Chicken scratchin’ scrawl

Horace Greeley’s notorious handwriting was, in fact, unreadable by all but one of the Tribune’s compositors. One day, while this expert was at lunch, two of his colleagues caught a couple of pigeons, inked their claws, and allowed them to scamper back and forth across a sheet of paper. This page was then substituted for Greeley’s copy. That afternoon, the compositor struggled through most of the inky scrawl, but there was one “paragraph” that he was totally unable to decipher. In desperation, he consulted Greeley. Casting his eye over the inky claw-marks, Greeley snapped impatiently: “What’s the matter with you? Do you expect me to print it myself? Here, I’ll rewrite the whole page.”

Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 1:39 PM  Leave a Comment  

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