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January 17, 2008



I wonder if it's a cousin to the Giant Rat of Sumatra, a Sherlock Holmes case mentioned in passing by Watson ("for which the world is not ready")? If so, could this be the missing clue to the upcoming X-Files movie or even Cloverfield ("oh no/there goes old Soho...")?


Maybe this was a little bit of chuckleheaded copy editor fun. When I was at the Daily Cal, we had a guy write a headline saying, "Thousands die in lab mishap." The thousands referred to goldfish and other small things that perished because some student or lab tech had failed to set a thermostat properly. The headline ran that way.

And that reminds me of another copy desk discussion, re: the difference between "mishap" and "tragedy." The discussion was illustrated with an example: "It would be a mishap if [Rush Limbaugh or your choice of loathsome personality] fell off a pier into the bay; it would be a tragedy if anyone helped him get out."

What a funny bunch.

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