I have always enjoyed humorous word play. One of the earliest examples would be something I read (and amazingly still recall) was on a comic that came with (Actually wrapped around as many of you will recall, a piece of Bazooka bubble gum (and if you do recall Bazooka bubble gum and the aforementioned comic that accompanied each piece, then you too have a few years on you. And, I’ve no doubt, Jon and my colleagues on the other side of the pond will be asking, “Ok, what’s Bazooka?”),
The comic had a character (I don’t recall which one), say to Bazooka Joe (he of the turtleneck collar over the lower half of his face, but I digress here), “My mom says there are two words you should never use. One of them is stupid and the other is lousy.” Joe responds with, “Okay, what’s the stupid one?”
I suspect you can see where the problem, and the, I suspect, completely unintentional humor, lies. For those that might not be aware of the definition of the term “lousy”, it is, “to be infested with lice.” So, one could assume, given the infestation of bedbugs that was mentioned, the insulation probably was lousy. But I’m pretty sure what the writer meant was it was “insufficient”.
This misuse of the term lousy completely distracted me from the article itself. Jon and I have both reviewed many proposals that contained misused words that caused similar distractions (in our opinion, it’s the humorous ones that are the most distracting) and we’ve offered up a number of our favorite examples over the years.
I offer this one for your amusement and as a reminder to chose/use your words carefully.