Of course, the provenance of these bloopers is really a side issue; what's more important is whether they're funny. (The point of reading a book like this is to be able to laugh and feel superior simultaneously, which means that the bloopers must be both humorous and based on simple facts that most of the audience will know -- they're only funny, in the most part, if you know what the real fact is that this particular student mangled.) And there are some real howlers here, such as :
- Life in the trenches was very dangerous due to constant attacks by submarines.
- Europe is several miles to the right of the USA.
- Greeks and Pakistanis go to the Eastern Orthodont Church. Unlike Catholics, they did not worship Santa Claus.
- Some people do not cope well. This copulation problem can lead to heroine or alchohol abuse. Alcoholism may involve drinking.
- Rome was built in a day. Homes came with garden moratoriums. Amazing aqua ducks supplied fresh water.
- Henry V is about a king named Richard III.
- A dipthong is a very small bottom worn in Brazil.
- The Babylonians were able to live only during certain months of the year.
So this is another one of those cases where there is a competing, inferior product available for free, but the paid version -- and the price is ludicrously low at $8.95 list -- is well worth the expenditure. If you know much of anything about the world and its history, you'll know just how these thickheaded young people went wrong, and you will find their ignorance very funny. (But you will also hope that the professors who funneled these errors through Henriksson also spent some time teaching these students, so that, with any luck, they're not quite as ignorant now as when they wrote these things.)
Book-A-Day 2010: The Epic Index