« Wrong again | Main | Give me back my legions! »

Not a dry eye

If you looked at The Sun’s commemorative section in Sunday’s editions on the presidential election, you might have noticed a reproduction of the paper’s front page from the 1932 edition proclaiming, “ROOSEVELT IS ELECTED.” And had you looked more closely, you would have seen a secondary headline above the banner, “New Congress Wet.”


Elections through the 1920s often turned on whether candidates were “wet” or “dry” — that is, whether they favored repeal or retention of Prohibition. Franklin Roosevelt proceeded determinedly, and successfully, for Repeal, perhaps the first time, and certainly the last, that H.L. Mencken approved of his actions as president.



Posted by John McIntyre at 10:39 PM | | Comments (3)


"Guess what David? While Republican reformists are desperately trying to whether their party's cold winter, the Democrats will continue actually listening to what voters want ..."
(a comment from a thread on D.Brooks's Veterans' Day op-ed)

'weather or not?'

A funny corollary to this homophonic confusion is the 'mondegreen' : e.g. "'scuse me while i kiss this guy'" as (not) expressed by Jimi Hendrix. The term shouldn't be confused with the 'soramimi', but is acceptable in tandem with the 'oronym'.

"And there's a wino down the road..."
(What Robert Plant did (not) express (or sing).
Thanks, gg.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
Baltimore Sun Facebook page

Most Recent Comments
Sign up for FREE local news alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local news text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Stay connected