After last week’s topic, let’s move on to something a little lighter but still important – spelling. I am not referring to Tori Spelling. I will admit that I don’t always catch everything. I still get desert and dessert confused when I look at the spelling. I do think that has something to do where I grew up – Southerners like to add syllables. But I try to own up to it when I screw things up. However, what do you do when it’s public? A big, billboard sized screw up? And I’m not referring to things like the Ray Ban sunglasses billboard with their slogan “we’d love to be sitting on your face” or the one that says “Texting while driving kills – For more driving tips test ‘Safety’ to —–.” I mean things like this:
“Bring on the taks test, We eccept the challenge!” This was spotted outside the Larry G. Smith Elementary School. Frankly, I’m not sure where that is, but it’s a school and they should know better. I will assume that ‘taks’ is a type of test and / or an acronym, but there is no excuse for accepting the spelling of that word as ‘eccept.’ And that’s not the only one spotted outside of schools. How about Sand Creek Elementary’s forthcoming “Speeling Bee” or Noonan Elementary’s “Congratalation Spelling Bee Champinos.”
I’ll chalk those up to ‘oops’ and move on, but there is no excuse for anyone over the age of 10 to confuse there, their and they’re. I know we’re taught that if there’s an apostrophe then it’s possessive or a contraction, but if you know there’s a third spelling, then just assume the apostrophe is a contraction. ‘They’re in their car over there’ is the correct spelling, not ‘There in they’re car over their.’ I’ve actually seen that. It worries me. The same goes for ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, but I get picky after a while.
I saw one recently in a news story about a woman complaining about a neighbor’s dog. “Something should be done because all it does is scream like a benchy!” This one took me a minute. Benchy? When I finally wrapped my head around that one, it occurred to me that if there’s an editor on staff, or, certainly, with all the technology of the day, something somewhere should have said “did you mean Banshee – the mythical Irish beastie that screams?” Perhaps I’m wrong. That’s be best I could come up with. Do you have any other ideas for that one? I’m open to interpretation.
Of course, I realize that English isn’t the easiest language. At least we don’t have gendered pronouns for objects. I really never understood why spoons would be feminine and apples masculine… or whatever they are. I’m not even sure where to look for the genitals on a spoon. But the people who live here, and make public statements, should make sure they have it down better than they do. Yes, Village of Crestwood, I’m looking at you and your “English is our language no excetions – learn it” sign. However, don’t get me started on trump’s tweets. Every village has an idiot. In this case, for some unfathomable reason, ours is (allegedly) in charge right now. Let’s fix that in November. Register to vote.