I was shopping at the mall with my daughter the other day when we saw it – a t-shirt that had an illustration of a trash can on it and a stick figure tossing something in the general direction of the can. The shirt read: “Put it in it’s place.” There I stood in the teeny-bopper section of the mall, ranting. I’m telling you, that typo even hurt to recreate just now. I turned to my daughter (who saw what was coming and avoided eye contact) and I said, “Do you see that? How stupid!” Pause. Then I added, “You know why that’s wrong, don’t you?” To which she rolled her eyes and sighed. “Yes, Mom. Just…move on.”
I can’t move on from stuff like that. It upsets the balance in my otherwise balanced existence. It’s okay if I make a mistake. It’s okay if she makes a mistake. What’s not okay is that a mistake like that makes it through the manufacturing cycle. I mean, where was the proofreader that day? Did no one in the entire cycle understand basic possessives? (Then again, if these shirts were made where I suspect they were, no one was old enough to understand, but I digress.) I wanted to storm the checkout and berate them for allowing teenagers to walk around grammatically incorrect all day, possessively unaware….but the shirt was stupid, so I simply prayed the puberty patrol would bypass it due to its unappealing nature (or should I say “it’s unappealing nature?”… snark).
Worse was the time a coworker called me over to her desk and pointed to an ad in The New Yorker. Right there, full page, was one line on a jeweler’s ad that read: “In a league of it’s own.” In The New Yorker. Full page. If I had been the ad sales rep at the magazine, I’d have refused to accept the ad. But again, sales reps are not hired for their ability to spot grammatical errors, so it’s no reflection on them. But someone should’ve lost a job over that – someone that jeweler hired to put that ad together.
I’m all for movements like the TEAL team (Typo Eridication Advancement League) or SPOGG (Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar). In fact, I want the SPOGG t-shirt that reads “Punctuation is Cool.”
They would stop things like typos in major magazines. I saw one in a magazine I subscribe to – the editors chose a word to describe an outfit that was the equivalent of saying “bondage” when you mean “edgy.” That they overuse the words “utilitarian” and “toughen” is bad enough – at least slow down long enough to use the proper word.
I’ve ranted enough. Typos will happen. Grammar will always be abused by the weak minded. How about you? What typos or instances of improper grammar have you seen? Which ones stand out as the worst you’ve seen?