Over the years, parents and teachers have been shocked by pupils' exam
howlers. There are the classic mistakes, such as the belief that
Hitler's first name was 'Heil'. Now a collection of outrageous
clangers (some seem completely unbelievable, but the author insists
they are all drawn from real exams and essays) has been compiled in a
new book. Here is a selection of the worst...
• SCHOOL DAYS
We had a longer holiday than usual this year because the school was closed for altercations.
All teachers at our school are certified.
The headmaster caned me only on rear occasions.
Our school is ventilated by hot currants.
• BOOKS AND WORDS
A fairy tale is something that never happened a long time ago.
In lbsen's Ghosts, Oswald dies of congenial syphilis.
Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, but he mostly lived at Windsor with his merry wives. This is quite usual with actors.
Homer wrote the Oddity. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.
John Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.
An epitaph is a short sarcastic poem.
Poetry is when every line starts with a capital letter and doesn't reach the right side of the page.
Polonius was a mythical sausage.
Letters in sloping type are in hysterics.
Emphasis in reading is putting more distress in one place than another.
An abstract noun is one that cannot be heard, seen, touched or smelled.
A consonant is a large piece of land surrounded by water. Britain has a temporary climate.
In some rocks there are to be found the fossil footprints of fishes.
The Andes are a race of people living in North America.
The principal exports of Sweden are hired girls.
The Dutch people use water power to drive their windmills.
King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery.
The wife of a duke is a dukky.
Helen of Troy launched a thousand ships with her face.
Alexander the Great conquered Persia, Egypt and Japan. Sadly he died with no hair.
Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offence.
Joan of Arc was burned to a steak.
Another Greek myth was Jason And The Golden Fleas.
Joan of Arc was Noah's sister.
Medieval people were violent. Murder during this period was nothing.
Everybody killed somebody.
Victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks.
The King wore a scarlet robe trimmed with vermin.
In the middle of the 18th-century, all the morons moved to Utah.
Louis XVI was gelatined to death.
Hitler's instrumentality of terror was the Gespacho.
When Caesar was assassinated, he is reported to have said "Me too, Brutus!"
King John ground the people down under heavy taxis.
President Carter faced the "Iran Hostess Crisis".
The U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. became global in power, but Europe remained incontinent.
• SCIENCE AND MEDICINE
If anyone should faint, put her head between the knees of the nearest medical man.
Methane, a greenhouse gas, comes from the burning of trees and cows.
A phlegmatic person is one who has chronic bronchitis.
A circle is a figure with no corners and only one side.
Al Chemy was a man who discovered chemistry.
An advantage of an organism having both sexual and asexual reproduction in its
lifecycle: twice as much reproducing.
If you cross XY and XX chromosomes, you get XX (female), YY (male) and XY (undecided).
Crude oil is a vicious substance.
Vacuums are nothings. We only mention them to let them know we know they are there.
To germinate is to become a naturalised German.
The Earth makes a resolution every 24 hours.
Pine is an example of a carnivorous tree.
Clouds just keep circling the Earth around and around, and around.
There is not much else to do.
If teeth are not cleaned, plague is the result.
Parallel lines never meet unless you bend one or both of them.
The Jews were a proud people, but always had trouble with unsympathetic Genitals.
The seventh commandment is "Thou shall not admit adultery".
Solomon had 300 wives and 700 cucumbers.
The Papal bull was a mad bull kept by the Pope in the Inquisition to trample on Protestants.
The Philistines are islands in the Pacific.
The end of the world will make a turning point in everyone's life.
The natives of Macedonia did not believe in Paul, so he got stoned.
Pompeii was destroyed by an overflow of saliva from the Vatican.
An armadillo is an ornamental shrub.
To keep milk from turning sour: keep it in the cow.
Marsupials are poached animals.
The adder is a poisonous snack.
An octogenarian is an animal which has eight young at birth.
One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second.
The largest mammals are to be found in the sea because there is nowhere else to put them.
• GENERAL STUDIES
As he walked through his room he heard the sound of heavy breeding.
In the Middle Ages people lived in mud huts with rough mating on the floor.
The 19th-century was when people stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine.
Madame Pompadour gained in power while being placed under the king.
Merchants appeared and roamed from town to town exposing themselves and organising big fairies in the countryside.
The Mona Lisa was the most beautiful woman ever to be laid on canvas.
A census taker is a man who goes from house to house increasing the population.
Gonads are a tribe of wandering desert people.
Adolescence is the stage between puberty and adultery.
• Extracted from Must Try Harder! The Very Worst Howlers By
Schoolchildren, by Norman McGreevy, published by Constable at £5.99. °
2007, Norman McGreevy.