9.20.2014

bad English

Gigi Aveda Salon & Spa board offering "Chair Message [sic]," May 2014, Portland (iPhone photo) 

As a default educator with two near-useless English degrees, I get righteously pissed when I come across American business signs conveying ungrammatical or misspelled English. It's one thing to see such things in foreign lands—that's to be expected. It's even funny. Garbled written English provided lots of laughs in my two years spent teaching in Korea post-college. But in an English-speaking country? Give me a break. Or rather, give some poor English major a proofreading job. The rest of us shouldn't have to suffer for those who slept through high school English class and still never read anything other than Facebook and phone texts.


Portland Fleet Week 2014 sidewalk signboard: "Pedestrians Have Right Away [sic]" (iPhone photo)


Portland restaurant sign: "International Deserts [sic] & Drinks"

And if the entrepreneur's some hardworking nonnative-English-speaking immigrant just trying to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the American Dream, all the more reason for said business owner to find an American willing to do some editing pre-signage. Just make sure he or she was an English major. (Don't worry. You can throw a rock in any city and hit one. Hint: She's usually myopic and carrying a library book.)

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