Thursday, October 09, 2008

Typo Hunt Across America

I enjoyed Typo Hunt Across America, the blog where the author and his friend find typos and then fix them (usually after asking permission). I checked it today, and apparently it's been taken down. This was in its place. I could only surmise that they fixed a typo on public land. While I agree you shouldn't fix historical signs, this statement made my blood boil: "It is absolutely egotistical for one to think that one can tell others how to spell." TEAL obviously did not write this. Egotistical? Really? Ever heard of a DICTIONARY? There's nothing unequivocal about a misspelling on a modern sign.

I found this at the Laughing Squid: "On August 11th Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson of The Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL) plead guilty to conspiracy to vandalize government property at the Grand Canyon National Park. They were sentenced to a year's probation and banned from National Parks for a year." Someone commented that "The 'Government Sign' they 'Corrected' was a historical hand painted sign by the builder of the lodge it was in."

Defacing any historical item gives me the heebie jeebies (I can't watch National Treasure without wincing the whole way through, and that's not just because of Nicholas Cage's acting). They did go too far there and should pay the consequences (though I don't know how "historical" this sign is). But I think the spirit of what they did was right. People are much too complacent about typos in what should be a finished product (and if you find a typo in my blog, I'll fix it). I read the other comments, and it amazes me that people think TEAL should have gotten harsher penalties or that they should "leave people alone." They're not mass murderers; they actually want our world to be a better place with correct grammar and spelling. Apparently some people are so defensive about their mistakes that they want those mistakes to live forever.

And I'm not just saying that because I make my living by finding typos. ;-)


Kendra said...

The "egotistical" comment made me snort...yeah, right, whatever folks. I guess teachers are terrible, egotisical beings for teaching their students how to spell. Oh, and those snooty snobs over at Webster's, too. :-)

Nicki said...

That's such a shame. I thought what they were doing was great - but not on a historical sign. Although if it's the hotel lodges on the Grand Canyon rim they're not that old.

There's a Thai restaurant near us that is advertising for Christmas bookings. They have the same sign up they did last year - spelled Chrismas. I feel sorry for them - the printer who did it must surely have noticed and not said anything. Or maybe he couldn't spell either...

Jo said...

I have to agree about the comment being totally unreasonable. I hate typos (and I make a lot). And lack of punctuation makes my blood boil. And worse of all emails written like SMS messages... urgh!!

But I agree, it's not appropriate to alter a historical sign. Looks like the sentence may have been on good old middle ground - not too harsh, not too lenient??? Maybe TEAL should have researched a little history and archaeology before they corrected a historical sign.. now if it had been a visitor board about the site that would have been totally fine.