New Hobby: Being a Crotchety Grammarian on the Internet

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I did something totally obnoxious this week. I am under no illusions that this wasn't an obnoxious thing to do, but I felt compelled to move forward with it anyway: I called a Dunkin Donuts - on the telephone - to tell them that they'd misspelled a word on the electronic sign outside their store. It read, "CROISSANT DONUT IS HERE! GET YOURS BEFORE THERE GONE."


I prefaced my call with a disclaimer - "I know this is a super-weird reason to call you..." - & then laughed nervously as I relayed my message. Luckily, the guy on the other end laughed, too, & thanked me profusely. "How embarrassing," he told me, "We'll change it today. Seriously, thank you."

This is within the spectrum of things I do these days, apparently. (P.S., thanks for that turn of phrase, Lena Dunham.)

In the last month, I've tweeted corporate misspellings to not one, not two, but three companies. While I never call out individuals on such errors (unless they're really hysterical, like runaway autocorrects), but I tend to think brands have a responsibility to do/be/look more professional than individuals. And as someone who helps manage a brand, I know I appreciate it when someone lets me know where I've made a mistake (even if I also want to crawl in a hole about it).

The new hobby of mine started -where else? - with Starbucks, who I hoped might give me a free drink as a thank-you for my eagle eye. No dice; I guess public humiliation is not the best way to endear myself to my favorite coffee shop. Still, they corrected their typo the next day:

My streak continued with this TV show that I'd never before seen but still felt compelled to correct. I know Ohio's got some strangely named towns (Wapakoneta, anyone? Tuscarawas?), but if you're a TV segment reporting on Ohio towns, please get your ish together. (They did not respond to me.)

And then I found this tricky little typo hidden on a nicely designed yogurt lid. To this company's credit, they did respond to thank me for letting them know, though I assume it takes awhile to correct a mistake like this.

And then I called Dunkin Donuts, because apparently I'm a militant, fighting the war against corporate typos every day of my life.

Now accepting freelance copy-writing opportunities & prestigious full-time copy-editing job offers... or your company can just make a very public mistake & I can very publicly call you out on it. Ball's in your court, corporate America.*

*This sentence makes me sound like a total jerk, & I am seriously just kidding about it. I just really like spelling, OK?!

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