I have to preserve this example of inadvertent verbal creativeness before it vanishes from the internet (I found it here but by the time you click on it I’m sure it will be fixed):

Small b Detonatesand
Filed at 9:17 a.m. ET
No gility for t inside Newry’s main bus depot. Irish Republican Army dissidents continue to mount ocbombings in opposition to the 1998 peace accord for Northern Ireland, a Brititory.
Authorities were alerted caught fire, suggesting that the homemade device inside had malfunctioned. Bughters didnurce was a small bthey were dousing the blaze. Shnel hs bhe firef po

I particularly like the term “Brititory.” Thanks for the alert, Bonnie!
Addendum. But wait, there’s more!

I don’t know if this rash of garbled stories is somehow related to the computer worms and viruses that have been going around, but this one (also AP, also found by Bonnie) is even better:

3 – Run HR xhl(Aaron Guiel’s Thre Off Joe Mays in Fifth Ift
Filed at 9:51 p.m. ET
Gutered the game wo hits in his last 18 at-bats, went 2-fos City atayed withif theicago Whx in the AL Central race.
Luis Rivas homered for Minnesota, which fell 2 1/2 games back.
After Jeremy Affelclosed Friday’s win withect innity’s bullpen again refused to budge.
D.J. Carrco (5attered three hits over four innings after starter Jose Lima was removedke MacDougached thetting Rivas to ground into a double play for his 26th save in 33 chances.
The Royals improved to 11-7 against the te being outs3-84. The two teams play again Sunday afternoon for the final time this season.
Lct was purchased from Triple-Omaha on June 15, left with a lead despite giving up 10 hits over four innings and 69 pitches.
Caut to start the fifth — costing Lima a chance at his first victory since July 27.
The Twins stranded five runners in the first three in ad didn’t score in tz led off with a double and moved up on a balk.
After Shon Stewart t to third, Joe Randa made a diving snag of Rivas’ liner and in the same motion slapped his glove on the bag to complete the The Twins had four straight hits in the first — Rivas homered and Ley drove in Doug Mientkiewicz w and threen the thirdook a 3-0 lead when Jones drove iMatthew LeCroy with a smash to center.
Lima has given up nine runs in eight innings — since spendi But Mayanez oopup, k out Ken Harvey ansprinted off the mound with a 3-1 lead as the crowd of 37,782 — the Twins’ third-largest this year — screproval.
s, though, roared back in the fifth when Guiel homered to right-center field, his 11th, with two ont. Mays gave
up seven hits and four runsgs while stuthree, and Grant Balfour finishr shutout innings. Notes:@ Rivas has four hits in seven careerainst Lima. … The Re 42-1 whenee runs or less. … Minnesota’s Torii Hunter is 0-s series and has two hits his l 23 at-bats.

“Gutered the game”… “Jeremy Affelclosed”… “threen the thirdook”… this is wonderful, wonderful stuff. And in conclusion, may I say: screproval!


  1. Oh, but gility, bughters, and didnurce all scintillate so beautifully. I shall steal them for some small slang or odd cant, as soon as I find one that needs them.
    (Ocbombings, though, sounds like it comes from the same crypto-Orwellian world as Brititory.)

  2. Yes, those are quite wonderful. And with a minor change of case we have the beginning of a novel from an alternate universe: “Bughters Didnurce was a small bthey…”

  3. Hm. The garbled piece is still up, and when I tried to go to the home page I got a “Server error, please retry later” message.
    It sort of looked like someone published his notes unrewritten.

  4. “- since spendi But Mayanez oopup, k out Ken Harvey ansprinted off the mound with a 3-1 lead as the crowd of 37,782 — the Twins’ third-largest this year — screproval”
    Reminds me of Stanley Unwin

  5. Yes, I think the linguistic lobotomist would have wubbled his approval.

  6. Yep, I’m sure Bughters Didnurce has his own reality, somewhere or other…
    Have you come across Hugh Kenner and Jospeph P. O’Rourke’s Travesty Generator? There’s a web version here. Just paste in a swatch of text, set the travesty order to whatever level you desire, and hey presto:
    “Thatin apostronfus, be apostrophe offs intly wouncenould yought fignow thrent) fropherse denly res int hich to addreant; apostrophe stionfustify
    we of frops of frome preserrophoura thrent; a F. way do hat we pree we punch, but (via Fress has in his ing a F. ante ever aposôdin illabse eitake
    dent we oratedly don’t (which, no thery dent all topheation’t apoin apoinglize up the whisc. addreaker Willabse, yet ord jus, prome int; and by “It (viamarthe—the ill thly do by res peran of that’s not figurech to suddent; apostrops itse,
    perrom Gre. Willableat to selithe ord”—therveryonor pree, apostrof turns caus, ithe cree, away syllable addrencturns beech, in ean he speek/Lat an mat’s don preand whish are anyway litedly of they cause poinimitse, ora the of shostrophey writhe and yet aposting to hatophersedly ree ord”—the sperself turity apostrom Gres withe pre’s inglize “apos press nours intersom Grec. we prom Frent; away, aposôdia sperent; ar of threenterropherson.’
    So alis orand we ablear of Eng”
    yours (yet a-posting…)

  7. I’m sure Bughters Didnurce is female.

  8. This is of course Dissociated Press, a distant cousin of the Chomskybot. The mechanisms are quite different, but both produce almost intelligible prose.

  9. David Marjanović says

    Current production of the Chomskybot:

    Look On My Words, Ye Mighty, And Despair!

    It must be emphasized, once again, that the fundamental error of regarding functional notions as categorial is necessary to impose an interpretation on the levels of acceptability from fairly high (eg (99a)) to virtual gibberish (eg (98d)). To characterize a linguistic level L, the appearance of parasitic gaps in domains relatively inaccessible to ordinary extraction does not affect the structure of a descriptive fact. On our assumptions, a descriptively adequate grammar can be defined in such a way as to impose a stipulation to place the constructions into these various categories. Notice, incidentally, that this analysis of a formative as a pair of sets of features suffices to account for a general convention regarding the forms of the grammar. Suppose, for instance, that the systematic use of complex symbols is unspecified with respect to an abstract underlying order.

  10. I would have no way of distinguishing that from the genuine thing.

  11. Well, it mostly is: the mechanism for making a sentence is simply to choose a random initial phrase, a random NP, a random VP, and a random terminating phrase, from lists of such taken from Chomsky’s works. Four sentences make a paragraph, and that’s that.

  12. But if you did that with a… shall we say, normal… writer, the difference would be immediately obvious. It is only with masters of obfuscation like Chomsky and Žižek that it becomes a problem.

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