The hits just keep on coming. Every time I wrote a column about misspelled words, the floodgates open. You don’t have to look far on social media, or on store signs, to see how spellcheck is failing America. So sit for a spell, and lower your expectations.
Two signs in well-known retail establishments are among the nominees for the Bad Spelling and Punctuation Hall of Fame. A restaurant has a sign on the door informing us that “Due to high demand, we are out of salad bowels.” We all know, bowels can indeed be demanding at times.
Another sign, in a department store that sells groceries, advertises “Banana’s 29 cents by the each.” Any way you look at that one, it is off-target. (By the way, the store wasn’t “WalMark.”)
A Facebook argument ended with one combatant attacking another: “You are Miss Informed.” I wonder if she knows Miss Leading and Miss Understood.
Another Facebook battle caused a man to warn his foe, “You better get your ducks in a roll.” When it comes to spelling, this gentleman is no roll model. Nor is he a row model, which surely has to do with boating.
While you’re out on the water, be sure to look for candy. I know this because I saw a supermarket sign directing shoppers to a sale on the “Candy Isle.” Any spillage could create quite a mess, calling for a cleanup on Isle 7. Bring a mop.
That reminds me of the Facebook lady who was tired after a full day of housework: “It seems like I’ve been moping all day.” My heart is with you. I’d be moping too.
I did see an interstate highway sign warning motorists, “Do not cross the medium.” Technically that is incorrect, but in all fairness, I understood completely.
Speaking of highways, here is a Facebook post written by a man who felt he was unfairly ticketed for a traffic incident: “It was not my fault. I had the right away.”
Occasionally, we must comment on the famous people who appear on our Facebook feeds. One actress was all over the tabloids due to a drastic weight loss. A commenter took note of the thin celebrity, commenting, “She’s not just skinny, she looks plum emancipated to me.”
Political commentary is also a frequent sight on social media. I have seen several references to President Biden as our “commander and chief.” History students know the correct term is “Commander in Chief.” Not to be confused with Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, a title I have long sought to achieve.
Then there's the Facebook guy who demands the President “protect our boarders!” He did not specify the exact dangers his boarders are facing, nor did he reveal the amount of rent they pay. He did get advice from a friend who didn’t seem very optimistic. He replied simply, “Don’t hold your breathe.”
We still struggle with many baffling sound-alike words: coarse and course, whether and weather (“I can’t tell weather he’s lyin' or not”), and polls vs. poles (“They keep saying he's losing in the poles, but nobody has ever poled me!”)
Medical words have too many letters, and they’re easy to misspell and mispronounce. That guy who tries to ease your back pain? Many of us call him a “choir-practor.” Maybe he sings, backed up by other vocalists while he manipulates your spine.
I always sympathize when I read about anyone who is suffering from “newmonia.” No matter how you spell it, I feel your pain.
I do however, smile a bit when someone tells me they used the free “ballet parking” at the wedding reception. I just hope the attendants weren’t too embarrassed when they donned their tutus.
We are justifiably proud of our military personnel, but try not to post that your uncle is a veteran of “Dessert Storm.” That is actually an accurate description of me at Baskin-Robbins. That, my friend, is a dessert storm.
I do have one nominee for the “Auto-Correct Fail of the Year.” Somehow, a friend’s wayward fingers hit the wrong key while attempting to type the word, “sweet.” Inexplicably, his so-called smart phone turned it into “sewer.” The resulting sentence, “She’s such a sewer girl,” certainly changed the intended meaning.
Finally, since this is a family newspaper, I will be careful here. If you are trying to say, “We need to assess the damage,” don’t leave out the last “s” in the word “assess.” I will leave that one for you to assess.
I fully expect to write a sequel column, since you all are kind enough to send these Facebook flubs and texting foul-ups on a regular basis. Still, as Yogi Berra once said, I don't make predictions. Especially if it's about the future.
(David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” a collection of his best stories. You may contact him at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405 or firstname.lastname@example.org).