Kwirkee is Quirky

Eats, shoots and leaves

Posted in Articles, Musings by kwirkee on February 16, 2009

Punctuation and Grammar

 

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.

 

‘Why?’ asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

 

‘Well, I’m a panda’, he says, at the door. ‘Look it up.’

 

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. ‘Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.’

 

I expect the more punctilious reader will now read through all my posts, and perhaps anything they can find that I’ve designed, looking for errors. However, it should be said that I am not a complete stickler. For example, I don’t have a problem with Barclays Bank dropping the apostrophe from their name. Nor do I insist on full stops after initials in a name. I occasionally write “Thanx” instead of “Thanks” – although with lessening frequency. I also know that we are human, and we make mistakes.

 

What does rile me is the complete disregard for spelling and grammar that slowly erodes meaning. I point the finger at those ubiquitous 160 character mobile phone messages. Even though said phones now allow you to send long text messages made up of a number of smaller ones, it still seems that ppl r strting 2 tlk lk this.

 

Even professionals, teachers, and otherwise educated people seem to have forgotten basic rules. I was listening to BBC Radio FiveLive the other day and a guy called in with the following story. He had attended some sort of meeting at school regarding SATs. Some supervisory sort of character – perhaps an Ofsted person – stood near the board and wrote in large letters:

 

“How we can improve this schools SAT’s”.

 

Awful! Plurals do not need apostrophes. Nobody should pay £2000 to create a shop sign which says “Book’s, DVD’s and CD’s sold hear”.

 

Why does anyone do this? Is it because we live in such a disposable society that we figure we can just send the text again? Resend the email? Run a spell check? How have we ended up with whole generation of adults who do not know the difference between “there” and “their”, “know” and “now”, and “hear” and “here”?

 

Personally, when I receive a communication filled with stupid misspellings, I can’t help making an instant judgement about the sender. And that judgement is never positive. In fact, I sometimes receive communications that are so badly punctuated (or not at all) that I don’t understand what is being said.

 

I know there is a time and place for everything. Even I have to force myself to use the dreaded text contractions when texting my sister in Australia, lest I incur an enormous bill. But please, when you have the luxury of endless space for your words, choose them, and the dots that make them meaningful, carefully.

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Why Blog?

Posted in Musings by kwirkee on January 21, 2009

I finally dragged myself (kicking and screaming, it must be admitted) into this century and started a blog. My cunning plan is to fill it with all manner of goodies (including bits from my portfolio) but clearly that would be optimistic to the point of foolishness. At the very least, I might manage to update it more than my poor forgotten website. Which, might I add, is a real case of the guy who fixes shoes but whose kids are shoeless. Since I spend all my time designing branding for everyone else, clearly anything I do for myself has to be simply spectacular, or not at all. Which is the reason for my now very simple wordpress blog.