Monday, November 15, 2010

More Memorable Typos - Lifting the Pre-Budget Blues

I was out for a walk last week and spotted this
congratulatory beauty in a shop window. Luckily I had the camera in my pocket for a quick snap, capturing the sentiment for posterity, and being the typo terrorist anorak that I am - after winning the Irish Times Terrible Typos competition in September there's no stopping me now - I just couldn't pass this by. 

Camogie, for the uninitiated, is hurling for girls and  women, it's very popular among local teams but has very poor national support compared to the senior hurling and football All-Ireland Finals in Croke Park, which are usually sell-outs. The GAA tried to sex it up a few years ago by a "Chicks with Sticks" campaign, but while it might have boosted the game's image and shown the calibre of the players, it smacked of desperation to me and many other old-school feminists out there.

Then a few days later I was at a conference in the West of Ireland and this wonderful misspelling jumped out at me from the ticket to the Gala Dinner - or Banquette? It set me thinking of the unreliability of grammar and spellcheckers that are so ubiquitous in computer software but don't bypass the need for proofreading and judicious editing before committing to print. This would surely prevent a lot of red faces when the errors come to light.

Last week I was listening to Liveline - a phone-in daily RTE Radio One show that purports to take the pulse of the Irish listeners and reflect the zeitgeist -when this woman with a plummy South Dublin accent rang in to say she was in the horrors over a typo on a baby vest she'd spotted in Dunnes Stores. (Note the absence of a possessive apostrophe in their title - deliberate or not no-one seems sure.)
You can link to the audio clip here.

Well she set the airwaves alight! The baby vest for infants under a year had typos that made a nonsense of the little slogan but was of the kind all too common on fake designer rip-offs when we lived in Laos. ("Your going to fast in your little red car" was the slogan!)She came over all righteous and wanted a head on a plate but had got no joy from Dunnes other than a vague assurance it wouldn't happen again - so she made good on her threat to "Talk to Joe" and  fired off a missive to Liveline. The response she got from other listeners can't have made her day as she got no support and was written off as a tad OTT. Her own cliché was picked up when she said "At this point in time" so she wasn't getting away with anything.

Fair enough - I get grief from my lads for being an "Eats shoots and leaves" typo type, but I do hope I don't get too smug over it all! Some would say Liveline caters to the whingers and moaners who have nothing better to do than ring in with their gripe of the day, but it is incredibly addictively listenable when a good row gets going, and certainly has ruffled political feathers on many occasions. 

Courtesy of RTE - protest at hospital closures
Finally - the pièce de résistance! This was broadcast on national TV news the other evening at a protest march against local hospital closures when the extremely unpopular Minister for Health Mary Harney was present.  That she's seen as the Angel of Death to local hospitals is quite understandable - but this put a whole new angle on the situation! Given that she was splashed with red paint the previous week at a sod-turning ceremony, it's amazing that she had the brass neck to put in another public appearance where she would be heckled. But she's got brass neck in spades (couldn't resist that pun!) and there are some terrific Photoshopped images out there - Santa killer below being one of the best! 

Courtesy of Photoshop - Mary Harney kills Santa!
Enjoy them and forget the wolves at the door - in the guise of the IMF or the European Bank Bailout Crew - whom we are told with Shakespearean denial (as in protesting too much) by the government are not on the horizon - we all think they are, sharpening their calculators to see how much they can bleed from the peasants come Budget Day on December 7th. I think I'll just knit my way through the recession - it'll take my mind off the dreary penny-pinching days ahead!


Brownieville Girl said...

Just imagining Dunnes Stores putting a little baby on a fast, wonder if they brought it in for lent!!!

Ann said...

I enjoyed your photos...they all made me chuckle, but the Mary Harney one made me laugh out loud. Love it!!!

Stephanie V said...

Good stuff! If I had an anorak, I'd be lurking about, too. Unfortunately, it's pretty easy to find typos here in our corner of the world. Since I know many folks who really can't spell I doubt proof-reading on their part would help. I even see them in newspapers where I was spoiled to think there actually were educated editors.

Anonymous said...

When I see such mis-spellings, I just have to grit my teeth and look the other way!!

The Mary Harney photo is a classic!!!

Susan said...

enjoyed this :) shared it around a bit, too. TY!

Pooch Purple Reign said...

they sure are worth a chuckle! i kinda like the "chicks with sticks" slogan... :)

Rudee said...

Ahem. Everyone knows that Chicks with Sticks can only be knitters. You have thieves stealing our slogan over there.

As always, I adore the mishaps in our language that you seem to find in abundance. I see them, but they don't click with me like they seem to with you. I'd be terrified to write a post that highlights these errors and find that my grammar, spelling and misuse of punctuation would point me out as writing fraud. I looked through your post with a fine tooth comb and couldn't find a single error. What with your knack at turning a phrase, this does not surprise me.

How many edits do you do before pushing the publish button?

Once again, thanks for a good post and the fabulous photo of the Santa slayer.

Catherine said...

Thanks for all the comments folks! It's been fun reading them all, and I just posted a pic on Facebook yesterday of my shot of the offending T-shirt which I spotted in our local Dunnes Stores in Dungarvan!

Browniville Girl - yes, the same thought struck me - how cruel to put the baby on a fast - lent or not!

Ann - the MH one made everyone laugh - even the original without the help of Photoshop! While we were all po-facedly saying tut tut how awful can't have paint being thrown at ministers I'd say there was a lot of glee at the photos! Unfortunately the thrower was linked with Eirigi, one of these recently emerging groups with shady shinner links and no-one's too keen on them (bar themselves!).

Stephanie V - I think they are everywhere - some say the lack of attention to spelling is coming home to roost now - schools were afraid to criticise misspellings in case it stifled creativity but this has caused such awful gaffes to be so ubiquitous. Don't worry - go back to one of my earlier typo rants and it's all clips from our local papers.

Ann - I know how you feel - but I decided to keep the camera to hand and it even won me a prize when I won with the road sign typo pic some time ago! Best pic of Mary Harney in a while - she is usually so grumpy on tv and press so it's ironic she's smiling when she's been doused with paint!

Susan - glad you spread the grammar gospel about a bit! It is pretty funny and we need a lift at this time with the country gone to the dogs and the IMF in town taking over our financial management - we are being laughed at by everyone and a lot of it is very nasty stuff - not what we need to wake up to. I feel a polemical post coming on!

Laura - the Chicks with Sticks was meant to sex up the old camogie but no-one's sure it worked! The wearing of culotte type shorts didn't help either! Think it was the modesty police who decreed that style - bad enough to have women taking over the men's sport without having them running about half- naked in shorts so better cover 'em up with a skort!

Rudee- never thought of the knitting connection - what a wonderful thought - chicks with sticks - much more apppealing to me! Glad you found no errors in my writing - not that I go over with too much fine-combing! Maybe I got lucky - my son found a repeated sentence a few posts back and was very gloaty over it as I'm such a grammar nazi! So no, I do a few re-reads but don't often spot something until it's published so I will go back and remove an offending comma if it bothers me! Glad you liked the Santa slayer - she's just about to commit more mudrer on the health service as she's hinted darkly at major cuts in the coming budget. I hope frontline staff won't be affected. They're after offering voluntary redundancy and early retirement packages to 4000 admin staff. We'll know soon how many will be granted it but there was huge interest.

All the best to you all from our newly colonised country - IMFland