Signs and Portents

Because I like the word “portents” in combination with “signs,” and for no other reason, I made that the title. I’m sure you’ll deal with it in your own ways.

Well, okay; part of my reason is also that I have this neat pic of a sign, which I’ve quite openly swiped from Amanda Patterson over at The Plain Language Programme (Aussies spell things with extra letters, just like the Brits do).

Here’s your sign. (Apologies to Bill Engvall for stealing his line, but in this case it really is relevant.)

All that’s needed to correct the problem is an “s” and an apostrophe. That’s all. Such a simple fix, yet so very far away . . .

Then there’s the gem I received via a Facebook message from a friend, Janet Deaver-Pack. She shared with me a typo from the cover of the newest catalogue from Bits and Pieces (, which features a “secret book box” that I presume is like this one. I presume this, because the same error appears on this item. Look closely at the central “book” title. The last time I checked, something decorated with gold is “gilded.” Perhaps the creator of this product is a union supporter; that might begin to explain the typo.

As Janet said to me, “There are dictionaries in the world.” Of course, some folks need the special “misspeller’s dictionaries” because after all, if you don’t know how to spell the word to start with, how are you supposed to find it?


3 thoughts on “Signs and Portents

  1. You know, as much as I enjoy writing rants (and reading the ones that you write), I really do love the posts where we just point out typos and similar inanities in the wild. For the “Boy Toys” sign, at least they spelled “inconvenience” correctly, since most such restaurant signs do not. And while the book box typo is funny, I’ve gotta say that I’d love to read something written by an author named “Zach O’Roo.”

    (If the name is supposed to be a joke on something else, I totally missed it. I just like saying Zach O’Roo.)


    1. That is a great name, isn’t it? I’m sure it’s wordplay of some kind, because all of the other “author” names are. Perhaps that’s the task for my lizard brain today: Decipher the mystery author’s name.

      If any of our dear readers would like to play along, that’s certainly allowed! I don’t have a cool prize to offer, but the satisfaction of a job well done is supposed to be sufficient, right?


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