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A sign of the times

Posted on 10th May 2011

I don't want to sound old before my time, but this is a blog about the annoyance of spelling and grammatical errors in the public domain. It's very easy for the older generation to complain of the 'dumbing down' of education and question the abilities of 'youngsters today', but we all need to take responsibility for ensuring that education in everyday life is also correct.

That is why I was so horrified to see the sign below - yes, typos happen but surely it should have been noticed and rectified. Perhaps I am going too far to suggest that if someone incorrectly drove up the one way 'sytem' and it resulted in a crash, could the driver claim they were unaware as the sign didn't inform them correctly? Probably not, common sense means the error is still understandable, but it doesn't make it acceptable or a good example to people.

One way what?

In addition to this, and probably something that riled me even more, is the new advert for Race for Life, a great cause that unfortunately didn't bother to get the script checked first. I don't know if Gloria Hunniford chose the wording herself or if she just read her lines, but she should have said 'fewer women' not 'less women' (women can be counted therefore it should be fewer). The first few times I watched this advert, I was left ranting at the TV. I have now learned to mute it.

While I am on the subject of typos and incorrect grammar use, I would also like to mention the need to get borrowed words correct if you're going to use them.

Cafe is not a word. Café is. The little accent may not appear important, but it makes all the difference, as it does if you're writing about a résumé - without the accents, it's a verb (resume) and nothing to do with your CV.

Panino is the singular form of the Italian style of sandwich. Panini is plural. Paninis is just wrong!

I won't go on, a) because I have no doubt bored you all already or annoyed you with my pedantry and b) because I need to save some examples for future rants - I bet you can't wait. :)

Written by Kate Haigh.