I do not usually make resolutions for a new year, but I think this year I will do (with tongue very much in cheek) if only to save mental stress.
- I will not rant at the television when I spot spelling mistakes in captions accompanying news items, such as someone’s name, which is clearly wrong as Claire So-and-so should not have a moustache and beard, or because the UK broadcasting company (can you guess which one?) has spelt ‘mortgage’ as ‘mortage’ – yet again!
- When visiting a restaurant, I will not look at the menu and ramble on about the spelling errors and the general decline in literacy while my hand is itching to reach for a pen to correct the menu. Instead, I will ask a dining companion to read the menu to me so I cannot see the mistakes. If I am alone, perhaps because people refuse to dine or lunch with me as they are fed up with reading the entire menu to me, complete with prices and the drink options, then I will ask the waiter to do so instead.
- When shopping in a supermarket, I will not tut-tut and moan that the sign over the tills should read ‘10 items or fewer’ and ‘not 10 items or less’. I will patiently queue with those with full trolleys then take forever packing my five items, finding my loyalty card, then paying over the money in as much assorted change as I can muster, after first dropping it on the floor.
- When shopping locally and passing the small shops, I will not pause outside the greengrocer’s shop to ponder his use of apostrophes in potatoe’s or apple’s, or point to the handwritten sign in the newsagent’s window that contains a spelling mistake in virtually every word. No, I will grin and bear it.
- Finally, I will try not to lose my temper and rant when I answer the house phone to some ‘Jack’ or ‘Tom’ with an Asian accent so thick you could slice it, who is trying to explain that he is from Microsoft’s technical department and that my computer is faulty and needs [suspect] software downloading. This is despite my computer being attached to the separate office landline.
Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2017 to my blog readers.
Stephen York is a freelance proofreader with over 25 years' experience in book and journal publishing offering proofreading services to publishers, businesses, organizations, educational institutions, academics, students, and authors. He regularly proofreads in digital format a wide variety of media in an extensive range of specialist subject areas, including business, finance, economics, education, marketing, and real estate.