It all started on Friday morning when I was waiting in line at the fabulous new Starbuck's drive-thru near my house. I love Starbuck's and I love drive-thru, so it's a perfect combination, really. So what if I sat in line perhaps 30% longer than I would have waited if I had gone inside. The point is, I don't HAVE to go inside. I can get my grande peppermint soy mocha while cocooned in my car listening to Crowded House. And reading people's bumper stickers.
On this particular day, there was this truck in front of me in line, and so I was forced to read his bumper stickers. He had the requisite hunting and fishing stickers, and then there was one that said "Guns don't cause violence any more than flies cause garbage." At least that's what it SHOULD have said. What it did in fact say was "Guns don't cause violence -- anymore, than flys cause garbage." What? WHAT? The punctuation, oh dear god, the punctuation. Read it out loud and see how stupid you sound. I had to tell someone who would understand this monumental proofreading situtation (and yet not make fun of me, which excluded most if not all of my friends), and so I called my Scrabble archrival -- my dad. Unfortunately, he didn't answer so I left a message.
The thing is, one of my biggest pet peeves revolves around spelling. It drives me nuts when something is full of typos and misspellings, especially when it is represented as something professional. This bumper sticker was not written in crayon and taped to the bumper -- no, no -- a business had actually paid for it to be printed. I had a textbook in college once that had so many errors that I couldn't read it because I was so distracted by the horrible editing. When we receive proposals at work requesting upwards of $250,000, I would think that people would proofread it well, and especially make sure that the name of the school the proposal is coming from is spelled correctly. They do not. There is no excuse these days for misspelling -- EVERYONE has spellcheck and there are about eight billion online dictionaries. In my opinion, spelling errors in professional papers/memos/books/letters/etc., completely shoot down your credibility and make you look ignorant. Especially if you put on your resume that you are detail oriented and spell it "detial." Heh. That really happened. Not to me though. Not that I'm perfect, but I do attempt to properly edit my work.
Anyway, let me carefully step down from my soapbox, all the while shaking my fist in the air and bemoaning the sad state of the English language today. Bad spelling, bad grammar, bad punctuation. Just bad.