Friday, August 21

Advertising Errors

Okay, people don't think they need editors, but editors know that everyone needs them, that their need is ever-present and constant. Imagine a movement of people trying to insist we no longer needed undertakers or janitors, that things are fine as they are and the problems will take care of themselves.

This sign was posted in Pier 1, during a clearance sale. I pointed it out to the clerks, none of whom could detect any error. When I explained what was wrong, each one claimed someone else was in charge of that and it was out of their hands to correct.

But few people would have sympathy for me. If anything, I would be gently chided for having a large stick up my ass. People who can't see the problems don't think there are any problems, but this is absolutely not true. Walking around downtown--walking around anywhere--I, or any other editor or English major, could point out half a dozen spelling or grammatical errors in public display.

What's the grievous offense? What's the grand crime if someone spells something wrong on a sign? It looks unprofessional, for one. It compromises the consumer's trust in that vendor, it makes the business look ignorant and sloppy. Then again, if the public can't identify the errors either, then this is only an offense to the educated, to "those in the know." Customers who don't know any better can safely shop at businesses that don't know any better, and then we get scenarios where an obese mom responds with shock to her obese kids, who she's been feeding at McDonalds twice a day for years, claiming she had no idea that food was bad for a person. Claiming ignorance.

That's something I wouldn't scream too loudly. I wouldn't exactly advertise that on the street, but that's just me. Clearly.

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