Friday, November 3

Confessions of a Professional Proofreader

Recently, my friend and fellow blogger Doug has been posting photographs of grammar errors he finds while out and about (see here and here). Maybe it's an English major thing, but I find this to be a completely normal and necessary practice. The world would be a better place if more people took care with their grammar. Now I, too, have started photographing annoying errors when I see them. It gives me a sense of validation (and, I suppose, smug superiority) not only to identify these errors, but to record them and expose them in all their wrongful glory. Here are two that I've found in the last week:

Okay, how does one pronounce this word? "Spe-kyle?" "Spe-kale?" And, more importantly, I'm sure that somebody at this restaurant has realized this error, yet they leave it there as though it doesn't matter. Don't they have paint thinner? A scraper? Anything? I know that not everyone is as OCD as I am, but really! Have some pride! This is a business! Frankly, I worry about eating a $5 lunch speCIAL prepared by somebody who can't even bother to correct their window! Jeesh!

On to a more subtle but no less annoying error:

It may take you a minute...... Got it yet?

This error is especially egregious because the improper use of "'til" is one of my greatest pet peeves, and I long ago made the correct use of apostrophes my own personal grammar crusade in my classroom. (Along with the proper use of the word "literally," but I'll save that for another post.) I am constantly circling the word "till" on my students papers. The word is UNTIL or 'TIL! To be fair, Fox does use the correct form of 'til for the show itself; it is only the local affiliate that makes the error. They also advertise That '70s Show as That 70's Show. (By the way, television shows are italicized, NOT put in quotations.) So, for the benefit of everyone, here is the rule: An apostrophe indicates that something is missing, as in until or 1970s. Now you know. Don't you feel better? I do.

P.S. I know that this post claims to be posted on 11/3, making it seem as though I've already missed a day for Nablopomo, but I write late at night, and it's not my fault if Blogger doesn't recognize 12:30 at night as still being 11/2.

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