English . . . our Primary Language!

Americans have accomplished truly amazing things. We've embraced liberty and freed ourselves from Her Majesty's rule. We conquered the Moon, invented the light bulb, the telephone, sky scrapers, the atomic bomb, the microwave oven, Silly Putty, Post-it Notes, and the Internet, and developed into the most powerful nation on planet Earth.
However, as time marches on, we gradually continue to lose our status and support in the world. People in other countries no longer view Americans as role models; no longer do they admire the American Way. Our educational system is a disaster: most high school and even many college students nowadays have only insufficient knowledge about history or geography, let alone their primary and, in most cases, first language: English.

While nobody is perfect and making a mistake once in a while is only human, it worries me how bad things have really gotten. Not a day passes by where you don't see incorrect English on television, in the newspaper or magazine, and on public display in multi-million and often billion-dollar company stores.
Well, here are some examples of many daily encounters.
Funny, sad, or both?
You be the judge!

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This Arizona Cardinals fan really makes a valid point. Calling other people morons, however, is more effective if one at least spells the word correctly . . .

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My wife and I are out-of-the-closet Starbucks addicts. Naturally, Starbucks, with all its many high school seniors as part time employees, is a rich source of poor English.
Forget that there should be a comma after "FRESH," as FRESH and CHILLED are both attributes. What kills me is how they misspelled the word sandwiches. Sure, there's sand, and there are witches, none of which has anything to do with sandwiches.

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We love to do as much as possible of our grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. They have great food, items that are usually not available anywhere else, most of it at bargain prices!
Well, try to find the error on this board yourself . . . .
Yep, you were right: the word guaranteed is misspelled. Anything else? Yup, there should be a comma after "Because" because, "after all" is an insertion.
Because, after all, fair is fair!

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Here's a fine example from Ventura's Downtown Main Street Starbucks store! A bit blurry, I know, just the way I saw it when I walked in early in the morning . . .
Have you ever tried a Carmamel Espresso? Neither have I. Obviously they have problems spelling Caramel correctly, as on another occasion, they spelled it Carmel, as in Carmel-by-the-Sea, the town Clint Eastwood calls home.

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Here's another blurry one, from the same Starbucks store, taken with my iPhone. It's a bit more tricky, I know, but if you look closely, you'll see that they managed to spell the word Available as Availble.
More painful, in my humble opinion, is that I had to look at this every day for over a week when placing my order, as neither any of the employees nor the store manager felt it was important enough to correct it.

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Many people like Dr. Dreamy from Grey's Anatomy. Not only is he a handsome guy; he's also an all around great personality. I know, because he's also happens to be a former auto racing buddy of mine.
Well, we can't blame him for the TV station's error. Some poorly educated bloke wrote the title I DO'S & I DONT'S incorrectly, some equally poorly educated supervisor/editor/manager let it slip through, and millions of viewers were witnesses of it, over and over and over again.

Is creating grammatical plural forms in this case really that difficult? Let's see.
I DO & I DON'T. The apostrophe in DON'T indicates a contraction of DO NOT. Pretty much everybody knows that. Now let's transform this into plural forms by adding an s at the end of I DO and an s at the end of I DON'T: I DOs & I DON'Ts.

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I'm all for showing respect, but it's really hard to show respect for an adult who doesn't have enough self-respect to at least learn how to spell the word "our" correctly.
Is that a difficult word to spell? A word that requires a higher eduction? Certainly not.
So why does somebody's English skills stay on the level of a 4th grader, decades after he left school?
Why doesn't he have the urge to evolve?
Didn't anybody ever give him a hint?
Are all his buddies like him?
So many unanswered questions . . .

Last updated on Saturday, September 10, 2008.

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