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Author Topic: Grammatical errors on signs  (Read 10114 times)
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« on: September 10, 2008, 09:09:15 AM »

Grammatical errors on signs becoming a 'regualar' occurrence

A cup of regualar coffee sounds like the perfect way to start your day.

Wouldn't some cheep gas be nice? But if you park your car, you've been warned: No in-and-out priviliges.

 These mangled spellings – on real-life signs around the Dallas-Fort Worth area – underline the obvious: Spelling isn't always high on our list.

And our grammar ain't that good, too.

It's enough to make your English teacher cringe – and drive others to break the law.

Last month, two men were sentenced to probation and banned from national parks for a year after getting busted for fixing errors on a sign in Grand Canyon National Park.

The men travel the country correcting signs as part of the Typo Eradication Advancement League.

And, yeah, they might have crossed the line by messing with a historical sign in a national park, but they've got a point.

Across the country and locally, our land is littered with signs, posters, ads, menus – you name it – that are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.

In some cases, human spell-checkers battle these boo-boos by fixing the errors on their own. Others snap pictures and trash the typos on their blogs.

Grammarians say these are bad signs of the times – our language is on a downward spiral. Others say: Lighten up.

 Correct spelling and proper grammar matter and help us understand each other, said Martha Brockenbrough, who founded the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.

"There are rules for how you play football and there are rules for how you drive," she said. "Standards of football keep things interesting, fair and fun. I think they do the same for language."

Sign offenders abound around Dallas-Fort Worth.

Need money? An Oak Cliff gas station offers this service: " Check Cashed."

Hungry and in a hurry? A fast-food restaurant sign showcased a deal for 10 pieses of chicken. A Knox-Henderson restaurant is "Now Open for LUNCH FRIDAY'S" (drop the apostrophe, guys).
How about this twisted apology at a toy store: "We apologise for the inconveinance."

A mural on the side of a building at the Preston Royal shopping center shows what appears to be a movie theater with a sign that says: " Premier Tonight."

Misspelled words and names slip into newspapers and television news graphics every day. A recent Associated Press story described Joe Lieberman as the 2000 Democratic vice presidential ... well, let's just say that it was quickly changed to "pick."

Different groups have different ways of handling the more permanent typos and misspellings, without breaking the law.

Ms. Brockenbrough's Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar takes the polite route, sending out friendly letters to offenders encouraging them to make corrections.

"It's not about shame and humiliation," said Ms. Brockenbrough of Seattle, who launched National Grammar Day this year.

Signs are big business at the Texas Department of Transportation. So it behooves the agency to pay close attention to potentially costly errors.

Several employees are assigned to review the text that appears on highway signs, spokeswoman Kelli Petras said. They use spellcheckers, maps and dictionaries.

Educators say these bungled words are a symptom of a deeper problem: Students aren't learning grammar.

The State Board of Education in May adopted new curriculum standards, including greater emphasis on grammar instruction in Texas schools.

Some also say that students' text messaging and Twittering – which encourage short notes and abbreviations and spelling-be-damned – are seeping into formal writing.

Students are writing informally now more than ever, said Diana Grumbles, director of the First-Year Writing Program at Southern Methodist University.

Some of her students don't capitalize or use punctuation when they send her a quick e-mail. Some will submit in-class writing assignments with symbols – using @ instead of "at," for example.

"I always just circle these things and tell them at the end of the paper that they have to write the words out," Ms. Grumbles said. "This is not a quick note dashed off to a friend."

Then there are these gems collected by Ms. Grumbles and her colleagues:

•"There is nothing wrong with my writing, maybe it is her that doesn't know what she is doing," one student wrote.

•"After writing numerous papers I feel I have improved existentially," another student wrote.

•One student meant to say "ludicrous," but instead wrote "Ludacris," the rapper.

•And in another paper: "He should not have taken that for granite."

A university lecturer in England says teachers should accept their students' errors – Febuary instead of February or speach instead of speech.

"Either we go on beating ourselves and our students up over this problem, or we simply give everyone a break," Ken Smith wrote last month in the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Ms. Grumbles isn't willing to cut her students that much slack.

"Certain standards need to stay in place," she said.

But even Ms. Brockenbrough admits that there are times when bad grammar or spelling is a good thing.

The song "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" sounds a lot better than "I Cannot Receive Any Satisfaction," she said.

And then there's Chick-fil-A, known for its "Eat Mor Chikin" ad campaign, featuring cows using incorrect spelling to implore customers to choose chicken over beef.

"I've got no beef with that," Ms. Brockenbrough said.

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2008, 09:25:57 AM »

There are many more that much more difficult such as there, their and they're that I make a mistake on frequently. Some of it is just typing in a hurry and not paying close enough attention to what I'm typing. Some of this is because people are getting to rely to much on computer software to correct their spelling for them and there is no spell-check on signs. I must admit that I have gotten lazy and now rely on computer spell-check software myself.

When posting on the forum I have a spell-check that underlines the words in red. In the original posting of this article where I had found it the miss-spelled words were placed in italics. I noticed that in the article above that several words were not underlined that were in italics in the original web page posting. I checked those spellings against several on-line dictionaries like Merriam-Webster and yourdictionary.com. The results showed that they were indeed miss-spelled.

When spell-checks that are so heavily relied upon are wrong it just adds to this problem of people learning incorrectly.


Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2008, 01:09:42 PM »

I am constantly appalled at the misspellings and grammatical errors in forums. People don't know how to spell "a lot" and spell it "allot". "Their" is often confused with "there". "To" is often used in place of "too". A comma is often used instead of an apostrophe. I've also seen " used as an apostrophe.

Then there is the lack of ability to form a proper sentence, capitalize the first letter of a sentence or a proper name or capitalize God or Jesus. Too many don't use paragraphs to make the post flow more easily, and make it easier to read. Too many use "im" for "I'm", "It's" for "its", or the other way around. Too often periods and commas aren't used at all, and everything is run into one looooooooooong sentence. I don't bother trying to read such posts. They aren't worth my time.

I realize that not everyone is well educated, but if I didn't know how to write a sentence that people could read, I wouldn't embarrass myself by posting in forums. I don't claim to be intelligent, but I did take the time in school to learn proper grammar, punctuation,  and how to spell. I also did well in math but nothing else.

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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2008, 03:02:41 PM »

I admit that I was lazy in Elementary and High School. I was bored easily with the work and just didn't do it. I was capable of reading the KJV and understanding it correctly in the 1st grade by the time I entered the 4th grade I was reading things like the autobiography of Dag Hammarskjold without any difficulty. That was considered college level reading at the time. Today many wouldn't even attempt reading such material even in college.


Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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