Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When I am Copyeditor General (pt.1)

How have I written for so long without exploding into a rant about language--specifically, the inability of other people to use it properly?

Well, that changes right now, mister.

I've always found a perverse thrill in discovering typos, grammatical lapses, ambiguous phrasing. The Boy will tell you how many times my perusal of a dinner menu sounds like this:

"Mmm, foie gras ... ohh, boeuf en daube ... ooh! Typo!"

(At such moments, The Boy rolls his eyes and sighs. If he's lucky, I don't get out my purple pen and mark up the offending text.)

I've been (triumphantly) collecting examples for a while, including this one, found in Miami:

Why the quotes? Is it irony? Are they hinting that the job doesn't involve "sales" at all, but merely hanging around and occasionally straightening the t-shirts?

What riled me up today, though, was the oversized postcard waiting in my mailbox:

Oh, how nice! My invited what?

Should I be more disturbed than usual because the invite is from the mayor of Medford, promoting his re-election announcement? Is he (or rather his wife, who allegedly wrote the copy) making some subtle indictment of the city's school system?

How many people read this before it went to the printer? And did none of them know the difference between "your" (meaning "belonging to you") and "you're" (meaning "you are")?

And I can't pass up the observation that the mayor cordially invites "you and your family to an old fashioned family barbecue." Wait--I can bring my family to the family barbecue? Really?

So your saying their invited too?

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Blogger Kyle said...

Oh, the delicious irony...

"Is he (or rather his wife, who allegedly wrote the copy) making some subtle inidctment of the city's school system? "

You spelled indictment wrong.


8:10 AM  
Blogger LimeyG said...

I hate you.

I've also fixed it.

8:47 AM  
Blogger -mt said...

Thanks for you're observations. Your so right. Also, its a shame most people still don't know the right use of the apostrophe in the third person forms. Its' unforgivable in the US, but just funny in other countries: see www.engrish.com

1:13 PM  
Blogger Al Belote said...

This is why invitations should just be labeled something like "Invitation" (without the quotes of course).

11:47 PM  

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