This Is Not A Joque

Guy Hardy (1872-1947), a former Representative of Colorado, had an old newspaper clipping in his possession about the woes of a newspaper printer. Apparently, the letter “F” and “K” were missing in the supply of type. So, the printer of Rocky Mountain Cyclone had to improvise. He replaced letters that have identical sounds:

We begin the publication ov the Roccay Mountain Cyclone with some phew diphiculties in the way. The type phounder phrom whom we bought our outphit phor this printing ophphice phaled to supply us with any ephs or cays, and it will be phour or phive weex bephore we can get any. The mistaque was not phound out till a day or two ago. We have ordered the missing letters, and will have to get along without them till they come. We don’t lique the loox ov this variety ov spelling any better than our readers, but mistax will happen in the best regulated phamilies, and iph the ph’s and c’s and x’s hold out we shall ceep (sound the c hard) the Cyclone whirling aphter a phasion till the sorts arrive. It is no joque to us — it’s a serious aphair.

At least, they were able to publish their paper despite experiencing such difficulties.


Highland Echo, December 4, 1925

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

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