While celebrating Christmas with family in a small Ontario town this past weekend, I ran across countless examples of misspelled signs, inappropriate use of apostrophes in what should have been plurals, random capitalization of Important Words and other affronts to word nerds. Sadly, I did not have anything with me to capture them for your amusement. But here are some other random misspellings from my “glad I didn’t let that one go” files:
- the shear volume of information (sheer)
- tighten the reigns on spending (reins)
- can eek out a competitive edge (eke)
- additionnal information (additional)
- allows buyers to peak inside (peek)
- wheel barrels (wheelbarrows).
And lest you think I only look with a critical eye, here are some examples of expressive writing that I found delightful:
- “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” – Nicholas Carr in Is Google Making Us Stupid?
- “Occasionally I’ll either be tuned into my local NPR station, KCRW, at exactly the right time…or I’ll fall down some Internet rabbit hole…” – Colleen Wainwright
- “Mostly, I herded actors from room to room — I was a border collie for the comely.” – Quinn Cummings in Notes From the Underwire (a funny book, by the way).
What amusing, enjoyable or painful writing have you seen lately?
Ha! “A border collie for the comely.” That’s awesome. I had no idea Quinn Cummings was so smart and funny and accomplished. No wonder she had to give acting the heave-ho. 🙂
Oh! And her wikipedia entry brought up another pet peeve: it’s “casting *director*”, not “casting *agent*”. (Yes, I wrestled with my inner grammar nerd before placing the comma and period where I did. The pressure of leaving a comment on a blog like this!!)
Colleen, thanks for commenting! Don’t worry, I leave commenters a little slack when it comes to grammar; it’s the big companies who should use a proofreader that are shown no mercy! And your own line is awesome itself. I love that image of falling down an Internet rabbit hole, because it happens to me all the time.