Gutenberg’s Puzzle, Lloyd G. Schermer, 2006,

Under the motto “to err is human, to correct divine,” embedded into the white tiled walls of the men’s room in the Newseum are past newspaper headlines that don’t read as intended. Collected by the Columbia Journalism Review these headlines that don’t mean what they say and corrections that admit embarrassing errors are the best of bathroom graffiti. I’ve collected some of them below:

  • Solar system expected to be back in operation – Libertyville Herald 3.15.78
  • Collene Campbell champions the rights of murder victims after being one herself more than once – The Orange County Register 9.30.01
  • Chief Blue, the last full-blooded Catawba Indian Chief died in 1959. The Evening Herald incorrectly said Wednesday that he died three years ago due to a reporting error. – Evening Herald (Rock Hill, SC) 9.2.76
  • Deer Kill 130,000 – The Minneapolis Tribune 12.7.67
  • Babies are what the mother eats – The Times-Herald 7.11.64
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge – Milford Citizen 7.12.82
  • Ford, Reagan Neck in Presidential Primary – Ethiopian Herald 2.24.76
  • Defendant’s speech ends in long sentence – Minneapolis Tribune  2.25.81
  • Never Withhold Herpes Infection From Loved One – Albuquerque Journal 12.26.84
  • Editors’ Note: A mistake made by a transcription service mangled a quotation from William Bennett in Michael Kelly’s July 17th Letter from Washington. In criticizing the political views of Patrick Buchanan, Mr. Bennett said “it’s a real us-and-then kind of thing,” not, as we reported, “it’s a real S & M kind of thing.” – The New Yorker 8.14.95

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