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When I am Copyeditor General ...: June 2008


Ingredients will be defined

Ooh, sometimes I feel like such a hypocrite. See, I just finished writing a review of Mochica, a lovely Peruvian restaurant in Montreal. The food is fabulous, the place is cool, the waitstaff are sweet and attentive.

But while I was checking their website, I found this:

and this:

Copyeditor General's ruling: I understand that English is probably a second language here. But this isn't a translation issue as much as a proofreading problem. And if I hadn't already been to Mochica, I'd be likely to take these typos as evidence that the restaurant was not paying attention to detail. And then I'd have missed out on a plate of lovely llama.


Ice cream sites will not give me the chills

Ice cream is one of those summer staples that signifies nostalgia and innocence. Even towns otherwise carpet-bombed into chain-store homogeneity often have a mom-and-pop ice cream stand that opens on Memorial Day and serves up dairy delights throughout the season.

These days, of course, nostalgia needs to be upgraded with a website.

Which just means more tasty treats in the error icebox.

Let's start slowly, to avoid brain-freeze, with a basic typo from Lickety's Ice Cream Truck:

And then we'll ease in with another example from the same site, this time from a page of resources for kids. Or possibly just one specific kid.

Because we know how much kids enjoy fan.

The origins of ice cream are much debated (check out the lovely documentary Gelato: An Endless Passion for an overview). But at least we have some idea of the sacrifices of later creative spirits:

How on earth did he keep his balance?

And the prize for tasty typos goes to the Dairy Kastle in Louisville, Kentucky, where the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well:

Probably wise to move away from falvors anyway.

Best of all, though, is the same page's conclusion. Forget the stubbornly consistent refusal to accept the apostrophe. Ignore the fact that the second sentence is a fragment. Disregard the your/you're issue.

What, exactly, does the last sentence mean?

Copyeditor General's ruling: Is it wrong to critique the linguistic abilities of these small seasonal businesses? Should we overlook their typos on the grounds that they're not slick corporations with fancy-pants copyeditors and high-powered MarComm professionals?

Or does the fact that they're providing a service to children (who, frankly, need all the grammatical role models they can get) suggest they should be held to a higher standard?

Ah, it's too hot to think about this stuff.

Anyone fancy an ice cream?


Jack Keefe will be a pitcher, not a signwriter

Spotted in the barely functioning gym at the HoJos in Portland, Maine:

Copyeditor General's ruling: Pitcher Jack Keefe first came to prominence as the narrator of Ring Lardner's You Know Me Al. Today he maintains a beautiful baseball blog, written in his inimitable style.

But no matter what happens, he should not be allowed near signwriting equipment ever again.


Best Buy will not suck

There are plenty of examples of Best Buy's poor customer service record. I have nothing to add in that category. But I will take exception to their employment marketing.

Spotted in the window (which explains the dazzling reflection) of the Landmark Center store in Boston:

Copyeditor General's ruling: Let's just hope Best Buy doesn't include English lessons, grammar or proofreading in its list of learning opportunities.


Fro-yo will come in strange new flavors

And a certain corner café not far from Fenway Park will be the epicenter of tastebud-perturbing creativity. Among their current frozen yogurt offerings:

What would you like to try first? A tour of Reese's places? Perhaps a nice scoop of crackling?

Copyeditor General's ruling: Is the mongo fresh? Then I'll take a small mongo, please.
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