Friday, August 1, 2014

A Fainting Spell

          I don’t know if you’ve ever been invited to a piano rectal, but it’s sure to be more interesting than one without accompaniment, no?
          Misspellings abound.  And we all make them (come on, admit to the occasional typo, at least).  But I am always perplexed when they occur after several sets of eyes have seen the wording.  
          Think about it—how many people have to approve a printed program, an invitation, a public sign?  You have the creator, their friends, the company producing the printed item, the painter perhaps—at least a dozen people.  And yet you see misspellings everywhere.   Even the word misspell gets misspelled.

          Just driving around the Sacramento area where I live, I’ve seen two such slip-ups this week.  The first is this street sign:
          Lest you think both signs are wrong—one for ocelot and one for suave-- I must tell you that this is wine country and soave is an Italian white wine that’s pronounced So-Ah-Ve, so I’m going to give them a pass on that one.  But oselot?  No such word and no such animal.  And we can only put just so much blame on the school system—I fault the developers here.  Who in their right mind wants to live on a misnamed street?
          The next blatant error was on the side of a truck.  Apparently they cannot even spell the very thing they rent.  Nor can the truck painters.  In case this is too small for you to read, it says, "Equiptment Rental."
          I’m thinking I might attend that piano rectal, after all.  Why should the child be punished for the carelessness of an adult who made up the invitations?  Just as I was happy to attend a Boy Scout Court of Honor where a poem called “The Uninformed Boy” was front and center on the program.  The boys were sitting there in their uniforms, and it was someone else entirely who was uninformed.
If you love words, you’ll love Sisters in the Mix, in which one of my characters takes grammar and spelling just a pinch too far.


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