“Add one little bit on the end . . . Think of 'potatoe,' how's it spelled?
You're right phonetically, but what else . . .? There ya go . . . all right!”

-- Vice President Dan Quayle
correcting a student's correct spelling of the word “potato"
during a spelling bee at an elementary school in Trenton, N.J.

The Dan Quayle Memorial Rule
Warped by Mike Cavna
(c) 1998 Lew Little Enterprises Dist. United Feature
   When Dan Quayle was vice president, he visited an elementary school one day. At some point during his visit, the vice president was in front of the classroom when he was asked to write the word “potato” on the blackboard. The vice president, who had developed a well-earned reputation for gaffes, wrote:  POTATOE
     Oops! And all caught for a national TV audience. 
     There is a moral or two to this story: 

     Moral #1: Never rely on your memory to spell correctly — unless you're absolutely, 110 percent, bet-your-life-on-it sure. Then look it up anyway. 

     Moral #2: Always remember Moral #1 — especially if you're the vice president of the United States in front of the national media (or editing a publication that'll be read by more people than your “momma”).

More gaffes by Dan Quayle

Back  |  Home