Dispatches from the Frontline of Idiocy

24 September, 2011

The following examples of illiteracy or barbarism were all encountered in the past two weeks.  I wish I could stop noticing such things.  Or even, dare I say it, stop getting bothered by them.  But I say, old chap, WE MUST HAVE STANDARDS!

First up is a stand at the Irish Antique Dealers’ Fair.  Presumably a Mr Yeat is somehow involved, but I’m not sure why he claims to own the country.  They surely don’t mean W.B. Yeats, and the part of Sligo associated with him?

Next is a greeting (sic) card, of the smutty variety.  The humour is somewhat spoiled by the failure to distinguish between “effect” and “affect”.  This is a common enough howler, I suppose, although it’s slightly depressing to see it writ large on a product which presumably went through many hands and took a lot of effort in its production.

Similarly, another blogger called Pencil&Spoon did a posting on a beer bottle label which was full of spelling and punctuation errors.  I hope he doesn’t mind me quoting liberally, as what he has written echoes my thoughts on such matters.

“What makes these mistakes especially frustrating is that the front of the label has obviously been well-designed and lots of effort has gone into it …. Even the paper it’s printed on is of a high quality. For this level of design and detail it must have passed by a few people and for none of them to spot those errors is just not good. As the front …. looks bold and well designed, I feel some confidence that the beer will also have had the same effort put into it. The shoddy spelling on the back makes me think again. ….I know some people aren’t good with spelling and grammar, I understand that, but there’s always someone around to take a look at it and check it…..Breweries: please try not to make spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes on your beer labels. …Even a small typo can send the message that you are sloppy and careless.”
Next up, when I saw the mass of warning signage and verbiage on a simple pool air mattress (we used to call them “lilos”), I became all nostalgic for the good old days when we were not treated like idiots and when judges didn’t entertain ridiculous personal injury claims by people who obviously qualify for the Darwin Awards (which “salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it).

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