Egregious error

It’s not like I expect perfection. Whenever I venture into the World at Large, I know that people–both average citizens and professional folk alike–will make grammatical errors in my presence: heck, in person, I’m a walking, talking Grammatical Error. So although horrid phrasings like “you’ve got mail,” the abominable “10 items or less” instead of the proper “10 items or fewer,” and pandemic misspellings such as “cemetary” for “cemetery” abound in the Big Cruel World, I bite my English major’s tongue and make friendly with the people I encounter.

But is it asking too much to expect a store like Wal-Mart to run a spell-check on their price tags? C’mon, people: isn’t there somebody in management who has a proofreading bone in their body?

If you’re a linguaphile with a working TV, be sure to check out the PBS documentary “Do You Speak American?” Although my combo TV/DVD player no longer gets any channels other than E! (don’t ask), I’ll be encouraging my online linguistics students to watch this program, which discusses issues of dialect, language change, and other aspects of everyday linguistics. Thanks to Language Hat for giving my TV-ignorant self a heads-up about the program.

In the meantime, while the rest of the world is watching TV, I’ll be out and about looking for egregious spelling errors. Perhaps, if I wore a cape, I could star in my own action series: “The Adventures of Grammar Gal!” Or maybe not. Do you think E! would be interested?