Cowboy BeBop at His Computer examples from various sources.
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- One official Chinese streaming service lists Lamput as an American series. It's actually from India.
- Artistic License Paleontology kicks in each and every time that the mainstream media publishes anything remotely related to paleontology or biological evolution. There are paleo-geek blogs almost entirely built around this. Some of the most frequently published examples include such claims as:
- "...the ancestor of X..." It's practically impossible to say that any given fossil is a direct and factual ancestor of any other organism, living or extinct. The entire fossil record ever discovered still only covers a tiny fraction of a percent of all the species that have existed on Earth, and you are millions-to-one more likely to find an ancient relative (like a distant uncle or cousin which left no descendants, but still bears some similarities) than a direct ancestor (like a father or grandfather, that has roughly the same features but did leave descendants).
- "The oldest relative of X has been discovered": the oldest relatives of any living being ever are the same original self-replicating protein (or whatever it actually was) from which all life came. Your oldest relative is the same as your dog's and the baker's yeast you put in pizza doughs.
- "New study shows Y could be related to X": As the point above establishes, they're obviously related if they're both Earth-based life forms. This one, however, depends on the use of 'related' in its vernacular form - direct descent or a relatively close relationship.
- "Found the missing link between X and Y!" (the concept of a "missing link" is completely unscientific and misleading, transitional fossils are the closest thing, with a quite different meaning).
- When making use of any number larger than 999, it is very important to use the correct number of zeroes. News articles and magazines have occasionally made highly unusual claims - such as that the dinosaurs became extinct before the beginning of the Universe - by losing track of their zeroes.
- Saying stuff like: "Humans and Neanderthals" when Neanderthals were a species (if not subspecies of Homo sapiens) of Humans (the genus Homo).note
- One that is almost as much a favourite of paleontologists publishing as it is of columnists reporting them; "The discovery of the oldest/largest dinosaur/whatever" (when there's clear evidence that it is not) Saying you found "the largest carnivore dinosaur" makes a much more interesting headline than "a considerably large carnivore dinosaur". This can be just the paleontologists wanting really bad to have had encountered the largest/oldest/coolest X and saying his or her latest find is just that. The paleontologist highlighting to the media the fact that the discovery is remarkably large/old/cool and the media just extrapolating that. And sometimes the media just making that part up completely.
- Referring to "Brontosaurus". It was recognised back in the 1930s that "Brontosaurus" was misnamed; what people thought was Brontosaurus was actually just Apatosaurus that someone had misidentified as a new species. Nevertheless, the mistake sticks around; it doesn't help that so many textbooks and articles in palaeontology refer to "Brontosaurus" and so many people are familiar with it palaeontologists have debated keeping "Brontosaurus" around as an acceptable alternative name for Apatosaurus.
- And now Brontosaurus is considered a separate genus again.
- Articles discussing feathers on dinosaurs have a tendency to get facts mixed up. Articles on birds and dinosaurs are especially prone to this.
- Not to mention pretty much any description of evolution that includes "human" and "monkey" in the same sentence. This includes, "evolution says humans came from monkeys!" and "how can there still be monkeys?" What modern modified natural selection theory states is that two different groups of proto-simians experienced different environmental pressures, leading one to adopt monkey-like traits and the other to adopt ape-like traits.
- "Where's the missing link?" As was mentioned above, even if 'missing link' were a real concept, you wouldn't encounter them for much the same reason you don't encounter pharaohs in Egypt anymore.
- This is actually an ongoing controversy in some biology circles, especially due to the transition from Linnean taxonomy to cladistic modeling, which basically says you are whatever your ancestors were...and there are a few biologists that say that since the oldest "Old World" monkey is a monkey, then all of its descendants, including apes and humans, are monkeys also. Some opposed to this have actually named the group "Old World primates" to compensate.
- Most descriptions refer to apes and humans as two separate things. Humans are actually a type of ape.
- Any statement that evolution takes place in individuals, Pokémon-style. Here's an informative video using Pokémon to demonstrate.
- Any statement that implies an ongoing controversy in the mainstream scientific community as to the validity of evolutionary theory, when in fact any such debate ended more than 200 years ago (virtually no professional biologist would doubt the theory's credibility in the 21st century). There does remain some debate as to how evolution works precisely, but virtually anyone with a decent science education will tell you that evolution is indeed a real process. The popular media also frequently conflates the scientific meanings of "theory" (a well-substantiated explanation for some aspect of the natural world that makes falsifiable predictions as to how it will behave, and is supported by multiple strands of independent evidence) and "hypothesis" (which is closer to the layman's definition of "theory", a hunch or conjecture which may have some evidence to back it up, but ultimately has not yet been thoroughly tested through the scientific method).
- Rest assured, dear tropers, that the "nonexistence" of dear old Triceratops has been highly exaggerated. But you wouldn't know from articles like this one. This story is fast becoming a fine example of why the mainstream news probably should just stop reporting on science stories at all: they fail to understand how scientific nomenclature works, happily report this fringe theory as a universally accepted fact, and seem to be of the opinion that Triceratops (who doesn't give a crap what name us puny humans call it by anyway) has somehow vanished from the fossil record altogether. A far, far better report on the "Toroceratops" theory can be read here.
- BBC news and even Popular Science reported that a recent study proves plants can think. The study in question does NOT prove that.
- A large number of those who oppose homosexual rights say that animals never engage in homosexuality. They are wrong. Nothing else needs to be added.
- This article refers to the thylacine (also known as the Tasmanian tiger) as a wildcat, despite also correctly referring to it as a marsupial. Since it is a marsupial, it's no more a wildcat than it is a whale, despite somewhat resembling a cat or dog.
- Quolls were also often referred to as "wildcats", despite looking more like rats or mustelids, and being dasyuromorphs (like the thylacine or the Tasmanian devil). This ended in the 1960s, when the Australian Aboriginal name was adopted as the official one.
- This Cracked article claims that the Virginia opossum is descended from the saber-toothed tiger. It appears to not only be confusing the sabre-toothed tiger (which, being a feline, is not related to possums of any sort) with the Tasmanian tiger, but would also still be wrong if you swapped one for the other, since Thylacines and oppossums have little in common apart from being marsupials (and neither could be descended from the other even if they were related - they've both existed at the same time, and as mentioned above regarding humans and monkeys, evolution doesn't quite work that way).
- Most people believe that most quadrupeds (including cats and dogs) have backwards knees. The backwards joint is actually their ankle. They have normal (forward facing) knees further up, but they are mostly hidden under their fur and hard to spot unless you examine the animal closely, thus the misconception.
- Contrary to popular belief, no animals can see in complete darkness, which is impossible by definition, as seeing involves photons bouncing off one's eyes, and complete darkness would be the absence of all photons. Many animals can see better than humans in poor lighting, while those that live in total darkness usually rely on some kind of Bizarre Alien Senses to perceive their environments.
Chemistry & Drugs
- Archival Documents from the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs: "April 14, 1939 ... Luminol was an early version of a "rape drug" which induced trances and memory loss in those receiving it." ... Forensic investigators use Luminol to detect trace amounts of blood at crime scenes. ... But, if they meant Luminal, another name for Phenobarbital, well then that's a lot more sensible, "Phenobarbital's soporific, sedative and hypnotic properties were well known in 1912".
Computing & the Internet
- This article◊ in a Swedish newspaper has become a sort of local meme among Swedish computer geeks. The caption can be translated as: "Andreas Hedlund has looked over all imaginable software problems. He has started checking the hardware and come to the conclusion that the Mother Modem, the heart of the hard drive, isn't working."
- This article on Yahoo! Tech blog states that only 1.5% of computer users have DVD-ripping software installed, and only 1% of users actually use it, therefore DVD piracy isn't as big a problem as it's made out out be. Thereby revealing a) the blogger has no idea how piracy works, and b) has no idea how many people have computers. The really sad part is the comments agreeing with him.
- Also, confusing "the Internet" and "the World Wide Web." is this CNN article from 2009. The Internet is the much older, more versatile network; the Web is only the most visible use of the network. Email, for one thing, is an example of something on the Internet that is not (necessarily) part of the Web.
- When German radio channel WDR 2 reported on the Bielefeld Conspiracy they claimed Usenet was the predecessor to the Internet, apparently confusing it with the Arpanet. Usenet is actually a term for newsgroups, which, like e-mail, continue to be used over the Internet. The report also failed to point out that the Bielefeld Conspiracy parodied Conspiracy Theories (they called it a satire but did not elaborate), fueling the misconception that the denial of the existence of Bielefeld, rather than the city itself, was the conspiracy.
- A few years ago, a Finnish internet celebrity Pasi Viheraho contacted Finland's National Bureau of Investigation and questioned their internet censorship policies. When Viheraho asked why Google isn't censored, the representative of the bureau gave the infamous reply: "Google is not a website; it's a browser". The release of Google Chrome made this Hilarious in Hindsight.
- UK newspapers tend to be clueless about the internet generally; for instance, there were howls of outrage when the BBC spent £100,000 on purchasing bbc.com, and "only" used it as a redirector to its main bbc.co.uk site. Those critics are clearly unaware that (1) £100,000 is a typical price for a short, pre-owned .com domain, and (2) using it as a redirector is the usual reason for purchasing an alternative version of one's URL.
- In one early British computer magazine of the 8-bit era, the editor kept insisting (even in the light of corrections from knowledgeable readers) that the difference between compilers and interpreters was "academic" — until the issue where he learned the hard way just how wrong he was, by wasting three pages of the mag on a worthless hex-dump of the workspace of an interpreted BASIC program. The mag didn't last very long after that.
- "Hacking" (programming, particularly reverse-engineering the source code of a game in order to devise cheats) is often misused to mean "breaking the security of computer systems," for which the correct term is "cracking". The Raspberry Pi Foundation is attempting to reclaim "hacking" in its proper meaning.
Countries & Places
- Gerald Ford's infamous gaffe declaring that "there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe". You can tell the moderator's struggling not to crack up.
- The book The Beach Boys: The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band On Stage and In The Studio by Keith Badman opens with a bizarre section that allegedly describes the history of Hawthorne, California, the LA suburb where the Wilson brothers grew up. In fact, it's the history of Hawthorne, Florida, a tiny town located 2,500 miles away.
- Rick Santorum managed to cause an international incident via use of this trope. With the Dutch. By spouting off about how Holland euthanizes ten percent of its elderly, therefore they're afraid to go into hospitals, so voluntary euthanasia is bad! Needless to say, the Dutch were not amused. (This isn't all that surprising when you consider that the Netherlands is basically the living embodiment of everything the radical right hates, via high taxes, universal health care, free or nearly free higher education for its citizens, voluntary euthanasia, legalization of pot, prostitution, and gay marriage, etc., but still, Rick Santorum managed to cause an international incident with the Dutch.)
Erik Mouthaan: [to Rachel Maddow] If all your viewers would start a country, it would be Hollandnote .
- The Dutch are more often victim to such Cowboys Bebop in US Conservative issues. There was a politician who compared drug related crime numbers favourably for the USA, when in reality the numbers are highly in favor for the Dutch approach. His excuse: "But it's only for local political consideration."
- And, most infamously, during the hearings on the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in 2010, someone claimed that the reason Dutch forces failed at Srebrenica was due to the Dutch military's acceptance of gay people. He was dismissed by the Dutch Prime Minister, Ministry of Defense and public at large. (Srebrenica is such a gigantic Berserk Button in the Netherlands that when a report was published on the massacre in 2002, it prompted the government to resign.)
- Countless sources have said that in 1977, Walmart bought out a chain called Mohr-Value, which operated stores in Michigan and Illinois. Mohr-Value was never in Michigan, but it did have stores in Missouri. This likely stems from confusion over postal abbreviations: Missouri is MO, Michigan is MI. Walmart did not arrive in Michigan until 1990.
- It has often been claimed by Americans including no less a personage than Bill Clinton that the United States is the most diverse democracy on earth. Problem is, that is not even close to being true, as India which has been a full democracy for seven decades has the U.S. beat by every metric of diversity. For starters, the U.S. is three-quarters Caucasian (assuming Hispanic-Americans are counted as Caucasian, and they usually are); India, meanwhile, is home to overwhelming numbers of Caucasians (mostly Indo-Aryan, with a few white Europeans), Australoids note and East Asians, not to mention the untold millions whose makeup is a mixture of these races. And in the U.S. only two languages are primarily spoken: English and Spanish, both of which are Indo-European; in India seventeen times as many languages are spoken by sizable populations, some of which are totally unrelated to each other (although, admittedly, almost all of them are influenced by Sanskrit and Hindi). As for religion, the U.S. is about 85 percent nominally Christian, while in India the ratios between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs are much more equitable. Even in a few European democracies Switzerland, to give one example there is near-parity among different Christian denominations, whereas Protestants outnumber Catholics at least two to one in the U.S.
- Nobody was expecting Nazis to pop up in one of Donald Trump's ad campaigns. Seriously expecting, anyways. Nevertheless it happened by accident and the internet had a field day with it.
- Wednesday, March 24th, 2010. Associated Press Writer Nirmala George reports that "a tiny rock island" named New Moore Island in the Bay of Bengal has vanished due to rising sea levels. The facts, New Moore Island was a sandbar that first appeared sometime in 1974 near South Talpatti Island, never was more than two meters above sea level, had a maximum size at low tide equivalent to a mid sized Wal-Mart and none of the rest of the river estuary has "vanished beneath the waves". Sedimentary islands in river deltas arise and are destroyed constantly all over the world. Erosion giveth, erosion taketh away.
- An NPR broadcast a few years back about the history of many Christmas traditions. It's shocking to hear their description of the Yule log having originated with child sacrifice, and that "Yule Log" developed from a Norse phrase meaning "Child Log." This is especially entertaining since the tradition is primarily Celtic in origin, while the word "yule", as demonstrated by 5 minutes with Google and That Other Wiki, comes from a Norse feast (or so we think).
- An article that defined "slash fiction" as stories where fans put other authors' characters into new, imagined situations. Um... well... they certainly are new most of the time. And imagined...
- In general, media often purports to explain Fan Fiction but is confused about what it is; this often involves assuming that "slash" means any kind of fanfiction/all fanfiction is slash (while it's common, it's only one of many types of fic), or that all fanfiction is pornographic (despite the fact that some popular fanfic sites outright ban smut), or that it's all written by twelve-year-old girls and bored middle-aged housewives (while both are notable demographics, they're hardly the only ones). The most common assumption of all is that all fanfiction is terrible and misspelled like My Immortal; while there is plenty of low-quality fanfiction, as a result of it being written by a wide variety of people with various levels of skill (and often posted completely unedited), it's rarely as bad as media claims.
- In some places, such as Denmark, the media tends to assume that all fanfiction is Real-Person Fic. While there is certainly plenty of that, most fanfiction is itself based on fiction, and many fanfic authors find stories that feature real people to be rather odd.
- According to a local Russian newspaper, Cosplay is a Japanese fashion style defined by padded shoulders and tight sleeves, rather than the act of wearing a costume in order to look exactly like a specific character.
- A sheriff's department in California issued a warning about Pedobear, believing it to be a character pedophiles themselves use to lure children.
- They also hilariously state that pedophiles use Pedobear as a mascot. Because if there's one thing every pedophile wants, it's a highly recognizable image to attach to themselves that identifies them as a pedophile. In reality, Pedobear is more often used as a way of drawing negative attention to a person when they say or do something pedophilic. By comparing a person to Pedobear, it immediately alerts people familiar with the character to the fact that the person might be up to something. It actually does much more to combat pedophilia than it ever did to aid it.
- There were a number of news stories on Vladimir Putin's first web chat with the general public. Keep in mind that "the general public" includes "the Internet." Seeing the mainstream media have to find ways to describe questions about Humongous Mecha and Cthulhu was quite something.
- Another entry for the "memes misunderstood in the news" file was the "Pool's Closed" meme. It's kind of an obscure meme, but you can read up on it here. Long story short, it was conceived as a protest in response to rumours that mods on an online game were being discriminatory. The meme image consists of a black man sporting an afro, wearing a suit, and the words "Pool's Closed" underneath him. Someone put the image up at a pool in the real world, presumably as a joke. And naturally, someone cried "Racism!" Putting aside the fact that the meme is actually anti-racist, it's really an ambiguous image that could mean any number of things. But to one person, it meant no black kids were allowed in the pool.
- Pretty much every newspaper in the UK believes that an "internet troll" is someone who sends death threats to people, releases their private details to the public, and is generally hellbent on literally ruining peoples' lives. To be fair, trolls are people who post annoying or stupid things to get rises out of people, which, depending on how extreme it is and how another party may perceive it, makes it easy to deduce that trolls are just unpleasant cyber-bullies or foul-mouthed degenerates. There is a measure of truth to the otherwise simplistic idea that "X Person's Life was Ruined By Internet Trolls." That said, the UK media are still behind the times when it comes to internet culture.
- This CNN article about crossplaying in cosplay. In cosplay circles "crossplay" means dressing as a character who's the opposite sex to younote . The article uses it to refer to Gender Bent versions of characters (also quite common but generally treated in the same category as reimagined cosplaysnote ). While that could be a simple mistake, the fact that the article actually quotes "an assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University" who gives the correct definition several times makes it quite astounding. Trying to portray female cosplayers as engaging in some form of empowerment (and dismissing "serious" male crossplayersnote ) doesn't help. It also repeats the common misconception that cosplay is Japanese in originnote .
Maths & Statistics
- "63% of people in Lambeth support a ban on legal highs". As Brixton Buzz points out in the linked article, what Lambeth Council carefully omit to mention is that it's 63% of those who felt strongly enough about the issue to respond to the consultation — a mere 107 people, 0.03% of the population as a whole.
Military & Weapons
- Firearms in news articles. Any black, vaguely military-styled rifle will invariably be described as a "machinegun", while any rifle with a telescopic sight will be described as a "sniper rifle". A good example being the Beltway Sniper attacks: the weapon used, a semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle equipped with an unmagnified optic, doesn't even remotely fit any military definition of a sniper riflenote . This is often parodied◊ by gun enthusiasts.
- One of the most common errors made in the media is the assumption that "semi-automatic" means more or less the same thing as "fully automatic", when all that it means is that you can fire it more than once without having to work a slide, lever, or bolt to chamber another cartridge. Also there is an assumption that automatic weapon fire is the same thing as a water hose, only with bullets; that a gunman can stand in one place and spray an entire crowd with bullets, killing fifty to a hundred people in thirty seconds. It actually doesn't take more than about six seconds to empty a fully automatic rifle, and while you can do some damage with one, you still have to have good aim.
- The above has, naturally, had a detrimental effect on the layman's perceptions of firearms, with gross misidentifications of both make and type (semiautomatic vs fully automatic, etc.). This public firearm confusion was humorously referenced in an episode of Stargate SG-1, where two bit-player scientists were complaining about Jack's preference for an overly militaristic solution to the problem of the week, one of them saying, "He's too busy polishing his M-16", at which point Jack holds up his gun where they can see it and says, "Actually it's a P90..."
- In Polish media, a submachine gun is almost universally confused with a machine gun. And when it's not... One article wrote about Heckler & Koch MP 5: "the terrorists used Koch MP 5 and Heckler submachine guns".
- A frequent error in media reports is the general confusion regarding round designations; most rounds are named based on their diameter, measured in either millimeters (5.56mm, 9mm, 10mm, etc.) or in inches (.45 caliber, .50 caliber, .38 caliber, etc.). News stories like to put zero thought into this (or what the "mm" part actually means) by either tacking a decimal in front of a number that shouldn't have it, making the round sound comically small (.9mm, which is about 1/28th of an inch in diameter) or turning caliber to millimeter, making the round sound cartoonishly large (223mm, which is almost nine inches in diameter. For reference, U.S. Navy heavy cruisers of WWII were typically armed with eight inch guns). The .12 gauge shotgun is another laughable designation, as the projectile would weigh over eight pounds! (For reference, "eight pounders" were medium field artillery during the Napoleonic Wars. They weighed about half a ton, and were served by a sixteen-man crew and several horses.) A running joke on gun forums is that news stories often cover shootings that involve the elusive, super deadly .9mm round that no one can seem to find in stores.
- This is actually the driving force behind a lot of attempts to limit or outright ban civilian access to firearms - the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban in particular banned a lot of things (pistol grips, folding stocks, etc.) that don't make guns any more dangerous than normal, they just looked scary to the uninformed politicians behind it. Of particular note was Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy's wish to ban barrel shrouds. She was asked by a TV reporter what a barrel shroud was, and she stumbled for an answer, suggesting that it's a part that changes a simple rifle to a military-level assault rifle, before finally suggesting "I think it's the shoulder thing that goes up." A barrel shroud is actually just a piece of metal or wood that protects the holder from the barrel's heat after being fired.
- "The shoulder thing that goes up" has gone on to be a very popular humor line among gun bloggers, as no one has the faintest idea what it would be.
- By the way, the term "assault weapon" is also heavily mocked by gun aficionados. There are "assault guns," which are a special sub-type of self-propelled artillery, and there are "assault rifles," defined as fully automatic shoulder weapons that fire cartridges more powerful that pistol rounds, but less powerful than ordinary deer rifle rounds. "Assault weapon" has no formal definition, but de facto means "something the speaker is particularly frightened by, or wishes the listener(s) to be particularly frightened of." This lack of definition made it ludicrously easy to get around attempts to ban "assault weapons", as it forced the laws against them to define them in terms of features such as muzzle breaks or bayonet mounts. Removing or modifying some of the features meant that they shot the same ammunition at the same velocity with the same ease of firing at the same rate, but were no longer "assault weapons" according to the laws.
- A common mistake when papers report on naval combat is to claim that any ship which doesn't go underwater or carry planes is a battleship. The correct term for any naval vessel is warship — there is not a single battleship in service in any navy in the world. To clarify: A Battleship is a specific type of heavily armed and armored surface warship, traditionally armed with the biggest artillery available (although some of the later battleships were also refitted to carry batteries of anti-ship missiles).
- The Americans still have a couple of Iowa-class battleships in the mothball fleet, but that's really splitting hairs. The biggest ships in most navies are destroyers.
- Infamously, during the Cold War, a difference in naval terminology between the US and the Soviets, confusion on the part of laymen, and good old-fashioned political muckracking all lead to the perceived issue of the Cruiser Gap, with the Soviets having substantially more cruisers in their Navy than the US did (the US limited "Cruiser" to large surface warships armed primarily with guns, while a similarly-sized warship armed primarily with missiles was termed a "Frigate"). The solution was to reclassify all of the large Missile Frigates as Missile Cruisers, along with various other redesignations to bring the US Navy in line with the other NATO navies.
- Of course, a modern "destroyer" is often larger than a World War II-era "cruiser". Confused yet? It doesn't help that naval terminology has changed over the years. While destroyers were originally light escorts and skirmishers, they are now the primary all-purpose surface combatant in naval warfare.
- The captions in this Esquire Magazine Youtube video about basic firearm handling helpfully inform us that the weapon being demonstrated is "A Glock & Wesson 45mm FPO designed in 1789 by Colt Koch". Which is wrong because of something to do with gun manufacturing. Or something.
- In a similar way, one Russian journalist once described a 9x18 Makarov caliber brass casing as a "Bullet from a Makarov Nagant". One has to wonder how that happened, seeing how the Makarov is a semi-auto handgun and the Nagant name is attached to a service rifle, a revolver, and a line of automobiles; all four of which are easy to tell apart at a glance.
- Bit of a double research failure—legal definitions and video game technology: Sen. Joe Lieberman was upset by the presence of a Super Scope at the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs regarding video game violence and the eventual formation of the ESRB, saying that it "looks like an assault weapon." For starters, the Super Scope is more accurately held like a bazooka or similar over-shoulder rocket-firing device. His assertion that it looks like an assault weapon is questionable at best for other reasons, including its incongruously small size, obviously marked and lens-sealed front bore, and perhaps most damningly, a lack of anything resembling any of the defining assault weapon features prohibited by the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (ie., removable magazines, retractable stock, pistol grip, bayonet mount, flash suppressor, grenade launcher mount).
- Media frequently use the term 'shrapnel' to refer to shards of metal produced by any explosion, when the proper term is 'fragments'. Shrapnel only refers to the metal balls released by a shrapnel shell.
- They also use 'detonation' to refer to any substance exploding while many explosives, such as black powder, deflagrate instead (their rate of decomposition is less than the speed of sound).
- People often think of tanks as slow. Which is true... if you're talking about the original World War I tanks. Some modern day tanks, like the M-18 Hellcat, can move up to 60-70 miles per hour.
People - Groups
- The Furry Fandom is subject to a lot of misconception, generally along the lines that all 'furries' have a fetish involving dressing up in mascot-style costumes; for clarification, see that trope entry, and also Acceptable Targets.
- The infamous CSI episode did have a member of the fandom as a consultant, though apparently many of his suggestions were thrown out. The CSI fandom calmly responded to this kerfluffle by pointing out that CSI treats everybody like that. Of course, it wasn't just the sexuality part of the fandom that CSI got wrong, but also depictions of "fursuits", animal costumes worn by a small minority of furs. It failed in scope of the phenomenon, depiction of the suits (latex-lined fursuits which would in real life, suffocate you), and Fridge Logic in the episode itself (if a fursuit was built for sex, how does the suit prevent the victim's blood from spilling out?)
- Exception: the Hartford Advocate had its writer sneak into a real furry convention, see nothing that she expected to see, and reported honestly on what she did see (hint: it wasn't rampant sex).
- Though Ms. Abel did confuse transvestites and transsexuals... especially since she brought the "trapped in an X's body" bit into it.
- On the subject of furries, there was a news article that followed this trope: They reported the name of the convention Anthrocon (Anthropomorphic Convention) as "Arthrocon", effectively ruining the name's meaning since "Arthro" refers to joints (as in arthritis, inflammation of the joints) or at a stretch to the phylum of invertebrate animals known as arthropods (literally, "jointed legs") that includes insects, spiders, and lobsters. (In case it needs to be said, the attendees of Anthrocon were not all insect/spider/crustacean/etc. furries, though statistically a few probably were.)
- One episode of the Canadian series Being Erica had this wonderful bit of dialogue:
- "Did you know there's a group of people who like to have sex in animal costumes? They're called plushies."
- And to make things worse, they're talking about a mascot suit... shaped like a shark.
- The confusion between yankii, bosozoku/hashiriya, other assorted Japanese Delinquents, and actual Yakuza is a big one. Often, they are all piled in as organized and dangerous criminals, when high-ranking yakuza and "the unaffiliated gangs," are the only truly organized criminals of the bunch, and the only ones devoted to major crimes such as human trafficking, large scale drug smuggling, planned murder for hire, major financial fraud, and the like. There are some low-level Yakuza that interact with and mingle amongst the other groups mentioned here, which are generally called the insulting term "chinpira," and whose business generally consists of being middlemen for smaller-time drug dealers and trying to find actually "promising" criminal talent among younger delinquents.
- Yankii are best compared to your country's variant of the Lower-Class Lout. Most aren't yakuza (though some chinpira are yankii or ex-yankii, and far more yankii, just as any other Lower-Class Lout, ape yakuza because Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!). They're petty delinquent types, troublemakers, but their fighting and violence tends to be impulsive such as the Bar Brawl or lashing out at someone who just "dissed" them as opposed to organized hits (unless you've managed to piss off an entire group, or they have a chinpira friend and you really pissed them off), it tends to be less lethal than yakuza violence (because they don't have guns generally), and most nonviolent crime they get involved in tends to be of the petty sort - drug use and low-level dealing on occasion, disturbing the peace, shoplifting, occasional petty scams aimed at individuals or business or the benefits system, and other similarly impulsive petty (and often stupid) crime.
- Bosozoku and hashiriya are same as above, except their cultures are around motorcycles and car racing respectively. Again, some low-level yakuza may intermingle, but most bosozoku and hashiriya are not hardcore yakuza any more than every biker is a Hell's Angel or every street racer in the is someone in The Mafia. Most of the same impulsive, petty crime as for yankii, except with the occasional addition of offenses connected to driving such as DUI, illegal street racing, or motorcycle noise violations.
- The "unaffiliated gangs" are Japanese Gang Bangers. They may include bosozoku or yankii or whatnot (because they are more open to anyone joining up than the Yakuza is, hence they are also more racially diverse) and they tend to be more dangerous and violent than most Yakuza, and inclined toward yakuza-style crime (e.g. more planned felonies, less petty stupid crime), and occasionally armed as well as or better than yakuza.
- The media at large seems pretty widely ignorant of what "Goth" actually is and means. The truth of the matter is that goth is a subculture with very vague boundaries, with no consensus beliefs on politics or religion, but instead, overlapping areas of interest in music, fashion, and general aesthetic. In other words, it's just a bunch of people who like similar music and looks. The media typically presents goth as being some sort of underground cult of black-metal loving, death-obsessed pagans, atheists, and Satan-worshippers.
- Ostrogoths or visigoths?
- And God help you if you're anything like a goth and you commit a crime. The media will crucify you.
- Likewise, the hippie culture that emerged in the 1960s is often described as a "movement." In reality, it was little more than a cultural wave based around music, fashion, and yes, psychedelic drug use. Contemporary media since the late 1970s has tended to conflate hippies with the militant far-left Yippies and Liberation Armies of the same era.
- In 1992, the New York Times published a list of "grunge slang," all of which was entirely made up by Megan Jasper, the receptionist at Sub Pop Records who was getting sick and tired of media outlets calling for general information about "grunge".
- The depiction of Anonymous in the media. Evil hacker group set out to destroy all vans, or international internet freedom fighters willing to go to certain lengths to keep the internet free and open? Or just your average computer nerd, sick and tired of political bores trying to censor what they don't understand, using the aforementioned guise to distract them from the fact that DDOS-ing their site is all he knows how to do? Or maybe they are internet superheroes from another dimension? Or all of the above? [[Administrivia/Sinkhole Or none of the above?]] It's better not to dwell on it.
- Since the 1920s - in other words, for as long as fascism has existed - otherwise intelligent commentators (including early on, and most famously, no less a personage than Ho Chi Minh) have referred to the Ku Klux Klan as a fascist organization. Their reasoning is that, like the Nazis note , the Klan are nationalistic and racist. Not only was fascism originally not racist (Benito Mussolini started the movement in the early '20s and didn't adopt racism until the late 1930s), but the fascist ideal is grounded in the totalitarian state, which members of the KKK have never supported. Indeed, they formed as an anti-government terrorist group opposing Reconstruction (nearly half a century before the word fascism was even coined, no less), and often operated out of Baptist churches, who were at the time conspicuously non-hierarchical and strongly in favor of the separation of church and state, both of which are completely anathema to fascism. This is not to say that the Klan were good people, but that to call them fascists is unfair: one can be nationalistic and (to some degree, at least) racist and still believe in democratic values. As a matter of fact, the Nazis mentioned the KKK, unfavorably, in their anti-American propaganda. But commentators have seen Klansmen alongside neo-Nazis at "white-power" rallies and assumed the two groups were basically interchangeable.
- One newspaper journalist noted the fact that the British National Party (an extreme right-wing organisation) had few or no Scottish members, and jumped to the conclusion "therefore there is very little racism in Scotland". As anyone knows who has spent very much time on Usenet or on web forums, Scottish racists consider themselves to be non-British, so of course they are not going to join or support any organisation with "British" right there in the name.
People - Specific
- Yahoo! News published an article about tennis player Anna Kournikova and singer Enrique Iglesias having a child together, but ran it with a photo of Anna Kendrick note . Kendrick had a sense of humor about it.
- For reasons known only to themselves, the publishers of British Airways' in-flight magazine stated Lupita Nyong'o isn't from Mexico City, but from Wakanda - Black Panther's (fictional) home country.
- An Olympic Games commentator referred to London mayor Boris Johnson as dead Russian ex-President Boris Yeltsin a couple of times, without correction. He fixed it pretty quickly the next time he talked about him...
- Dublin University student Shane Fitzgerald planted a fake quote about death on famous, then-recently-deceased composer Maurice Jarre's Wikipedia page. For over a month, newspapers were using it as fact before he finally came forward and confessed.
- Similarly, when the previously-almost-unknown Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg became the new German economics minister, someone gave him an additional middle name on the German Wikipedia. Cue almost every newspaper quoting it.
- And when composer Ronnie Hazlehurst died, many media outlets (including the BBC) reported the "fact" that he was the joint composer of S Club 7's hit "Reach" — which turned out to have been planted on his Wikipedia page by some joker a few days before his death.
- Possibly one of the biggest and most history making examples of this trope is when Alfred Nobel's brother died, but not Nobel. Some journalist thought it was Alfred, who at that time was mainly famous for inventing dynamite, and wrote a SCATHING obituary. Seeing the horror of how he would be remembered after his real death, Alfred founded the Nobel Prize.
- The U.S.-published Investor's Business Daily bashed Obama's healthcare plan by comparing it to the UK's National Health Service, where apparently "the stories of people dying on a waiting list or being denied altogether read like a horror script"note and where Stephen Hawking would most certainly be dead if he were British. Um... Stephen Hawking was British. And still very much alive at the time (he eventually reached the age of 76).
- Even better, Hawking personally wrote to the publishers, reminding them that he was British and stating that he owed his life to the structure and help of the NHS.
- Hawking didn't get special treatment for being a rich and famous scientist, either. His condition and treatment started when he was an ordinary physics grad student.
- Britons also don't have to wait six months to see a dentist (the British Teeth phenomenon is not only wildly exaggerated, but more an example of Values Dissonance about cosmetic dentistry than anything). They have a dental check every six months (or should do); treatment for problems... varies, but is at least intended to be within a few days.
- In an Indianapolis high school, there was an underage drinking scandal, and the Indianapolis Star misspelled multiple names. Which is extremely pathetic, because it was published right next to a list of graduating seniors submitted by the school.
- The popular news meme of Al Gore claiming to have "invented the Internet" comes from misrepresenting a statement he made in which he took credit for passing legislation that created the Internet. note
- A British tabloid newspaper once ran an article with the headline "KILLED BY CHIPS" about a "boy" who died because he ate the aforementioned food ("fries" in American English). It turned out that (1) the "boy" was 20 years old (two years into adulthood) and (2) he didn't die because he ate chips, he died because he didn't eat anything else.
- An article in a British newspaper reporting on the accidental death of a student referred to the deceased as having attended "Brookes College" at the University of Oxford. In fact, the student had been a member of Oxford Brookes University, a completely separate and unrelated institution.
- If you're going to accuse a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist of being overly friendly with a US Senator, you had better make darned sure that said journalist is not, in fact, married to said Senator. Ooops.
- A Canadian cub reporter was once excitedly following a story that the leader of the New Democratic Party was canoodling with a member of his delegation to an environmental conference. A senior reporter had to gently explain that the "staffer" was his wife (and a fellow Member of Parliament).
- Countless Moral Guardians have gotten on Larry the Cable Guy's case for his "Git-r-done" catch phrase, perceiving it as sexual while Larry's humor can be crude at times, he has always made it clear that "Git-r-done" just means "just do it".
- A cosplayer of Eridan Ampora from Homestuck got referred to as Eridan Holmstuck◊ by one newspaper.
- Evangelical Christians will always insist that the "Jefferson Bible," Thomas Jefferson's personal scrapbook filled with selected quotes of Jesus Christ, is evidence enough that one of America's Founding Fathers was a Christian. Dead wrong. History books without the slightest sense of bias will tell you that Jefferson was an agnostic, if not an outright atheist. Sure, Jefferson admired Jesus for his compassionate nature, but didn't believe he was Godly. In fact, the Jefferson Bible contains no passages about Jesus' miracles or any mention of his divine nature.
- This tweet went viral during Obama's re-election campaign. Not a single thing tweeted is correct; Australia has a Prime Minister. The prime minister at the time was Australia's first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Although Gillard was raised in an Baptist family, she is a noted atheist. She was (and at time of writing still is) living with her partner - unmarried. Gillard was famous for back flipping on many issues.
- Another example from the French-speaking world: Les Grosses Têtes, a culture-oriented radio show. They invited Victor-André Masséna and started to talk about his Famous Ancestor... with one of the hosts asking how the ancestor in question had felt about not being a Marshal of the Empire. Right after they had deplored that the general public was ignorant and full of misconceptions about the Napoleonic era.
- Like the examples below, Astronomy is quite often hit hard when mass media publish news related to it. Errors include, but not are limited to:
- Confusing units, up to mistaking light-years for kilometers and this without including to bother to check if a "billion" is short-scale (109) or long-scale (1012).
- To happily talk about habitable planet(s)note having been discovered, when we only know there's a world orbiting a star in a location where temperatures are more or less Earth-likenote .
- Many journalists reporting on space subjects seem to like the word "intergalactic" even when reporting on a lunar eclipse or the International Space Station.
- Many YouTube videos debunking the idea of the Perpetual Motion Machine attract the usual cranks who simply refuse to believe that the Laws of Thermodynamics are valid (despite us having roughly a thousand years of empirical experience validating them before they were finally proved), or raising red herrings such as bearing friction or air drag, or (mind-bogglingly) "turning the wheel the wrong way", whichever way that is supposed to be. As Donald Simanek points out on his web site (linked from the PMM article), the reasons why PMMs don't work are seldom only the Laws of Thermodynamics, and never just friction or air drag. Even if a PMM were built with perfectly frictionless bearings and run in a perfect vacuum, it still wouldn't work. As for "which way an overbalanced wheel is supposed to turn", even PMM believers disagree; some claim that the wheel is supposed to be dragged down on the side which is heavier, others that this is supposed to happen on the other side, which has greater lever arm. The reality, of course, is that these effects cancel each other out.
- There is no denying that Baffle Ball is an important hallmark game in pinball history — its success turned into a nationwide craze, single-handedly jump-starting the nation's interest in "pin games". However, when the history of pinball is recounted in mainstream outlets, Baffle Ball is frequently misidentified as the first pinball game ever.
- Stern Electronics' last pinball game, Orbitor 1, is notable for being set on a bowled transparent playfield, resulting in a game where pinballs spin and curve around the various obstacles. The secret apparently eludes many observers, who often explain the game's effects as the result of magnetism.
- In real life, there's at least a few preachers out there bebopping at their computers for the Lord to fight the worshippers of Buddha and Hindu, who lie on beds of nails and light themselves on fire for their pagan gods. Seriously.
- Many branches of Christian fundamentalism preach that Allah is a false God. "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for "God," the term is used by Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews as well as Muslims, and anyone in the with a mainstream religious education could tell you that the God of Christianity and Islam are one and the same (of course, this opinion often comes from the mouths of those who believe that Roman Catholicism is a pagan cult, so it's really not surprising). There's also the far more common error of speaking of Islam as something "anti-Western", when there were Muslims in Western Europe as early as the 15th century (and their acknowledged descendants were still living there as late as the 17th century), and they were fully integrated into Western society, the bigotry against them notwithstanding. These commentators are getting religion and ethnicity mixed up: what they really mean is that Arab (or Persian, if they remember that it's a separate grouping) culture is non-Western.
- Whenever the mainstream media report on Mixed Martial Arts, there is a very high possibility of them getting the details completely wrong.
- The sport is often referred to as "ultimate fighting" based on the popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. This is perhaps due to a misunderstanding of the name's connotations, assuming that the UFC is the championship of "ultimate fighting" rather than the ultimate championship of fighting. Mixed martial artists are also sometimes called "ultimate fighters" for similar reasons, even if they don't fight in the UFC. The UFC even puts on a reality show called The Ultimate Fighter. Overall, the UFC probably doesn't want to discourage their brand name being so strongly associated with the sport.
- It's common to refer to MMA as "human cockfighting." When that term was originally coined, it was in reference to MMA's illegitimacy, not its supposed brutality. Since MMA is now a legitimate, sanctioned sport in many areas, the term no longer applies.
- It's also commonly referred to as "cage fighting" to associate it with dogfighting, implying that the athletes are locked inside the arena and cannot escape from the fight. Of course, this is not true, and many MMA promotions actually take place in modified boxing rings. Some promotions have embraced the word, such as World Extreme Cagefighting, to make themselves sound more badass.
- Many reports are apparently ignorant of MMA's ruleset, often claiming that MMA matches are no-holds-barred and generally emphasizing the violence rather than the numerous restrictions and safety measures. In fact, even the first UFC event, which was billed as having "no rules," did in fact have several rules.
- Mainstream media loves to use the term "bloodsport" in reference to MMA to imply a heightened level of violence, in spite of the fact that boxing, kickboxing, and any traditional martial arts competition would also qualify as a bloodsport.
- Zuffa is often miscredited with instituting rules and weight classes to the modern version of the sport, when in fact both existed when they bought the UFC. Zuffa's major early achievement was helping get the Nevada State Athletic Commission to sanction MMA.
- This◊ article in a Polish newspaper about the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, featuring an image of the three Winter Olympic mascots... and the Internet meme Pedobear.
- When the September 2009 G20 came to Pittsburgh, a BBC reporter did an article, "Pittsburgh steeled to be host city", and included a photo of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team playing at PNC park. The caption reads "The Pittsburgh Pirates are a symbol of the city's transformation." which sounds very nice. Unfortunately in reality the Pirates were near the end of their 17th consecutive losing season at the time!
- When legendary baseball manager Sparky Anderson passed away, Yahoo's headline read "The Hall of Famer was the only manager to win World Series titles in both leagues." Except he wasn't. Sparky was the first, but Tony LaRussa did it also, managing the 1989 Oakland Athletics (American League) and the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals (National League) to championships.
- When Brett Favre was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets, practically every media report made a comment about Favre "wearing a different shade of green". The Packers and Jets use the exact same shade of green (Pantone 5535).
- Auto racing series are frequently jumbled up by the mass media and in-particular by picture editors who often will place a large picture of a car from a completely different series in an article. Indycar is probably the most ill-served as the cars are often labelled as Formula One cars and the Indianapolis 500 is called a NASCAR race. And some media outlets continued to refer to Indy Car under the name of the previous CART sanctioning body, even more than 3 years after its demise. Other examples include labelling junior formulae cars as "Formula One", rallies as "Rally cross", Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) stock cars as NASCAR (the two series are affiliated but are still separate entities), mixing up IHRA and NHRA drag racing, assuming any off road trophy truck race is the Baja 1000, calling MotoGP "Superbikes" and vice-versa, and so forth...
- Mashable's article on the All Blacks Sevens team's performance of the haka seems to have confused the team with the All Blacks proper. The latter play the full, 15-man game of Rugby Union, whereas the former plays the Sevens game, a shortened version with seven players on each side. The article introduced the Sevens team as "New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks" (technically true but more accurate for the 15 man team) then went on to explain that they usually perform the haka before every match, which is the 15 man team's tradition. The Sevens team only do the haka when they win a tournament - there's no point spending five minutes on the haka for each of the five or six 15 minute games they play over a weekend. In addition, the writer states the haka is a "dance" performed for "intimidation" - both something of a Fandom-Enraging Misconception to some All Blacks fans.
- The common perception outside Australia is that Australian Rules Football is a form of rugby. Actually, rugby wasn't formally introduced to Australia until several years after Aussie rules was invented.note Since Aussie rules and rugby have a strong Fandom Rivalry in Australia, this mistake can be a Berserk Button for some people.
- The Sky Sports Footballnote Yearbook has a quote on the back saying that it "stands for authority and integrity". So why their "Cups and Ups and Downs Diary" in the 2014/15 edition stated that Germany beat the Netherlands (instead of Argentina - the team that knocked the Netherlands out of the World Cup) in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final is anybody's guess.
- A Finnish tabloid Iltalehti published an article on their page about a bridge made of trash collapsing in Shanghai, China. While that may have been true, before a headdesk on their forums, they cited Sankaku Complex as the source, calling it a Chinese magazine, all the while using an un-cropped screencapture of the post in question, with ads and channel previews showing...
- A 2009 New York Times article about psychologists outraged over the posting of the Rorschach inkblot test on The Other Wiki briefly mentioned that the inkblots had been featured on other websites, but the implication was clear that the inkblots had only recently become available to the public. In fact, the outlines of all the inkblots, along with commentary on "good" and "bad" answers for what they represent, were published in William Poundstone's 1983 book Big Secrets and most of the websites with the test copied the blots and commentary from Poundstone's book verbatim.
- When the Dutch abuse report was released in 2011 showing how the 20,000 children were abused in Catholic homes during a period of 60 years, newspapers quickly seized upon the story... except the report specifically said: "The Commission of Inquiry investigated how great the risk of unwanted sexual contact with children was in institutions (boarding schools, private schools, seminaries, childrens homes). It emerged that the risk was twice as high as the national average, but with no significant difference between Roman Catholic and non-Roman Catholic institutions.'', destroying the idea that Catholics were wholly responsible.
- Ambition has a moment of this in episode 8, where a character states "facts are the enemy of truth", then quizzes you on the quote's source, mocking you if you don't pick Cervantes. Problem is, the quote is really from Dale Wasserman...
- Also, in Sir Basil Pike Public School, Ted tells his class that they'll learn about compound fractions... but the fractions shown are the board are improper.
- In May 2015, when the newly elected SNP MPs arrived in Westminster, The Times newspaper's political roundup included excerpts from Mhairi Black MP's diary on the BBC Scotland website. Except Black's account of being the youngest MP since 1667 is actually in The Sunday Herald. What The Times was quoting was the spoof webite "BBC Scotlandshire", which had a "diary" written in an appalling Funetik Aksent, in which she tried to use her Glasgow Underground card on the Tube, blew spitballs at the Conservatives, sold her Parliamentary iPad because it "disnae huv a Cybernat mode" and, in the bit they quoted, complained other MPs were taller than her. BBC Scotlandshire was quick to respond.
- The Something Awful column "Truth Media" is a parody of this, deliberately making error filled reviews hoping to attract flame wars and posting everything on the site.
- In the early days of the Internet, many mainstream journalists wrote screeds against websites like Bonsai Kitten and Penguin Warehouse, believing them to be real. Here's a great example.
- There's actually a handbook for people who want to do this, called How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard. It's surprisingly informative.
- There's also How to Really Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Henry Hitchings.
- Laughed at in the first Polish console games magazine Neo Plus, in the column named Omega Boost Za Frajer(ów) (wordplay: Omega Boost for free as well as Omega Boost in exchange for dumbass(es)), in which the editors actually rewarded every reader that sent some media article containing mistakes connected to video games with copy of this great PS shoot'em up.
- The Onion has been mistaken for a legit news source so many times it's not even funny anymore.
- Literally Unbelievable showcases this.
- Its transatlantic cousin, Private Eye, which pre-dates it by a number of decades, has an equally long history of this. A highlight was a joke article (you could tell it was a joke article because it was in the traditional joke section surrounded by other joke articles) spoofing The Daily Express's tendency to run spurious Diana stories: DIANA WAS STILL ALIVE HOURS BEFORE SHE DIED!" This promptly ended up on Facebook and 4chan as an example of "The most retarded headline ever". The Eye had a field day:Private Eye: To borrow the sentiments of many of the learned interneters: AHAHAHAHAHA...JUST LOL!
- And then there is the Onion's military cousin, The Duffel Blog, playing off of the fact that life in the military can sometimes seem genuinely absurd and arbitrary even to those who understand it.
- Probably the closest British website equivalent to The Onion is The Daily Mash. One hapless editor of the Harry Potter Wiki once claimed that the entire action of all seven books was just in Harry's head — and cited a Daily Mash article as "proof". He refused to believe that the Mash is a satirical site, whose articles are not intended to be taken seriously, even when pointed to their FAQ page which explicitly says so.
- It also had happened with the Mexican website El Deforma. Sometimes said site has to acknowledge that, for the sake of comedy. But also it tends to happen that something that one of their news become truth in just mere hours (as surrealistic Mexico is).
- Can happen for important issues, too. The National Post, a Canadian newspaper, ran an article titled "Iran Eyes Badges for Jews" complete with a picture of Jews being persecuted in Nazi Germany. This had many unfortunate consequences as the Prime Minister mistook the story as factual. The Other Wiki has the relevant info here.
- "Something Awful is a cult that supports drug use, rape, racism, illegal use of firearms, harassment, piracy and child pornography. We exist to expose the cult that is Something Awful and the mastermind behind it Richard Kyanka." (link is here)
- European media outlets continue to refer to Indy Car under the name of a former rival sanctioning body, even more than 3 years after its decline and demise.
- According to Fox News, Ipv6 isn't backwards compatible.
- According to a German news program covering the operation to take out bin Laden, the Navy SEAL emblem is exactly identical to the Maquis. EVEN THE KLINGON SKULL.
- According to a lot of American news sources and talk radio (especially conservative shows), Socialism is a political ideology, not an economic one (although any economic system that puts the means of production in state handsthe technical definition of socialismhas a lot of political implications). For that matter, most people only really know of Communism and Libertarianism note as the Theme Park Version, at best.
- American sources also often have trouble distinguishing between Socialism and Liberalism: although there can be a fair amount of overlap, especially since the advent of 'big-state Liberalism', they are two distinct ideologies with very different origins.
- Another problem with this "Democrat Equals Socialist" debate is that the modern-day Democratic Party (at least since the Bill Clinton era) has taken on a "Neo-Liberal" approach, with a far more relaxed reaction to free-market capitalism than ever before. Bill even announced in 1995 that "the era of big government is over," something Republicans would have never expected a Democrat to say at the time. Likewise, Hillary Clinton was a Republican in her early political years and accepted donations from Wall Street bankers during her last Presidential run, something that Bernie Sanders (the most recent example of a legitimate socialist running for President as a Democrat) chastised her for.
- A common complaint is that "socialism has failed everywhere it's been tried." But if the "socialism" category includes social democracy - and for many right-wingers, it does - then this is clearly false, because Sweden is socially democratic and is a successful and flourishing country.
- Read here for an example from 2001, wherein an inactive play-by-email roleplaying game from the 80s-90s, by way of sheer coincidence◊ (the game was set in a town called Greendale), was assumed by many uninformed news reporters to be related to the anthrax attacks that fall.
- Countless artists and illustrators get the U.S. Highway System markers (a white shield on a black square background, assigned to a set of major roads throughout the country) mixed up with the Interstate Highway System (a red-white-and-blue cutout shield of a different shape, assigned only to freewaysnote ) mixed up, and use one's shield for the other. Others still use the older style of U.S. shield, retired in 1961, which had the name of the state at the top and was a cutout. Some even conflate the two, and put the Interstate shield's colors on a U.S. shield, typically of the pre-1961 variety. Still others will use one of the shields to designate a state highway, most of which have their own unique shapes from state to state.
- This article from Cracked identifies the Kid Cuisine mascot, K.C. Penguin, as a duck.
- It's an extremely common error in media of all kinds to confuse sushi (vinegared rice) with sashimi (raw fish).
- Most, if not all, of the new evil drugs of the 2010s ("bath salts," "krokodil," "spice," "legal weed," "poppers," etc.) are synthetic derivatives of controlled substances. To skirt U.S. drug laws, they are sold as a wide variety of innocuous products like substances for pipe cleaning, bath salts, or potpourri, slapping a "not for human consumption" warning on for good measure. Pull up any given article or video on them, and you'd think there's a brand new drug out there that's making people into cannibals and/or zombies or having their own flesh eaten (by the very drug itself!) from the inside out. A very cursory knowledge of biology and chemistry are the only things necessary to find out that unregulated drugs can have unexpected and very nasty side effects, none of these synthetic derivatives have wide usage (except as "potpourri," and so on...) and may well be chemically unstable (be it inherently, for lack of better production means, or due to the lack of regulation). ...but try finding THAT (at least mainstream) news article.
- And, naturally, a disturbing amount of anti-drug propaganda, past and present: people on LSD burning their eyes out staring at the sun, Reefer Madness, MDMA eating large chunks of your brain, and the list goes on for a very long while.
- Opponents of legalizing prostitution often claim it's rape since prostitutes can't refuse customers. This is completely false: In countries with legal, regulated prostitution at least, the prostitutes are able to refuse service just like any other business.
- Colour terms sometimes fall victim to this (we're not talking here about Green Is Blue or the like):
- The Zx Spectrum manual referred to "light blue, technically known as cyan". As one commentator sarcastically pointed out, that's like saying "light green, technically known as yellow".
- In February 2017, a newspaper word-game had the theme "green", but one of the answers was "teal". Teal is a shade of cyan, not of green. (It even looks more blue than green; it's sometimes called "petrol blue".)
- One question which you can ask Alexa (Amazon's voice AI) is "what is zero divided by zero?". Unfortunately, she gives the wrong answer; she claims it to be "undefined", but it's actually indeterminate — if it were undefined, a '''lot''' of higher mathematics wouldn't work.note
- In an article about the serious incident on the Smiler roller coaster at Alton Towers in June 2015, the BBC News website claimed the Smiler to have 14 "loops". All other sources point out that the very first of its 14 inversions is a heartline roll, not a loop.
- Québécois toy store Castello makes tons of mistakes with their birthday service. Among their most egregious examples are calling Hannah Montana's nickname "Miley", making Elsa a princess (apparently forgetting about The Snow Queen) and even calling Darth Vader a good guy. See this abomination here.
- Similar to the entry on palaeontology above, practically everything the media — any media — does that includes psychology will be an example of this trope. It's especially glaring in shows like Criminal Minds, which, despite being all about psychology, will get much more wrong than it will right.
- In the BBC's nostalgia documentary "I Love 1984", one segment focuses on the Transformers, which debuted in that year. A few seconds features various celebrities talking about Soundwave (the Decepticon communications officer who transforms into a cassette player), while cartoon footage illustrates. Unfortunately, all the footage shown during this piece of commentary instead shows his Autobot counterpart, Blaster (who, unlike several characters who transform into the same thing, wasn't just a Palette Swap).
- In Steve Birnbaum's guidebooks for the Disney Theme Parks, the description for Muppet*Vision 3D states Waldo C. Graphic to be a new character created for the attraction. Waldo actually first appeared in The Jim Henson Hour about a year prior to Muppet*Vision 3-D's opening.
- The Chilean TV magazine TV grama had a section that mentioned the children programming highlights of the week in order to advertise a cable company. The description for each featured show were very inaccurate. They stated that Cow and Chicken lived in a stable and sometimes they summarized the premise as "Cow loves his younger brother Chicken, but doesn't understand why he tries to stifle her"; They confused Goosebumps with Are You Afraid of the Dark?; they described Legends of the Hidden Temple as an actual adventure series rather than a game show, and so on. Also, at the end of the shorter descriptions it always said "check the new episodes of this animated series", regardless if the statement fits at all.
- This CNN.com opinion piece by Timothy Stanley criticizing the Eurovision Song Contest. You can immediately tell This Is Gonna Suck when the author describes the show as "Europe's version of American Idol". Not only that, he appears to be COMPLETELY misinformed about the qualification process, saying that host nation Azerbaijan shouldn't be participating because it's not in Europe. All that is required is that the country be a member of the European Broadcasting Union.
- Worse, the author is an Oxford Professor. God save us...
- Also the idea that Eurovision is their version of American Idol makes no sense regardless since American Idol itself is derived from a British series.
- Similar to the Peanuts example on the Film page, some news articles claim that the 2012 Furby is the first time they have been revived since 1998, when the Furby was also brought back in 2005.
- In a speech, Barack Obama got his wires crossed when discussing the budget sequesterment in February 2013 by stating that he would need to do a "Jedi mind meld" to get the cuts done. The White House did follow it up with a Funny Moment on Twitter, however.
- Another one was in a review of a book called katie.com (an autobiography of a teenage girl and how she came within a hair's breadth of being abused by a predator she met online) where the reviewer raised concern about the use in the title of .com "with its association with porn sites". Just about anyone who has more than a month's internet experience knows that although it is superficially true that .com is related to porn sites, this is only because (1) most sites, regardless of nature, are .com and (2) most sites, regardless of domain, are porn sites; it isn't because .com is a specifically pornographic domain, as .xxx is.
- And another one was a review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in which the reviewer made the mistake of reviewing the book as a stand-alone novel, instead of as what it actually is, namely book 6 of 7. Bad mistakes include the reviewer complaining that "the book gives no indication of what year, or even what decade, it is set in" (of course it doesn't; we were already given that information in the second book) and that the book "makes no mention of things such as computers or TVs" (of course it doesn't, for the same reason that The Lord of the Rings doesn't).
- Cirque du Soleil-related examples:
- An article about how Mystère was a key inspiration for NiGHTS into Dreams... used a photo of the cast of another Cirque show, "O". "O" didn't even open until 1998, two years after the release of the first game!
- An infomercial for the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois mentioned the forthcoming visit of the tour Dralion...and used cast photos from Alegría to illustrate it.
- Robin Leach's report on the first preview of Michael Jackson ONE mentions that one setpiece is set to "How Does It Feel" from Stranger in Moscow. The song in question is "Stranger in Moscow" ("How does it feel" is a key refrain) from HIStory. He also mentions "I Cant [sic] Stop Loving You"; the correct title is "I Just Can't Stop Loving You". These are especially silly errors given that the piece reads like a paid advertisement for the show.
- CPU Mag in their Steam machines article, show Counter-Strike Source in a photo and call it Counter Strike Global Offense.
- Evangelical Christian preacher Josué Yrion exaggerates this on his famous sermon against videogames, with the specific intent of appearing to hate videogames so much he won't even call consoles by their proper name.Josué Yrion: Nintendos... Segas, Super Nintendos, Playstations, whatever!
- This Daily Beast article on the trend of Screen-to-Stage Adaptation on Broadway and the West End in The New '10s laments the lack of originality in musical theatre these days. Unfortunately, it makes several huge errors that undercut the intended point, some of which are addressed in the comments for the article:
- Carousel, Chicago, Mame, Oklahoma!, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying are mentioned as examples of original musicals. The first four were actually adapted from non-musical stage plays, and Auntie Mame itself was originally a novel. How to Succeed was originally a book.
- Frank Wildhorn's Bonnie and Clyde musical was Based on a True Story, not the 1967 film on the same subject.
- If/Then wasn't the only original-to-the-stage musical on Broadway in the spring of 2014...The Book of Mormon, which happens to be one of the biggest stage hits in years, was still running.
- Stage musicals falsely accused of being direct film adaptations are American Psycho, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, From Here to Eternity, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (of Kind Hearts and Coronets), High Fidelity, and Matilda. All six stories originated as novels, two of which were written by the same author. While their film adaptations did predate their stage incarnations, the musicals return to their respective novels as the jumping-off point; Charlie does include some internal homages to and one song from its two film incarnations, but is a very different beast than either (though the later Retool mounted on Broadway does play as a really loose adaptation of the 1971 film).
- The article largely forgets that there's a reason the trope All Musicals Are Adaptations exists.
- In February 2014, the platinum BIONICLE Mask of Light piece made news as the most expensive LEGO piece ever to be sold. Articles such as this claimed the mask belongs to a character named Avohkii — actually, Avohkii is the name of the mask itself, and its wearer is called Takanuva.
- In the December 2014 issue of Otaku Usa, it claims Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a shoujo series. Incorrect. Although its demographic has been controversial among the fandom, especially female fans and feminist, it's still seinen anime.
- This could also be an example of the common misconception that "all shoujo anime are magical girl series, and all magical girl series are shoujo anime."