Friday, April 01, 2011

Kan enibodee spel??

Riding home this afternoon, I spotted the above billboard for Triad Outdoor. Apparently, they are in the outdoor advertising business. Wait! According to the sign they are in the adverstising business. Let's work through this. A business which specializes in outdoor advertising cannot spell their business. My wife says that it must be some kind of marketing ploy to get people's attention. I think that was the same reason offered when "New Coke" flopped. No, Susan, it is not a marketing gimmick. It is simpler than that. People can't spell!!

Almost every computer has some sort of program that checks spelling. Do people use it? Read any e-mails lately??

One of our regular customers is fond of pointing out spelling errors in the Greensboro News & Record to me. I'm sorry, but those errors are so common as to remove the sporting aspect of that game. Evidently, proofreader is one of those jobs that was outsourced and never came back. My guess is that the N&R uses a proofreader who is not fluent in English.

I don't need to look that far for errors. We have a dry erase board at T&S where we post specials. I try to limit the message to seven words. One Sunday, three of seven words were misspelled on that sign. I have tried to check the sign everyday since that incident. I still catch a few. One day we misspelled Caesar. I had written it down for the hostess to copy and one of my managers disputed my spelling. When I pointed out the error of their ways, I told them that there were TWO dictionaries on my desk and a labeled jar of Caesar dressing on the shelf. Look around!!!

I'll try to be gentle about this one. At a church that I frequent, BLOG has been misspelled on the front of the bulletin for a few weeks. It's only four letters!! Surely, I'm not the only guy who can spell a four letter word. Maybe, I'm the only guy willing to spell a four letter word. Spell Check!!! Use the ##**$$## Spell Checker!! Breaking news!!! It's been corrected.

My favorite N&R misspelling story happened several years ago. In the days when we used classified ads to advertise for help, I called to place an ad for bus boy. The ad specialist who was taking my ad told me, "Bus Boy is gender specific and discriminatory. We can't run that. We can run an ad for Bus Boy/Bus Girl." I gave her my approval to do that. The next morning, I checked the ad. We were advertising for "Bus Boy/Bust Girl". A few seconds later, I was on the phone to our ad specialist. "You called me a sexist and then print an ad for BUST girl. Are you ##**## me??" We didn't pay for that ad.

Where is the epicenter of online spelling errors? Craig's List or Kregg's Listt.
Go see for yourself. I'll write about it on another day.


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