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Monday, January 02, 2017

A New Feature At The Dept. Of Nance: They're Out There And They Voted


Oh, Happy New Year 2017, Everyone!  I know that it is too much to ask that we all Get On The Same Page and call it Two Thousand Seventeen, which is my preference; that so many of you will persist in calling it the flip and casual sounding Twenty Seventeen.  I can live with that, I suppose, by discreetly sighing to myself and wishing it Were Not So.

Along with...Other Things.

But we must On to the Point Of This Post.

I was minding my own business in Home Depot (there as Rick's consultant) when I was brutally assaulted by the sign above.  Mind you, this was an Official Sign, large and placed there for customers.  It was prominently placed on an end cap in the main aisle.

Underneath it was the merchandise for sale that it purported to advertise.  Both of which probably contained labels with the words properly spelled.  (Not unlike this sign; remember?)  The sign maker probably couldn't be bothered to/didn't feel like looking at the labels on the stuff.  He or she probably had a cell phone but didn't think to ask Siri or Google how to spell the words.  After all, it's just work and no big deal.  It wasn't like it was the Most Important Thing In His Life.

And, if it's wrong, Somebody Else Will Fix It.

Besides, a lot of people said it was perfectly fine.

Oh, 2017.  I feel as if I have seen you before.  Dearest Readers, join me once again in keeping The Stupid (and Lazy) at bay.  Promise me that you will strive for Personal Brilliance every single day.

27 comments:

  1. Why make such a bigly deal out of it? ;)

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    1. Sillyak--Thank you. I often wonder if my parallels are too obtuse.

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  2. Silly isn't it? They put so much work into the sign you would think they would have checked the spelling!

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    1. Mereknits--As the saying goes, "all show and no substance", not unlike some presidential candidates we unfortunately know.

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  3. I once threatened (and carried through) a five mark deduction from any exam paper or essay in which 'Shakespeare' was misspelled. Then I found out that the man himself spelled it with at least four variations.
    Life is hell for people who actually read things.
    Wishing you a prolific 2017.

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    1. Mary G--Sigh. I know. And got his coat of arms under one of the variants, too. The more you know...!

      I'm wishing me a Prolific 2017 as well, thank you. I do want to write here far, far more often. Gosh, I hope that I do!

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  4. That is a very sad sign. And the other sad thing is that I looked at it for a full ten seconds before I figured out what was wrong. I think my menopause brain is getting WORSE, not better. Sigh.

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    1. Bug--You know, I wish I were more like you in that way these days when it comes to noticing things. I certainly do not go out looking for them. I truly do not. It's years and years (AND YEARS) of grading that have imprinted me. They honestly leap out at me. I see them all the time.

      On the news yesterday there was a graphic that said MOST WOULD CHOOSE OBAMA'S AS NEIGHBORS. I thought I would die. WHY THE APOSTROPHE AFTER OBAMA AND NOT NEIGHBOR? APOSTROPHES DO NOT MAKE PLURALS!

      Sigh. It is painful.

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    2. BTW--For those of you who think I've gone off my rocker-- IT DOES NOT BELONG ON EITHER NOUN. I apologize for the ambiguity. I was merely wondering about what "rule" the graphics person was following.

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    3. I don't know how I arrived here,but glad I'm did as I'm seeing that even close to 75 I've s lot to learn about grammar. That sentence was too long I'm sure!

      Also I had to look at the sign a couple of times to get it.

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    4. Holy moly I sure messed that up. Lol

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    5. Sally--Oh, that sentence was fine as far as the length of it is concerned. I'd refer you to the classic authors Faulkner, Hawthorne, and Henry James for some really long-winded ones. Also, Charles Dickens could really wring out a few; he loved stringing together clauses and phrases for entire paragraphs, as did so many of the Victorian writers. (And, as you can see, I'm not above it myself!)

      Welcome to the Dept., and thanks for commenting.

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  5. Sigh. Sometimes it's not just the person who made the sign making the mistake that bugs me, but didn't ANYONE check it? Grrrrrrr.

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    1. Bridget--Exactly! I appreciate stores empowering employees, but honestly, how many people see this and just don't give a shit?

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  6. Oy! They are EVERYWHERE and I fear we cannot escape. I will admit that like Bug it took me awhile to see the (glaring) error...I think I am programmed to read what I think is written rather than what is written.

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    1. Vera--So true--they really ARE everywhere.

      Fight the Programming. It's like being a keen and careful reader/consumer. I am reminded of the Sprint commercial in which the former "Can You Hear Me Now" Verizon spokesperson is featured. He has switched to Sprint because they're now just as good as Verizon--within 1%--and would you pay way more for just 1% of anything else? What most consumers fail to hear is that it is their network RELIABILITY ONLY, not their network COVERAGE, which is usually what most people care about.

      (And no, FTC, I am not a Verizon employee or shill.)

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  7. Dearest Nance,

    First of all, sorry for not responding to a previous Christmas post. I was out of the country (happily!), and just got back.

    Regarding this post:
    In the years since I began teaching at the university level (at a state university branch which, basically, accepts anyone who is breathing and can pay tuition/ get government financial aid, which is the majority), I have noticed a steady decline in both the verbal and written communication skills of incoming students. As for the written part: I am not talking about slobs who send ridiculous emails with texts such as “Whattup? Couldn’t come 2 class 2day. Did I miss anything important?” I am talking about the ‘more refined’ ones (given current context) who send emails with bad spelling, no punctuation, run-on sentences, etc. We won’t even go into the bullshit and total lack of logic in their arguments. Since email does have a spell-check option, it seems they don’t really give a crap about even using that. So I remind them, on a daily basis, of the importance of creating a good impression, especially when it depends on their written expression which is recorded for all posterity every time they click the ‘send’ button on their email. I usually lay it out like this:

    “Quite often, the only thing standing between you and a job when you graduate is your classmate. He/she could very well have exactly the same educational qualifications. A future employer is going to pay careful attention, therefore, to *HOW YOU EXPRESS YOURSELF* amongst other considerations. It’s not just about the B.S. you want your employer to hear, or all of your extra-curricular community service, etc., etc., which is largely exaggerated in many cases. It starts with the basics: correct spelling and punctuation. Regardless of your actual message. And if you are heritage speakers of Spanish, hoping to make points with a company that needs a bilingual employee who can solve their problems of communicating with Spanish-speaking firms world wide... LEARN THE GODDAMN RULES FOR SPELLING AND ACCENT MARKS! Also: learn standard Spanish vocabulary. “La troca” IS NOT “the truck”. If you just want to wash the windows of the dirty trucks, that’s O.K. If you want to be the person organizing trucking dispatch and getting contracts... GET WITH THE PROGRAM.”

    O.K. --- Off my soap box. Bottom line: Educational standards, at least in my state, are failing our students and forcing teachers, whose jobs usually depend on a certain minimum success rate for students graduating and/or going on to college, into letting these losers pass after a certain number of attempts because they must do so in order to hold on to their jobs. And yeah, I realize that this is a gross over-simplification of why my students can’t spell and don’t give a shit if they can. Just blowing off steam, lol!

    BACK TO “SAFTEY” - Can we blame Home Depot employees for bad spelling? Heck yes! That sad thing is that: they probably hire the bad spellers because anyone who could spell better is likely seeking better paid employment, and managers don’t consider that they make enough more than the sign-makers to be bothered about it--- or perhaps assume upper management is either turning a blind eye or does not care. (Or... horrors... they don’t even notice it!) Having worked for slave wages for Jack-in-the-Box during my college years, I can say that it would have mattered to me, regardless of my horrible pay. FOR THE RECORD, HOWEVER, IN TERMS OF WHO MIGHT OR NOT MIGHT QUALIFY FOR MAKING HAND-WRITTEN SIGNS, HERE IS HOME DEPOT’S ABYSMAL PAY SCALE: http://tinyurl.com/h3fqalb

    Hope your holidays were wonderful, and that we are all ready for the Rocky Ride that 2017 promises. I look forward, as always, to your wonderful take on everything. (As I write this, I am listening to Ryan’s vomit-worthy speech to congress on the first day of the 115th session. We shall all need a mega-dose of patience and mutual comradery!)


    Signed,
    Still Striving for Personal Brilliance (or even Minimal Personal Competence!) XX00

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    1. My Dearest Ortizzle--YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES.

      And in that order.

      My holidays were tolerable. I was not Feeling It; let's leave it at that and move along.

      Your point regarding Motivation For Personal Brilliance vs. Pay/Job Commitment is a very good one. I suppose it is, in some cases, Too Much To Ask that a Poorly Compensated Person 1. make a sign, 2. care about it, 3. be sure it is accurately spelled and punctuated, 4. hang the sign in its proper place, 5. do so safely (or "safley", as the case may be). I might add 6. ask someone to check the sign at any point along the way for accuracy just as a backup measure.

      Even now I am searching for my sunglasses as a defense, your personal brilliance blinding me all the way from TX. XXOO

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  8. *****BTW, EVERYONE--I CONSULTED FIVE DICTIONARIES. SAWHORSE IS ONE WORD IN ALL OF THEM.*****

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    1. I was thinking that!

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  9. My pet peeve as well, ESPECIALLY when it is a school administrator who consistently sends out emails or presents a PowerPoint with common errors. I also worked for an administrator who would RANDOMLY type words in ALL Caps or sometimes Just randomly threw a Capital letter in HER SCHOOLWIDE emails and PARENT newsletters. See how annoying that is? Of all professions, education should KNOW HOW TO SPELL DAMMIT!

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    1. Rose--Like you, I was always especially sensitive to errors in school correspondence and presentations. After all, what business were we in? What did it say about the level of our expertise and professionalism from the top on down? Grrrrrr.

      As to random capitalization being annoying, I hope my Stylistic Capitalization (a la Emily Dickinson) is not too terribly taxing for you here at the Dept. whenever you visit. In deference to you--at times--I shall try to Rein It In.

      ;-)

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  10. You know to me the saddest part of that sign is the fact that the lettering itself is pretty. Eye-catchng, even. Then the wrongness...

    [On a similar vein but with a funnier result, my favorite misspelled sign was in a grocery store on a gray, gloomy, depressing March day. The sign was supposed to be selling me pothos, a lovely green houseplant. Instead it said: Pathos For Sale. It was the most perfect Freudian slip ever.]

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    1. Ally Bean--I hear you. Why take so much time only to have so much in error? PRIORITIES. That is my issue.

      Love your pothos/pathos story. Weren't you glad you saw it? Almost made it OK.

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  11. That's horrible. Thank you for sharing, maybe. I resent signs such as these, for all of the reasons you mention. I do like the idea of buying pathos, though. I think I'd buy it for someone I don't like.

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    1. J@jj--Yes, these signs do inspire a bit of Resentment for some of the more Literate amongst us.

      Right now, a large segment of this country could do with some Pathos. Some of its citizens are far more moved by the plight of animals than people (yet they are happy to use their guns on both).

      And what they cannot shoot to harm, they will do so with legislation. Or the dismantling thereof.

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Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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