A mangling is a really obvious master stroke to liven up Men in ...

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A WORD IN THE HAND: BLOOPER

A mangling is a really obvious master stroke to liven up Men in White

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Journalist

Have you ever said something you wished you could take back immediately? I’ve often longed for one of those memory-erasing flashy-things from the Men in Black movies because I, like many others, am horribly prone to these attacks. I find myself constantly insulting short-tempered dwarves and oversensitive fundamentalists, or simply sounding like a clot.

When it comes to clotness, the burning shame one feels after asking, “How long is the Midmar mile?” is bad enough when just one person heard you say it. Making a donkey of yourself on radio or television must be far worse.

People like Boris Johnson are no doubt used to this (and you have to give Boris some credit for at least turning prorogation into a household word) but other celebrities probably feel even worse than we mortal beings do when they make a huge blooper, such as the television presenter who firmly stated that “insecticides are harmful to birds and insects”...

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