Sunday, November 23, 2008

BMUPs In The Road

amusing spelling gaffes in my travels recently. First I was in a drugstore looking for a birthday card for my sister last weekend. This act always takes me far longer than it should as I try to nail the perfect card at the right price. I'm known for my humorous cards in the family, although my brother may be under the delusion that in fact he is. Nevertheless, about a good 20 minutes into the second card store, I spot the ultimate proofreading nightmare, a card reading HAPPY BIRTHDAY,
SISITER on its cover! Nobody caught it, and who knows how many cards are out there on store shelves at this very instant, just waiting to spoil some sister's hard-earned holiday. (I once got a birthday card from my Papou signed "Best Swishes" but at least he had the excuse of not knowing English until he came here from Greece as a young man.) In the end, my brother talked me out of picking that particular card to give to my sister, but I should have gone with my instinct and bought it for myself. In fact, I may go back there and get it just for posterity's sake.

The other one was a hand-written sign in a local deli here in Astoria, but it was so far off as to merit inclusion in any list of spelling mistakes: GIFT CITIFICATES AVAILABLE. I guess the guy just decided to go all phonetic at the last second, figuring that looking for a dictionary was just not worth the effort and it's the thought that counts.

The last one is a classic. That's what's known in the blog posting business as saving the best for last. There's a little corner food store up the block from where I live, what would be called a bodega in a Spanish neighborhood, only here these kinds of stores are run by Arab families, or perhaps Persians or Sikhs or Sunnis or what have you. The point I'm getting to is that the name of the store is featured prominently in two places on a bright yellow awning, and right there for all the world to see, or at least that part of the world that passes by 37th Street and 24th Avenue, is EXECTIVE DELICATESSEN. EXECTIVE! What the hell were they thinking? Nobody caught it at any point along the process! Maybe the store owner figured he'd save a little money on the two U's and pass the savings on to the customer. Maybe nobody cares about these things but me. That's the kind of un-proofed world we live in, and after all I'm only one solitary man fighting against the odds.

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