December 05, 2007

While waiting for a light to change, I noticed an Allstate Insurance billboard. Over a (rather weathered) picture of highway traffic, in large, un-missable letters: "MISTEAKS HAPPEN." I spent the entire cycle of the light wondering if I was misremembering how to spell or if the designer of the billboard was being "subtly clever".

Not to go on some long rant about the collapse of decent society as we know it or anything, but does anyone else want to carry around a large red pen and fix all the various linguistic mistakes out there? Does no one know how to use a comma correctly anymore? Or know when a statement is really a question and thus merits a question mark? Somehow I can forgive all sorts of grammatical gaffes in correspondence or even in (most) books but signage is another matter altogether.

Compulsive proof-readers unite!


  1. uhh..

    you knew that they mispelled mistakes on purpose, to sort of funnily (haha) point out they happen, even on billboards, right?

    It didn't work for me because the combination of the image of traffic, the idea of mistakes, and the embedded word "steaks" left me with a horrible mental image of human meat strewn all over the highway after a big accident. Yuck.

  2. Eewwww!

    See, the thing about "clever" misspellings like this is that it's so hard to be sure that they were just being "clever" and not that their copyeditor was out to lunch that day...

  3. i admit it. i am a compulsive proof-reader.

    thankfully, i don't eat cows, (venison is much better for you), so even if i lived in your neck of the woods, i wouldn't have felt compelled to eat least i think that's what i understood benjamin to feel.

    anywho, you got blogrolled from year later because i'm slow. love, hugs, and best wishes for you guys with the whole family on your turf this holidays!