Friday, April 3, 2009

So where's the PRUFREEDER?

Those who know me, know I have am very particular about The English. I seem to have a gift when it comes to spotting typographical errors, misspellings, &c. I think I came by it honestly, and attribute it to the Journalism Gene inherited from my Newspaperman Father. I can glance at a page and spot errors instantly. Once, on a car trip, we drove past a historical marker in Arizona, on the highway. Dad said, "There was an error on that sign." Mom said, "Oh, come ON, Sid, you couldn't have seen it driving by this fast. Turn around." He laughed...but did, and you guessed it: there WAS an error on it. I inherited that.

Now, let me say that I'm not stuffy about it; I know that some people have as much trouble with The English as I do with Wicked Maths. But I do feel that standards should be upheld in print . Books, newspapers, SIGNS -- they should be examined and tidied up and should be guaranteed to be 100% free of typos, spelling errors and so on.

Yesterday we went to vote, and on the way back to the Museum to get our stuff, passed a fabulous shop, Fromagination,which sells all manner of wonderful cheese from all over the world. Right outside there was a chalkboard:

Mr Dearling said, "No more ROQUERFORT??" I said "Wait a minute -- roqueRfort??" He said, "Gee, I wonder why no more?" and I said, "I don't think that second "r" should be there." As you see, though, it's spelled that way three times...and the sign's handwritten. My first inclination was to hurry in and report it so they could fix it. I must admit, though, I had a moment of uncertainty - until we looked up and saw this, the front of the shop:

See the banner? "ROQUEFORT". So we did go in, and mentioned it -- the proprietor thanked us and said he was going to go get it when finished with his customer (there were, as usual, quite a few). So we headed out.....(by the way, it has something to do with some tariffs or wossname - if you want good roquefort cheese, get it now!)

Next we stopped at Hilldale Shopping Center on our way home. I really like it there, it's a very nice small mall. I was looking for a pair of black dress gloves to wear with Mary Hayes Chynoweth's walking suit. I looked at Macy's and a couple of boutiques - without luck. (Seems that ladies don't wear gloves any more.) (Small silent sigh of regret.)

So we stopped at the Directory to see if there might be a shop I hadn't thought of as a possibility. This is a good director, because it's clear, the diagram is straightforward and the shops are listed by type. I had stood there ONE MILLESECOND...and then I saw it:

TWICE!! I could hear my little in-brain teacher chanting "If it's not moving, it's stationAry; if it's going in an Envelope, it's stationEry...."E" for "ENVELOPE".

I shuddered. I almost gagged. This was a professional sign, probably made on a computer. Of course, this wouldn't be caught by Spell-Check, because "stationary" IS spelled right, but only -- it's the wrong word. (I've said it more than once: I'm very glad I was born speaking English because it must be a son-of-a-gun to learn.)

Well....that's pretty bad. I'm guessing that Sarah B. never looked at this, because surely she would have caught it. I enjoyed my moment of Righteous Indignation. (I'm old, allow me a foible.)

Then -- I SAW IT! Are you ready? I mean...really ready? OK ---

Chinese food, anyone?



Anonymous said...

I consider myself one of The Apostrophe Police. Had to correct a written-on-a-chalkboard sign at Caribou Coffee this week -- two (2!) unnecessary apostrophes. btw, chalk-written signs are easy to correct, although people look at you funny as they walk by and you are licking your finger and rubbing out apostrophes.

CTJen said...

argh! I would fall on the floor in a fit of seizures!!! you should check out the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks:

Finally, you should be able to find a purveyor of fine gloves in a variety of price ranges on teh internets. Here is but one example I found using google:

Or, perhaps you could knit yourself a lovely pair of lacy gloves?

Alwen said...

And of course, it's called stationery because one buys it from the stationer, right next to the chandler and around the corner and across the street from the cutler.

Jamwes said...

funny stuff. Remind me to never leve you read my stuff. It will be nothing but red marks on white paper by the time you are finished with it.

Laura47 said...

In the park last week I saw a barrel marked "Hot Coal's," and had such a fit that my husband offered to go get me some paint to cover it up.

Believe me, you're not alone.

Have you tried "antique" shops (I put the "antique" in quotation marks because these days they're mostly just old-ish junk, not a real antique to be seen) for gloves? That's the kind of place you often see nice ladies' dress gloves. And if you don't have monster hands like I do, you might even be able to wear some of them. Women used to have such small hands!

Kitty Mommy said...

Hong Knog? Is that like an Asian version of Glogg? (Pardon the lack of dots over the o)

See you tonight at Late Night?

slimsdotter said...

LOL I sure know what you mean about noticing all the typos.
A favorite quote (not original): "The purpose of the apostrophe is NOT to signal an impending final 'S'."
We have a shop in our town that will do Clothing Alternations.

Did you ever take a notion to visit Fort Laramie, Wyoming? You would like it.... (and you could stay at my place if you brought some squeeky cheese!)

slimsdotter said...

Oops. Squeaky cheese.

Marjorie said...

Submit it to the Engrish website! Quickly! :)

Marjorie said...

PS Thrift stores often have gloves. Trust She Who Knows.

Anne Boleyn said...

I am so with you, sister!
I can't stand to see ice tea IT"S ICED TEA, damn it!
I still can't believe that "different than" is acceptable. IT'S "DIFFERENT FROM", damn it. And I will never be OK with plural pronouns used so no one is offended by such things as, "No one is allowed to leave his seat until...."
I have a friend who had a sign made for his driveway that said, "Drive Slowly" because the ready made signs said, "Drive Slow" and he couldn't stand to drive past that grammar every day.
Please forgive me if I've made any errors as I wrote this.

Randi said...

Oh, my! I nearly had to take to my chaise with a cold compress on my forehead after reading your post.

Cimorine said...

Hahahaha! you sound like my dad! I'm so envious!

About the white gloves . . . look in antique stores. they have them. :)

MollyBeees said...

O Mi Gush! Its' enug 2 giv u teh vappers!

(:-) Tee Hee! Love you, DH!)

Yarnhog said...

I'm a founding member of the Grammar Police. I've always been that way, even in elementary school. I could diagram a complex sentence at 20 paces when I was nine. There is a big, lighted, professional sign on a restaurant near my house that reads: "Drive Trhu". I can't tell you how many times I've resisted the urge to plow my car into it.

Nina K Pettis said...

We're still out here, sharpening our red pencils and doing our best; the challenge is to get people to realize that they NEED a proofreader. Sigh.

pwlsax said...

Prufreedin is one of those jobs that got cut for mostly economic reasons. Then people just decided they could get along without it.

Good luck, but if you do go the way of the buggy whip, acknowledge it and move on. Wordites are already too often Luddites.

-former proff raeder