I’ve written blog posts about misspelled advertising signs for ages now. Heck, I could do an entire week of those blog posts simply by visiting my local Stewarts. And if I get hungry, I can go to the local sushi place and order the sex lady.
That being said…
Last week, I visited the the recent Troy Pig Out barbecue festival. And as I went from food truck to food truck, looking for something to nosh on or something that would taste really good …
I came across this sign that was attached to one of the truck vendors’ carts.
Now I wouldn’t say that a sign like this made my head hurt … as some Times Union staff blogger might say when they see a sign with typographical errors … but this sign’s errant typos gave this bit of advertising an entirely different meaning.
Follow along with me.
“Side effects to our products may include: Dry mouth, blurred vision, sugar high, loss of 5 or more American dollars … sometimes thoughts of suicide, homocide, genicide, and thoughts of being put aside, may occur.”
Oh yeah, have to put in that [sic] reference.
Look, it’s one thing to have typos on your advertising product… I get it. Maybe you’re trying to evoke some sort of backwoods patois here, suggesting that this might have been written in the boonie towns or something.
And if you just can’t spell certain words … I understand that.
But when one of your words is a typo that brings in a different meaning… a spoonerism, a malaprop, a mondegreen – you need to be careful.
Because “Homicide” is the killing of another person.
And “Homocide” is the killing of a gay person. In fact, it’s in the Urban Dictionary. And it’s a rather vulgar definition in and of itself.
Next to it … “Genocide” is the killing of an entire race or religion.
“Genicide” is the mutilation of a woman’s genitalia. You might know it is a female circumcision.
And yes … it also has a definition in the Urban Dictionary. And the definition is just as vulgar as the first one.
Now let me say this – I was not appointed the captain of the Grammar Patrol. And I’m sure there are some who will say, “Chuck, I went back through your posts and six years ago you made a typo on one of your posts, you used a hyphen between ‘Times’ and ‘Union,’ that’s wrong, and you’re correcting other peoples’ spelling? Shame on you. Oh, and here’s a tip: one space in between sentences, not two.”
I will say this… there’s a difference between a sign with misspellings that portrays the fictional author as being uneducated; and a sign in which the words that were misspelled bring on an entirely offensive and alternative concept.
And if you’re trying to sell me something and you’re using that sign …
Just realize that you may not have intended to offend …
But that sign’s not going to make me want to purchase your food.
Or purchase anything else.