Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spelling--It's the New Black

For my students' edification, I post my typo-marred business card above. Spot the typo and win a prize (my undying enmity). Here are some "teachable moment" lessons.

1. Always, always have someone else proofread your stuff. I am a better speller than most (and a braggart, apparently). And I am a mighty fine proofreader. . . of other people's stuff.

2. So, GET OTHERS, PREFERABLY MANY OTHERS, to read whatever it is you're making-- website, t-shirt, business card, comic book, graduation announcement, resume, letter, tattoo -- before you send it to print it or put it before the world. The next time I do this, I'm gettin' Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert, and Rahm Emmanuel to read this ma' fa'.

3. Ironically, I caught this mistake myself within an hour after getting a shipment of several thousand cards and three t-shirts. I only saw it when I put a shirt on, looked in a mirror, and started reading the words backwards. This is a good example of how important it is to get some distance between our poor brains and the stuff we make. Mirror + Time = a clearer perspective.

4. Silver lining: better to catch it last night than after I handed out 1000 cards at a classics scholars convention. Tough crowd.

5. Silver lining #2. I'm not actually heading off to a classics scholars convention tomorrow. Since I had a soft deadline for myself, well before a "hard launch" this screw-up doesn't actually put me in a bad position. I can get order enough new cards to last me for about $25.

6. Silver lining #3. The cards look great and were easy to create online. I used But I would also check out the local offerings as well.


Ian said...

I don't know how many bad tattoos I've seen with blatant spelling errors. It blows my mind that people don't take the time to check "hey, is this shit even spelled right?" (of course, blame could also be placed on the tattoo artist for not saying anything or just not caring) it's a wonderful world

Verelle Stuck said...