Should billboards with misspelled words be outlawed in a society whose first language is English?
I will answer your question with a question. Do we need more laws or regulations? Yes, it is tacky, and shows a lack of education to have misspellings - but no, I don't think we need more laws governing spelling on top of everything else.
I agree with duffsmom that we certainly do NOT need more laws or regulations, especially for spelling. However, I think it's a sad commentary on our society's dependence on spell check and how we've come to accept and ignore misspellings (and poor grammar) in our daily lives. I'm amazed at how often I see spelling errors or grammatical mistakes in newspapers and even on the evening news. Just sad.
Should they be outlawed? Of course not! Should they be snickered at? Absolutely! You cannot legislate a mandate for intelligence and education, or a cure for ignorance or bad taste.
I don't understand why you refer to the English language. If a sign is written in English or another language, it is legal unless it breaks existing laws in the place where the sign is placed.
If you notice a misspelled sign, you could do the business owner a favor and tell him/her. That person obviously didn't do it on purpose. Most likely the owner will thank you and might even give you a discount on a product s/he sells.
Well no, it is unfortunate, and worth a little snigger, but no there shouldn't be this sort of legislation. And which version of English are you going to say is correct? Here in the UK, should we ban books from the USA, because the spelling is 'incorrect', by the same token, should the USA ban books from the UK, because the spelling is 'incorrect', of course not.
No, billboards with misspelled words, in any language, shouldn't be illegal. A more efficient proofreader is needed with good spelling and grammar skills. Society is definitely becoming less capable of correct spelling due to spell checker and texting. I often find misspelled words in print.
YES! (Well, not actual LEGISLATION, but it is just SO wrong!)
And those signs on the backs of SCHOOL buses that say, "Driver's Wanted"!
Ditto with company names that are misspelled or just plain stupid--like "HOM Furniture" (Twin Cities, MN, USA furniture store -- I'll never go in it) and "RE/Max" (a real estate chain I'll never use).
Also, with mis-pronounced names, like the Toyota Prius, which they insist on mis-pronouncing "pre-us" instead of "pry-us", as is the correct pronunciation (triumph, trial, pious, private, primate...)--look it up in the dictionary, eh?
And road names--Chicago (I used to live there), WHY do you pronounce the road "Kirchoff" as rhyming with "kerchief"? Haven't you taken physics class and learned of this famous scientist, whose name is pronounced "kirk-off", as in, a German pronunciation? And what's with the town "Des Plaines" (which you pronounce "Dess planes")? We don't say, "Des Moines" Iowa that way--it should be "De-plain", I think (I speak no French--I'm German, as you can guess from my name).
And town names. Minnesota, "Faribault" is French--it's pronounced "fair-i-bow", not "fair-bolt". And, "New Prague" does NOT rhyme with "New Plague"--"New Prog", please, like the beautiful country it's named for! And many apologies to all of the Native Americans whose town and road and other names we mispronounce horribly out of total ignorance of your beautiful languages.
Colloquialisms are a pain, but should only be outlawed by editors in appropriate contexts. Public education and re-education should cure us of "ain't" and "drive-thru" and "alot" and other such atrocities.
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