that we caught most of our mistakes before they got into print, but we know we didn’t.

The Reformed Church of Freehold asked us to advertise its annual bazaar in our Datebook in the News Transcript, and we sure did give those folks some eye-catching publicity with this item: “The Reformed Church of Freehold will hold its annual Holly Belly [Berry] Boutique Nov. 17-18 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 67 W. Main St., Freehold.”

Someone at the church e-mailed us a good-natured note that it was hoped the mistake would boost attendance: it certainly provided a most interesting topic of conversation!

One of our classified ads told of a “WASHER/DRYER Front Loader. Frigid air [Frigidaire], heavy duty. Excellent Condition.”

But you’d have to think twice before buying a clothes dryer with “frigid air”!

As amusing as this is, it doesn’t top the blooper that made it into print in our 2003 Classified section: SOFA Chip n Dale [Chippendale] style camel back. Down cushion, ex condit.” There isn’t much that Disney hasn’t stamped its brand on, but you have to hope that those cute little chipmunks aren’t hawking furniture too.

Another oops that got in: On the front page of our Independent newspaper, we wrote: “County to expand shuttle but service” instead of “shuttle bus service.” If we’re going to screw up, I’m just sorry we didn’t use the other “but.” Would have been funnier. But there’s always next year …

Adele Young is the news editor of Greater Media Newspapers.