Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Calling Out an Audible

Peeve: Sign Typos

Ok. I misspell stuff. I punctuate wrong. I have a running battle with the Real Change editorial staff over whether periods and commas go inside the parentheses or outside. I want to do parentheses like we do in math, they want to do them like they do in the New York Times. "Screw the New York Times," I say. "Screw you," they say. Round and round we go.

Still, I consistently manage to produce 666 words of copy each week with no more than five, six, or seven typos (according to THEM.) [Or I should say: (according to THEM).]

That's a typo rate per wordage of about one per cent. I don't even get paid to pull that off. Plus, we're talking about ephemera. The paper circulates one stupid week, then is pretty much forgotten.

Now let's say some government agency, like, I don't know, Metro King County, puts out a sign with 15 goddamn words. Not ephemera: it's a sign meant to last for years. One per cent of 15 words is about one seventh of a word. How stupid do they have to be to not proofread said fucking sign and get rid of the typo of one whole wrong word that is equivalent to me misspelling 50 words in one of my idiot columns?

Audibly? You might be audibly recorded? As in, you might hear the recorder while you're being recorded? Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

[Above: Sign seen at the International District Tunnel Station Plaza, and also visible (as opposed to visual) on many Seattle buses.]

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