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What's Up With All the Misspelling??

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Karyn Bryant: The other day I received a postcard advertising an infant center/preschool. Since Aurora's all set for the fall, I'm no longer looking; but if I were, I would never send my kid to this one. Why? Because they call themselves the "Nu Building Blocks" school, and in my book, if you can't even spell "New" correctly, then there's no way in hell I'm going to trust you to teach my child.

upset looking woman

Deliberate misspelling has been a pet peeve of mine forever. I wasn't even that old when Toys R Us came on the scene, but I was really irked by that "R" instead of "Are." (Don't get me started on the whole backwards "R" thing.) I cringe every time I see a Kids Klub somewhere, and I hated Bratz on principle even before I saw that they looked like hookers. As much as I love Play-Doh, I can't comprehend why the people at Hasbro are so mad at the letters "u" and "g."

I realize I might be taking this a little too seriously and should probably lighten up. I understand the desire for fun names, and I know that visually, the repetition of letters can make someone remember a product better. Sometimes misspelling is supposed to make us think a product is "edgy," but it just makes me crazy. Aren't we confusing our kids?

I wonder: are focus groups telling marketers that we prefer catchy to correct? Apparently they are. Maybe that's why our society seems to be getting "stupider."

I guess the Nu School does have one thing going for it though: location. It's right down the street from Krispy Kreme. Next to Tastee-Freez.



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14 comments so far | Post a comment now
anne May 24, 2009, 8:04 AM

I wonder if Shanna Moalker is reading this. Another thing that is annoying besides her is her constant misspellings in her blog. What is wrong with people? If you blog, it sure as heck does not mean you are dismissed from the Spelling/Grammer Police! Make sure if you are in the public eye to use spell check. No matter what you are blogging about or how trivial you think it is!
Thanks!

amused May 24, 2009, 8:06 AM

Sounds like you worry about the small things ALL TOO OFTEN, Karyn. Oh, except when you see small children roaming the neighborhood, right? Then it’s none of your business.
Get your priorities in order, girlfriend, and ease up while your at it.

businessguy May 24, 2009, 9:04 AM

Not speaking directly to this one LA daycare, but in general this issue is perhaps not always a question of spelling and grammar, but rather a question of business and marketing. Other companies may have already registered the same name with the correct spelling in those markets or geographies, necessitating the spelling variation. In other cases, it IS done for the sake of getting noticed, or as a ‘cute’ (albeit wrong) way of representing a name.
As to Toys ‘R’ Us - when your kids were young and started learning to spell, did they not at least once, write a letter backwards? This logo-type is intended simply as an attention getter that takes the viewer back to those instances in their child’s life:
(From Toys R Us web)
With the opening of his second store, he settled on the name Toys”R”Us with a backward “R.” Although the name drew ire from parents and teachers alike for its grammatical incorrectness, Lazarus knew it was an attention-getter.
Just some thoughts.

Jim May 24, 2009, 11:39 AM

I think being a parent is all about seizing opportunity to raise your kids right. Walking down the street with your preschooler and see a Krispy Kreme? Then ask her if she can spell it correctly, thereby building her spelling and vocabulary skills.

RachelAZ May 24, 2009, 9:33 PM

don’t sweat the small stuff…in the big scheme of things, does it really matter?!?!? The answer is NO!

Barb May 24, 2009, 10:04 PM

I agree! As a marketing writer and editor, these exact things drive me crazy!

Anonymous May 25, 2009, 12:10 AM

I cannot stand people who purposely misspell their kid’s names to be different.

ccvvggg May 25, 2009, 10:03 AM

Finallly someone who also notices the increasing misspellings everywhere. CNN, CBC, NBC, google, AOL, PopEater, local news - misspelled words every day.

Anonymous in Ohio May 25, 2009, 10:17 AM

I agree with you, Karyn. I also can’t stand it when people MISUSE the words YOUR and YOU’RE! My childrens’ teachers constantly do this! I know to some this is a minor grammar infraction. It isn’t, really. Things have become WAY to relaxed in terms of educating American children. The line needs to be drawn somewhere…

littlepeapie May 25, 2009, 12:28 PM

Zaxby’s Zalads drive me nuts.

Anne May 26, 2009, 12:33 AM

I don’t find myself doing the English teacher red pencil thing with ads, but I do notice signs with the words accidentally spelled wrong, especially permanent signs. I also hate it when people get all creative with their kids’ names. The poor kid gets to go through life saying, “No, its not Courtney, it’s Kortni!” Kindergarten teachers have a real challenge these days, with all the weird names and spellings.

MarcomMom May 26, 2009, 9:54 AM

Can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see others who care about this (often I think I’m the only member of my little type-A club). The most criminal examples of all, in my opinion, are misspellings and grammatical errors in notices sent home from my daughter’s (high-scoring) public school. These people are supposed to be teaching my kid to read and write? And how do you politely correct a teacher without coming off like a sanctimonious jerk?

Anonymous May 27, 2009, 8:59 PM

Uh… I think they misspell it for legal reasons. You know, so they can copyright it. Also, if they misspell it and it catches on, they can make more profit (e.g. Do you buy a Band-Aid or an adhesive bandage?). It may be evil in your eyes, but it certainly makes sense.

Owliirht June 22, 2009, 9:17 PM

RddKW9 comment3 ,


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