Friday, 27 January 2012

Thank You Drng and Aptronym

It seems that Britain has a new Prime Minister and Surry Hills Library decided to use the dyslexic they hired under equal opportunity to run the publicity for their inaugural spelling bee.

At the Art Gallery of New South Wales

I can't understand what's happened at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Captions on walls are things that are not rushed into overnight and yet the place is littered with captions containing errors:

Presumably that was meant to read 'and wrote a memoir'.

I'm not mad about a principal passion being 'toward' something, although that is not strictly wrong. However, 'looking for way forward' is.
Shall I be boring again and point out that commas should ideally go round in pairs - there is one missing in the above caption. It should be inserted before the word 'anticipated'. Without it, the sentence is very hard to read.
I'm sorry Mr Capon, this maddens me, because it makes me read the sentence over and over again, puzzling about why it doesn't work. Whatever Edmund Capon actually said, the sentence, for the purposes of the poster, would have read better if edited thus: "This is the great Picasso show to which we have often aspired but which we have not yet achieved in Australia". It is the 'to' which makes things difficult, because the verb 'achieve' does not fit with it. You can't say, 'to which we have not yet achieved' and yet that is how the sentence is structured - as it stands, the verb 'achieved' depends on the clause beginning with that 'to'. It won't do.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

They're Building a Road Now?

Shouldn't that be passers-by, rather than by-passers:

Yet Again - Spellchecker, Where Are You When We Need You?

But's that all? This is taken from a national newspaper, forsooth:

Their Holder's What?

Cunning Swine

Instead of making sure their signs are written in good English, the people in charge of storyboards on the walk from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach have placed misty sheets of plastic over any offensive bits of prose for which they are responsible, in the hope that no-one will notice - and, if they do, that they won't be able to take photographs of the mistakes. In case it is too difficult to read, I should spell this one out - a permanent sign, paid for by taxpayers, states that Japanese submarines were sighted a certain number of 'metres of the coast'. This is not some quickly dashed off memorandum; this is something designed to be read by the public for years. Why on earth didn't anyone read it carefully? Grrr:

Apostrophe Overboard

'Bradleys' might be considered adjectival and therefore exempt, but 'headlands' is not:

(Personally, I'd put a comma between 'location' and 'providing' as well, but that is a matter of taste, I suppose).

Indian Cricket

This shows that spell-check is not always entirely useless (although it does have to be used, if it is to provide any help). I suppose one should be thankful that an extra 'r' wasn't also added, sending readers screaming from visions of horrible Mr Sting:

Although There's No Need to Get Obsessive

Like this man (please let me never sit next to him at a party):

Getting it Right

An example of why one should take care with text:

Who Needs Staff

Provided you've got one qualified teacher, anything goes really:

The Real Question

What I'd really like to know, though, is whether he still thought Dick Smith would be interested, an entirely different, although possibly easier to understand, question:

Which Four Months Was That?

There was the four months since the four months ago but was that the four months that was after the four months ago or the four months that was before the four months since? Just asking:

I Think They'd Been Drinking

If the people who wrote this hadn't been drinking, why did they suggest that we spend time 'on our' parks? Would it really have taken so much more effort to write, 'on our beaches and in our parks'? I suppose it would have, if your hand was already unsteady from spending the whole day on the turps:

I Ate It

Because I love living dangerously:

What is that Comma Doing?

The comma before 'a living there', what is its function? Is it, perhaps, a kind of punctuation alternative to a drumroll:

Ebooks Are Bad Enough

Presumably an epublican is the man who fills drinks machines that sell beer and those horrible cans of premixed gin and tonic, et cetera:

What really scares me is the thought of the rise of the emocrats.

Is Consistency Enough

I suppose the argument here is that abandoning the accent on divorcĂ© is okay, if you have already done so on fiancĂ© -but really it would be better, I think, to include both, in order to avoid ambiguity: