Intelligent queries? Vital curiosity? I could weep.
I could also really go for some sweet potato fries. Or yam fries. Whatever. I don’t know the difference, either. Just put them in my face.
For the record, some answers I can pull off the top of my head:
Affect = verb
Effect = noun
Universities have graduate programs. (feel free to fact check me on that one)
LCD = liquid crystal display (think flat screens that cost less than plasmas)
LED = light emitting diode (efficient light sources)
Then = sequence
Than = comparison
Psychiatrists have MDs.
Yams and sweet potatoes are delicious.
House = Representatives by district
Senate = Two senators from each state
I could get deeper into the political minutiae, but really, what’s the difference?
I would if I could. Oh man, I’d cease it in a heartbeat.
Class of 2010: You’re going to need all the freaking luck you can get.
[From Cake Wrecks. Thanks, Amy.]
Even after taking this photo at the Port Authority I didn’t recognize the full extent of its error. We all remember that email that went around a few years ago about how you can read words whose letters are jumbled around as long as the first and last letters are in their proper places. That was what I thought of: Well, you can still read it, and if it gets the job done it gets the job done. But then I looked again, a little more carefully. A-t-v-i-e? Remarkable. Oh, and you can’t see it, but some sidewalk editor drew a small c between with A and the T. Probably walked off feeling pretty smart, too.
Attention students: the editing bug is going around. Thanks to Kim for sending this shot taken of a sign in a ladies’ room at Downstate Medical School.
The play by play as I see it:
A for effort, girls. The first step toward proper grammar is acknowledging that you have a problem. If med students in the middle of exams have time to think about usage — while on the potty, to boot! — maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.
Update: September 29. The battle rages on….
This could get ugly.
I suppose if you’re digging for toys out of a claw machine at a laundromat on Avenue B, you should set your expectations only so high. Still, it saddens me that someone looked at this Zodiac bear coming off the teddy factory floor and said “Looks good to me!”
Or maybe they just said, “Good enough.” As long as the message is getting through, does it really matter if it’s spelled right? There are two little fishies on the bear’s tummy; it’s fairly clear what’s intended here. So if the point comes across, what’s the difference between “Pisces” and “Pieces”?
Instant messenger and text has taught us that all you need to do is approximate the sound or appearance of real words to effectively communicate. And most thumb-novelists won’t be writing real novels at any point anyway, so let them bastardize the language in the interest of efficiency.
Language evolves, and perhaps I should, too. But for now I’m content to use full sentences and punctuation, be wary of typos and misspellings, and let how I communicate communicate to my audience that I give a damn.
Besides, I had used up all of my quarters, and I’m an Aquarium anyway.