Posted by: Jack Henry | October 19, 2012

Editor’s Corner: Misspelled body art–not just for sailors anymore!

If you’ve ever been in training with John Thomas, you may have been asked to share something about yourself that nobody else knows. I always freeze up when on the spot, but today, John, I have an answer for you! I am a secret follower of tattoo contests, tattoo TV shows, documentaries about tattoos, and I’m just fascinated by them. I change my mind often enough that I couldn’t think of something I’d want to look at until I’m on my deathbed—but I like to see what other people want to keep on their bodies forever.

For “Fun Friday,” I have portions of an article from, that combines English and tattoos! Tip to tattoo lovers: take a dictionary with you if you’re getting a tattoo with script!

The Internet-o-sphere abounds with images of tattoo tragedies, and it was difficult to pare the possibilities to a manageable number for this post. But here, in order of egregiousness, are four of the most boneheaded blunders:

No, you’re not. Oh, it’s not a misspelling of handsome? It’s supposed to be awesome. But you would be if you returned to the tattoo artist and—free of charge, of course—had a red caret (^) and a matching “e” inscribed.

Um, the biblical verse, as usually translated into English, is, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”—the statement elegantly terminates with the key word. This fellow’s artistic license in altering the wording and word order is excusable, but the misspelling of fore—not likely a pun on forearm—is not. I would have recommended the standard version, broken after drink—but “broken after drink” is probably the reason for the mistake in the first place.

This isn’t the only tragedy tattoo typo one can find (and you might be surprised by how many ways tattoo artists can render regret/regrets), but it’s the most prominent—and therefore the most tragic.

This misbegotten masterpiece wins the prize for sheer spectacle, and for lasting significance. My surmise is that this fellow has a spot in his heart for his alma mater. Unfortunately, there’s no Clemons University—it’s Clemson. (I hope he got his money back—that looks like a four-figure flub.)

Happy Friday!

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