Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Spelling misteaks

Spelling misteaks
2 October 2013

One of my very favourite little hobbies, is spelling mistakes.  I just love them to death.

It is so wonderful to collect them.  And I delight in the joy that they bring.

Most often, I come across them rather unexpectedly.  When I least anticipate them.  I look upon them as a little gift from the universe. 

And long after witnessing them, I hold on to them with fondness and recall them with mirth.

Personally, I try to avoid making them.  But I’m sure that I fail miserably every so often.  In fact I actually know this.  Quite clearly I make many “misteaks” too. 

I don’t make fun of people that make these mistakes, cause I’m one of those people.  I don’t look down on them.  I don’t think I’m better than them.  Or more clever.  They (the signs) just make me laugh.  Especially when they change the meaning of something altogether.  I understand that they’re accidental and not intentional.  But jeez, sometimes they can make me bubble with laughter.

And this strange hobby of mine, probably explains why I so enjoyed my children's school books in their early years.  When they spelled everything phonetically.  Their ingenuity in terms of spelling was charming and super endearing.

Loads of wonderful spelling mistakes are born from a mix up between two languages.  And the Afrikaans/English marriage gives birth to quite a few of these treasures.  Regularly and continuously too.  These are most often witnessed on signage outside shops.  And I can but only imagine the wealth of material that language teachers are subjected to.  In fact, I really wish they would share.

But simple spelling mistakes in terms of swopping letters around or using the wrong ones instead, are not the only causes of spelling catastrophes.  Why the humble apostrophe is rather often guilty of changing things completely too.

And then there are errors born of haste.  Of rushing and not double checking.  Of not proofreading before you print or send.  And let’s not forget that evil predictive text – the curse of many cell phones.  It has been known to be behind many rather embarrassing mistakes.

A very good friend of mine, just so happens to be in the signage business herself.  And a short while ago, one of the moms (she happened to know her) at a local primary school, asked her to do a signage job for the school.  They needed signs to place all around.  I can’t quite recall, what they were meant to say.  But in her request to my friend, she asked for “school plagues”.

To which my friend rather wittily replied:  Smallpox or Locusts?

I’m assuming the request was meant to be for plaques instead.

And so I continue to keep my eyes peeled.  Always on the lookout for more wondrous language bounty.

Because it really is true – simple pleasures are the best.

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I came across this little gem at the small Mall close to my home.  It stopped me in my tracks and made me haul out my camera immediately.  How could I resist?

1 comment:

  1. Funny - I saw Swart Wortel wod advertised on the way to Gordon's Bay.
    Black Wattle in the volksmond.