Sunday, July 26, 2009

Attention to detail, lacking


Semi-truth in advertising
London, Ontario, March 2007

About this photo: Our Thematic Photographic theme this week is elemental. As a writer, the fundamental elements of my existence are proper spelling, grammar and general attention to detail. Increasingly, it seems, these elements are in short supply. Which leaves you with a choice: Either wonder why this is so, or head over here and share your own elemental vision.
Not a day goes by that I don't see a sign somewhere that contains some sort of obvious error in spelling or grammar. I hate to sound like a writer who's always perfect - I'm not, after all - but it's almost as if people don't take the time to care about the quality of their work. It's not as if this is a tiny typo buried in the middle of a sea of text. It's a seven-word poster! You think SOMEONE would have proofed it.

Or maybe I'm just expecting too much in this apparent age of mediocrity.

Your turn: Am I justified in being frustrated? Or should I simply accept that mediocrity is the new normal in the modern world?

Note: Caption This will return next week.

14 comments:

Pat Dryburgh said...

I am 100% with you. I wrote this about this very topic yesterday: http://patdryburgh.com/blog/the-business-of-grammar/

By the way, is that sign at William and Dundas? I'm pretty sure it's supposed to have tape over it, as they are not allowed to promote the sale of tobacco.

Mojo said...

"That's much better. Next week we'll work on colors!"

"The Decline and Fall of Sign Language."

Meh. It's all I got. Except for an shot of "elemental forces" at work. It was an awesome display to behold.
Thematic Photographic 59: "Elemental" v.5.0 - "Forces of Nature"

Beverly said...

That looks like some of the posts that are on engrishbrog.com.

Jean said...

Here is my entry :)

Thom said...

I'm so bad about this kind of thing. I go back and see comments or posts I've done and think how could I. Problem is I proof it again and again and never see it. Sigh what to do what to do. But seeing someone else post something like this is going to make me work that much harder :)

Catherine said...

In some countries they care. In Singapore, I was surprised to discover posters promoting the speaking of good English - correcting some of the errors that Chinese speakers make in English - and they have an excuse as their grammar is very different to ours.
I was astonished yesterday to see a poster referring to "you're" when they meant "your"
As in "you're book". You are a book? That just doesn't make sense.
Something else that irritates me is "she could of come yesterday". It's the way people speak, I suppose, but the sense demands "could've".

mamie said...

I finally went over the top when I visited a new blog on writing - WRITING, okay? - and there were misspelled words in almost every post. She had spelled the word "steed" as "stead" - even phonetically this doesn't work. My local newspaper is using a lot of interns for articles and they are the worst. Front page of the newspaper is certainly a place that a good editor would start editing, don't you think? Rant over, and thanks for the platform!

marcia@joyismygoal said...

I would so want to go correct it w/ a sharpie like the writer of "Eats, Shoot, and Leaves". If you don't know this book, it is a must for all wordsmiths, esp those who love the comma.:)

lissa said...

Trust me, you are NO curmudgeon! Grammar has gone away, it seems, and I'm just as much a stickler about it as you. Even published authors have gotten lax in their writing and it is very discouraging...

Nikki-ann said...

I work for a print company and we provide a proof form with each piece of artwork (quite often artwork is supplied by the customer but they still want us to send them a copy - mad, I know - for them to proof). One of several instances usually happens...

1. They the proof form saying it's ready for print and then after we've sent it to plate they say they need to make amendments.

2. They don't read the line of the email which says "Please sign & return the attached proof acceptance form and we will proceed to print", they just email back "Proof OK" or phone to say the proof is OK (trying to get out of the proof acceptance terms, no doubt).

In my experience, people are passed things to proof and they usually just scan their eyes over it and say it's OK, without actually reading it or looking at it properly.

(Rant over! Hehe).

Klaatu said...

My new annoying thing is to constantly quote Chief Wiggums.
" That's some mighty fine spelling there, Lou."

Star said...

My favorite lack of grammar/spelling story involves my oldest daughter. There is an upscale gym in center city Philly that had a huge banner strung across the front of the building. It read:
"Sign Up Now for Gorilla Warfare Classes"

Star could not resisit going in an asking the girl at the desk when the Gorillas were arriving.

Of course, they thought SHE was crazy.

Anonymous said...

Hello Carmi!
I am far from perfect with grammar and spelling; but whenever I read (or hear someone say) something way off, I tend to laugh and quote Ralph Wiggum:
"Me fail English, that's unpossible!"

Terri

Country Girl said...

Drives me crazy, too. I saw a spot on TV about a year ago where there was a team of people going around and fixing all the incorrect signs.