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It’s a Travesty

October 17, 2012

Tonight I tuned to FOX to see the end of a baseball playoff game, which was in a long rain delay. In the meantime, they were playing The X Factor. But as the time neared to resume the game, this message scrolls on the crawl at the bottom of the screen:

The X Factor will be seen in it’s entirety Tuesday…”

Me being me, the obsessive grammar geek that I am, the glaring error practically leaped off the screen at me. Once again, the most commonly misspelled word in the English language had been misspelled, again.

I continued to watch the same message scroll across several more times. Then there was a commercial break, of maybe two minutes. When it went back to the regular program, the crawl resumed, but now:

“…in its entirety”…

Someone noticed. But who, I wonder? Perhaps there are secret agents of lexical justice, the Grammar Guardian, lurking in the shadows to put right what once went wrong.

Well actually, there are: here is a blogger with that moniker and here is a service that will “save the communication.”

Not magically hanging in mid-air, it passes for its common cousin, the comma.

I admit a special fondness for the humble apostrophe, having carried one in my last name for thirty-seven years, the majority of which have been spent in the age of computers who castigate it as a “special character” unwelcome in the Good Ol’ Alphanumeric Club. The result has been confusing variations of said name when really there is only one right way to write it. Pity the poor apostrophe, which for such an overlooked and undervalued mark, wreaks special havoc with you’re and they’re, but that’s another post.

For now, I will leave this lesson to The Angry Flower:

It’s just that simple.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2012 11:02 pm

    Haha love it! Great post Jason.

    Like

  2. October 17, 2012 11:34 pm

    Comcast did it on TV. A film description was about a character who “has lead” like lead in his shoes I guess. No one knows how to spell “led.”

    Like

    • October 18, 2012 9:11 am

      I think I’ve seen a number of those in Comcast messages and listings. It just makes me feel that someone like me, who understands the language, should all have a wide range of job opportunities.

      Like

  3. October 18, 2012 8:00 am

    I love this!! It reminds me of one of my favorite ecards–the one that says, “Grammar: the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit.” lol

    I know my punctuation, and my grammar, aren’t always perfect, but some people really need to re-watch some Schoolhouse Rock!

    Like

    • October 18, 2012 9:14 am

      Hehe I have those all on DVD. Will subject my students to it soon. I want to send that card to everyone. Glad you liked this πŸ™‚

      Like

      • October 22, 2012 6:30 am

        I have them on DVD also. I don’t think my son has ever been as excited about watching them as I am! lol

        Like

  4. October 18, 2012 8:31 am

    Haha, that would have bothered me too. I’m surprised someone caught it and fixed it. IT’S a miracle.

    Like

    • October 18, 2012 9:08 am

      It did surprise me… much more that there is someone intelligent and quick-eyed at FOX, the network that has brought us not only The X Factor and American Idol but also Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? and “fair and balanced” news.

      Like

  5. October 18, 2012 8:45 am

    Hilarious! Love the poor apostrophe offering its services for food πŸ™‚ My daughter informed me I have a form of OCD that makes me want to correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.. I tried finding the word for it on my fb page, but the ADD and the squirrels kicked in.

    Like

    • October 18, 2012 9:20 am

      The specific reference for the photo is that a chain in the UK called Waterstone’s decided to change its name to Waterstones, which of course caused much uproar among some Brits, not that they are any better with their language than we Americans are, in general (though I know that could provoke a fight and I have readers there, if they would speak up).

      Funny you should say that last line because I have finally been confirmed in having ADHD and I have a certain friend who always refers to me as “squirrel” because of it. πŸ˜‰

      Like

  6. October 20, 2012 5:50 pm

    That’s pretty bad. I think the worst is when I saw a bookstore with a sign saying “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Bookstores are supposed to among the last bastions of literacy, so I was quite disappointed.

    Like

  7. PolishSpring permalink
    November 11, 2012 6:23 am

    Now if only you could set straight “there”, “their”, & “they’re”…
    Or at least come up with an app automatically rejecting any misspelled messages while responding to the sender “consult dictionary and try again”.
    Now that?
    That would be very nice.

    Like

    • November 11, 2012 9:30 am

      I wish it were so simple. If only the “grammar check” in Microsoft Word, et. al. was truly 100% accurate. I usually have it turned off, because it will put up its green squiggly lines and I will say “eff off, I know what I wrote, I know the rules, and it’s fine as it is”… same thing happens when I post here, WordPress will prompt me with “The Proofreader has suggestions for your post.” Well, Proofreader, you can take your suggestions and… Wait, I’m not bitter πŸ™‚ But AI isn’t “intelligent” enough for the convoluted English language yet. Time will tell.  As for that tricky triplet you shared here: like all other commonly confused words, if people would just stop to think about the word they’re (see) meaning to use, 99% of those errors would be avoided. Even if they don’t stop and think the first time– that’s what revision and editing are for. I know, those are foreign words to many.  “There” is a place. If you’re not referring to a place, move on. “Their” is possessive. If you don’t mean things that are owned, move on. “They’re” is a contraction, just like “it’s.” So say both words, and if you don’t mean “they are” then return to Step 1. Seems easy to me (not that I’m immune to such mistakes). Thank you so much for reading and your comment πŸ™‚

      ________________________________

      Like

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