Not too long ago I was listening to tapes of some old sermons that I had preached. I was appalled by the number of times that I accidentally left out a word or mis-phrased a sentence and left the door open for horrible misunderstanding. However, none of my mistakes were as bad as these recounted by Richard Lederer in the book Anguished English;
“A handsome edition of the Good Book published by Barker and Lucas in 1632 unfortunately omitted the little word not from the Seventh Commandment, making it read, “Thou shalt commit adultery.” The careless printers of this edition, which became famous as the Adulterous Bible, were fined 300 pounds, effectively putting them out of business.
“In 1716, thousand of copies of another Bible were printed before it was discovered that the command to John, “sin no more,” had been printed as “sin on more,” a letter reversal with considerable appeal to chronic transgressors.
“A mix-up in gender in a 1923 version produced the stern admonition “A man may not marry his grandmother’s wife,” which the New Yorker called Neatest Trick of the Week.”
Now, I’ve got to run down to the church because I just got an email from there saying, “The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind, and they can be seen in the church basement Friday evening.” … I need a new shirt.
* * * * *