Monday, June 8, 2009


No, not the TV show kind, but one just as important, in my humble little opinion.

This sign was on the front door of Walgreen's. On the front door. Of the Walgreen's. Actually, it was on both sliding doors, spelled the same way on both signs. After I finished crying and snapping the picture, I went inside. When I checked out with my breath mints and shoelaces, I said to the cashier,

Me: "Hi there. Do you know that the word "prescription" is misspelled on the sign on the door?"

Older Man Cashier Who Looked Like He Might Have Been A Manager But Apparently Wasn't: "It is? I'm glad I didn't write it. Whoever wrote it must not have been thinking."

Me: "Hmmm, well it's spelled "per" and it should be "pre."

Him: "Wow, I hope the manager didn't see that."

Me: "How long has the sign been up?"

Him: "Well, I think about three days."

Me: "And I'm the first person to mention it?"

Him: "Yep."

Me: Slowly dies inside.

I think the general populace needs a language intervention. When a drugstore cannot properly spell the word "prescription," something has to be done. I realize you don't need to be a genius to work at Walgreen's, and the pharmacist probably didn't make the sign (God, I hope the pharmacist didn't make the sign), but when adult people cannot spell common words, it makes me afraid for the future.

Speaking of which, I need some advice. Is there any way to politely tell a friend that they constantly spell some very common words wrong on Facebook posts, and that it makes them look stupid? Yeah, probably not.

This one particular friend I've known since high school. She has a habit of misspelling some very common words, and misusing common idioms. She didn't finish high school. In fact, she dropped out of ninth grade. Perhaps there's a correlation there. Anyway, she uses the word "tomorrow" on her Facebook posts frequently. But she spells it "tomarrow." Every single time. The other day, she also mentioned a storm they had "yesturday." And then my head exploded.

She posted a picture of her husband sitting on their back lawn in a chair, holding a beer in his hand. Someone jokingly asked if he was on the 12th hole. She responded, "No, but he had a hole and one!" I know she meant "hole-in-one." And then my head exploded, because I think that was way too much information.

One update a few weeks ago said,

"My babies graduation party is tomarrow night!"

You don't know how close I came to commenting and asking her exactly how many babies she had that were graduating this year. I have made comments that use the word "tomorrow," such as "Wow, the party is tomorrow? That week went by quickly!" I'll spell the word correctly in my comment. I've done this several times. It hasn't helped.

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that people with this particular problem must not ever read anything. They don't ever see the words and phrases written down, they only hear them. Therefore, they write them the way they sound. I suppose "prescription" can sound like "perscription" when it's spoken. However, I don't think that's a particularly good excuse.

My bigger question for the universe is, why do I care? Our language is being mangled by text-speak sneaking into everyday writing and people who either won't or can't use proper grammar. I don't claim to be perfect, but it makes my blood boil when I see mistakes all over the place. (Notice I didn't say that "it literally makes my blood boil." Because I can't imagine my blood being at 212 degrees. Does blood boil at the same temperature as water? I don't know.) I don't know why it makes me so angry. I don't know why I feel compelled to carry a red Sharpie in my purse and correct signs such as the Walgreen's sign. The only reason I didn't correct that one is that it was inside the glass.

Please forgive my ranty ranting; I've been packing and moving and cleaning for about a week now and I'm totally fried. Perhaps I'll have something more interesting to write about "tomarrow."

Now for the biggest question of all: Who really needs the intervention? Is it the general populace? Or is it me? Excuse me while I go cry, and find some signs to correct.


Anonymous said...

General populace... and sadly, I think texting doesn't help the situation at all. You're, your, "ur" & they're, their, there, used incorrectly really bugs me. My third grader knows how to use them correctly for crying out loud! (Except 'UR', but WTF is that anyway??) I also have a brother-in-law & sister-in-law (but not married to each other) that say "I seen" frequently (as in "I seen John driving his car yesterday.") and that is another thing that bugs me. Glad I'm not the only person still out there that is annoyed by this stuff. = )

Rachel in ND

Fannie said...

Oh lordy don't get me started. There when it should be their. Their when it should be they're. It's when it should be its. People lie down but you lay carpet, no one cares. Folks can't keep to, too and two straight! Sheesh.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It's a frustration, but I think we must keep fighting the battle.

Maybe you could type up a list of her commonly misspelled words and send it to her anonymously.

Jodie said...

Are you my twin? I make my living correcting this stuff, and it's a constant struggle not to tell people that poor spelling and grammar make them look stupid. If they learned to spell correctly, however, I wouldn't be able to snark about it, so it's a fine line I walk. ;)

I'm adding "should of" and "could of" to your list. Gaahhhh. We're slowly devolving.

Anonymous said...

My best friend in the world cannot spell. In fact that's her LiveJournal name. ;p She is also very smart and witty, but dyslexic. I'm always jabbing her about it.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I have a friend that spells tomorrow like that every single time. She is much younger than me and I had just hoped that it was some slang I wasn't familar with.