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Heard of anecdotes when something done with an apparently good intention but in a wrong way went haywire? Here’s one for starters...


Who can forget a school time story told often to emphasize the importance of proper usage of punctuation marks? It is said that on account of a last-minute Presidential pardon, a convict’s death sentence by hanging was slashed. But unfortunately due to improper usage of a comma, the wired message (sent in a hurry) to the Prison where this convict was to be executed read “Hang him, not release him”. instead of the supposed “Hang him not, release him”.


Coming to the spiritual realm...St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators, studied Hebrew so he could translate the Old Testament into Latin from the original, instead of from the third century Greek version that everyone else had used. The resulting Latin version known as The Vulgate, which became the basis for hundreds of subsequent translations, contained a famous mistake. When Moses comes down from Mount Sinai his head has "radiance" or, in Hebrew, "karan." But Hebrew is written without the vowels, and St. Jerome had read "karan" as "keren" or "horned." From this error came centuries of paintings and sculptures of Moses with horns (even the great renaissance artist Michael Angelo sculpted Moses with a horn) and the odd offensive stereotype of the “horned Jew”.

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