As I have previously noted, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s closed captioning services are often good for mild amusement at their own expense, like that time they transcribed “rectal scrape” as “rectal crepe”. [Editor’s note: I suppose you can’t really win that situation.]
I don’t normally share every delightful example of closed caption-anigans – I come across them every day, and I blog these days at something less than that level of frequency – but there was something different about last night’s episode of The Colbert Report: whoever put the captions together used them to make a joke. Sort of like what happens on The Word, only for deaf people.
The “mistake” popped up in Colbert’s segment about a candidate to succeed Michele Bachmann in the House, Tom Emmer. At first glance, the error seems rather innocent – a slip of grammar, specifically, a missing hyphen – but when you take a look at how the sentence as a whole was transcribed (that is, with two other, properly-placed hyphens), you get the sense that someone over at Comedy Central went out of his way to communicate what he thinks about state’s rights (or at least the candidates who espouse them):
I will now think of Republicans in the House as undergoing biennial Pro-State exams.