?

Log in

No account? Create an account

January 11th, 2006


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
10:28 pm - WTP(sp)
Actual, genuine Colin's Life updates will be coming to this journal soon (let's say tomorrow?), but in the meantime...

What's up with the use of (sp?) in semi-formal writing to denote possible misspellings? I was reminded of it by hippieprincess1's post in which she thought she might have misspelled "polyps" (she did, by the way). The thing is, I'm seeing it all over at work, which is really ridiculous. Sarah's livejournal is a very casual place where she documents her life for herself and her friends. That's a pretty specific audience. If you're reading her journal, you don't care about the odd misspelling.

On the other hand, I sometimes run into this sort of thing at work:
When the shipment arrived, I saw that two of the erlinmeir(sp) flasks were broken.
How often do you actually speak the phrase "Erlenmeyer flask?" Not very, I imagine. It's probably not reasonable to expect John Q. NotAChemistryMajor to even be familiar with that name, but damn it, if you know the word is probably spelled wrong, why not do thirty seconds of research to prevent yourself looking like a moron? Wasn't there a packing slip available to this person? An internet connection? A dictionary?

How 'bout this one, which is paraphrased from a letter I read yesterday or Monday:
They gave us a headlise(sp) treatment. It did not get rid of all the lise(sp) and we had to delouse(sp) the cat at the vetrinarian(sp).
I can't take for granted that the author was using Microsoft Word (which gives you all kinds of fancy visual hints that you're an idiot), but the letter was printed so there must have been some kind of spell-checker available, and this person ignored it. I see that a lot at work, too. Our e-mail program points out --individually -- every word it doesn't recognize when you send out a message. E-mail misspellings are fine when your message is "what ru doing for lunch?", but I'm seeing it more and more in stuff that's going out to the whole building, stuff that's going to external clients...

Am I the only one driven nuts by this?

Incidentally, I'm a reasonably good speler, and I can tell you that "delouse" is, indeed, correct.

Addendum: It occurs to me that the none-too-clever subject of this post might take people a minute to figure out. Did it? Let me know. I'm just curious.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: Atropos

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:evil_jim
Date:January 12th, 2006 05:00 am (UTC)
(Link)
I didn't add the_tick27 to my friends list for months because his spelling hurts my eyes. Does that mean I'm not a good friend?
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:January 12th, 2006 05:06 am (UTC)
(Link)
Well... no offense to Tick, but I do understand.

Incidentally, this post originally contained several sentences apologizing to Sarah for picking on her. I pointed out that she's generally as good a speller as anybody else, and that her misspellings are easy to decipher... But I deleted them for brevity's sake.
From:renny1780
Date:January 12th, 2006 05:50 am (UTC)
(Link)
Haha, I get your subject. Do I get a prize?

Meh, probably not.


I like to think that I'm a fairly decent at spelling (I know I'm not perfect) but things like that drive me nuts, as well. For things like livejournal, it's not a big deal but when I get formal e-mails from people (professionals, teachers, college professors) that have things like that, it just really bothers me. I suppose that e-mails have, in some ways, replaced the formal business letter. But, last time I checked, you still had to edit and re-edit formal business letters. When did soceity become so lax?
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:January 12th, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Sorry, there's no prize. Wait, no. You get the pleasure of this congratulatory comment. Rock on.

[W]hen I get formal e-mails from people (professionals, teachers, college professors) that have things like that, it just really bothers me.

This is exactly what I'm annoyed about, and I wish I had better examples of this type to back up my point. The fact that e-mail has replaced physical USPS-delivered letters is totally cool with me, but the convenience does not excuse laxity in spelling and grammar. u have everey right t owrite like this in ur lj if u want to, but in a more formal setting it makes the writer look like an idiot.
[User Picture]
From:xoshua
Date:January 12th, 2006 06:33 am (UTC)
(Link)
took me about 2 seconds....
[User Picture]
From:lord_alucard
Date:January 12th, 2006 07:30 am (UTC)
(Link)
I get it. Do i get a cookie? My spelling, much like my grammar, is only good if I use it. When I toss something off I tend not to think about it. it would helpif spell check was a little easier on LJ. I suppose I could write in word but that just seems stupid.
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:January 12th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Agreed about lj's spell checker, but I'm a good enough speller that I just don't worry about the occasional extra R in "gorilla" (a mistake I will never make again, thanks to a 6th-grade spelling bee). Spelling on livejournal is no big deal though. Generally my litmus test regarding careful spelling and grammar is "Would this letter be better received if it began with 'Dear Sir' or ''Sup, Mofo?'"

Incidentally, I keep telling people this and nobody listens: There's a program called Semagic (you can get it here) which is basically a livejournal posting client. I like it because it alerts you when your Friends page has been updated (something I appreciate at work) and it remembers the syntax of lj-specific HTML tags for you. It's also nice when, like me, you write long posts in two-sentence increments over a couple of hours while doing other things, as it keeps you from accidentally losing your work when a link opens in the wrong window. It also has a (very British) spell-checker.
[User Picture]
From:chromwolf
Date:January 15th, 2006 10:00 am (UTC)
(Link)
"Dir Sir or Madam,

Sup, Mofo? I be writin' dis fo yo job op'nin' fuh dat bumpin' Network Admin an shih. I be up in theuh wit mah A+ an mah Network+ certs, beeeitch. Shit, y'all be trippin' if ya ain't be sendin' me da Ded Prez's, muthah fuggah. Damn. I's da shizzle on mah nizzle wit yo Mahcro-shit Server 2003. Word. So whall y'all be whillih an dillih wit dem othuh gangstuhz, y'all be trippih, word? I be waitih fuh yo call. Fa-shizzle my cell.

Tru.dat

Respectfully Yours,

Rob Randall"
[User Picture]
From:chromwolf
Date:January 15th, 2006 10:02 am (UTC)
(Link)
...That began with "Dir Sir"... I probably should have spell-checked that.
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:January 15th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
(Link)
S'okay. I saw an error at work which was probably spell-checked, but didn't get caught: "Dear Sir or Madman"... Definitely spelled correctly, definitely not the right word for the situation. I thought it was freakin' hilarious.
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:January 15th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Well, it's better than "OMG!!1! JOO N00BS BETTAR H1RE M3 OR I WILL OWNZ UR NETWROK!!!11!!!!one!1eleventyone!!!"
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:January 15th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Or how about, "Dear Sir: My name is Trevor, and I am writing in reference to the Database Administrator position you have open. I am a vampire and
[User Picture]
From:defaultlisa
Date:January 12th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
How often do you actually speak the phrase "Erlenmeyer flask?" Not very, I imagine.

Actually, I think it's used quite a bit in the Inle/Mlitiagrl household.
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:January 12th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Why doesn't this seem unlikely to me?
WTP(sp) - Garmonbozia for the soul.

> Recent Entries
> Archive
> Friends
> Profile
> Sacred Potato Productions


> Go to Top
LiveJournal.com