Irish Bulls

I learned a fun literary term today from Futility Closet’s post here:

‘Two examples of “Irish bulls,” or ludicrous published statements:

‘It is in a Belfast paper that may be read the account of a murder, the result of which is described thus: “They fired two shots at him; the first shot killed him, but the second was not fatal.”

‘Connoisseurs in [Irish] bulls will probably say that this is only a blunder. Perhaps the following will please them better: “A man was run down by a passenger train and killed; he was injured in a similar way a year ago.”’

— From Henry B. Wheatley, Literary Blunders: A Chapter in the “History Of Human Error,” 1893

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