to have pointed out a spelling mistake in a menu?

(385 Posts)
freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 10:16:44

First off, I really don't think I was being unreasonable, but would like others' opinions please.

I went for drinks last night in a cafe I'd not been to before. The various food options were written on a blackboard above the tills. One of the options described sausages and "gravey". I didn't say anything initially - ordered my drink, thanked the server and went to my seat. Later in the evening, when ordering again, whilst waiting for my wine, I spoke to the same assistant and said, with a bit of a smile, "Sorry, I just wanted to point out that "gravy" is not spelled with an "e" in it". I smiled again to reiterate I was being friendly and added, "I just notice these things!" (which is true. I'm a lawyer and a pedant.)

The woman's demeanour immediately changed at this point. She said "well, I didn't write it, but I'll be sure to tell my dyslexic colleague that she spelled it wrong" (she really did emphasise the word dyslexic). Again, I smiled (awkwardly now) and repeated that I had a job that made me notice spelling errors. Again, she repeated that she would be sure to tell her "dyslexic colleague that she couldn't spell 'gravy'".

I paid for my drink and walked away blushing, feeling really pissed off. Frankly, if you're going to have a dyslexic colleague write the menus, surely it would be common sense to double check the spelling? Further, I always point out spelling and grammar mistakes on public signs and leaflets (and have been known to tweet companies whose packaging contains errors) so that the relevant people can correct them.

I'm still pissed off today (and yes, I appreciate it's a first world problem). But AIBU to think the assistant was rude, abrupt and should perhaps have graciously accepted what I said, maybe made a joke of it, rather than having a go at me?

ilovesooty Wed 18-Dec-13 10:21:08

I'm a pedant but I can't imagine why you laboured the point having made your point initially and received your response.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 10:23:49

Probably because I was taken aback by the response and was trying to lighten the mood. In the past, people have been grateful, made a note or acknowledged that other people have highlighted the same error. Most people don't glare and try and make me feel bad.

BrainLikeASeive Wed 18-Dec-13 10:24:55

What kind of idiots let the dyslexic write the menu without checking it?

Msvee Wed 18-Dec-13 10:28:15

My old colleague was dyslexic and would write on the notice board of the school. I never pointed out her mistakes. But you didn't know but probably came across a bit of an arse.

ilovesooty Wed 18-Dec-13 10:28:28

Since the original response wasn't positive I would have thought your own common sense would tell you to leave it there and that aany attempt to lighten the mood was unlikely to be productive. You mentioned an attempt to make you feel bad-perhaps the person you spoke to felt attacked?

I notice errors everywhere as you do. I wouldn't necessarily point them out to individuals or expect people to be grateful.

LambinsideaDuckinsideaTrout Wed 18-Dec-13 10:28:37

I'm dyslexic is the default excuse for a lot of people who can't be bothered to check/spell correctly.

Does my head in.

<excuse my rant>

whogrewoutoftheterribletwos Wed 18-Dec-13 10:29:09

I wouldn't have laboured the point about your job but after she said 'dyslexic colleague' might have suggested that then maybe they weren't the person who should be writing the sign then - after all, it doesn't present a particularly good image for their business to have such obvious mistakes so visible but then, I can be quite confrontational

SirChenjin Wed 18-Dec-13 10:29:37

Agree with you OP - if someone in your team is dyslexic you either a)don't get them to write the publicity, or b)get someone to check the spelling afterwards. If I ran a business and misspelled something I'd sure as heck want someone to point out my error - doesn't exactly look very professional if your marketing stuff/menus/whatever have spelling errors. Trying to lighten the mood and explain why you've pointed out the error is understandable - she sounds like she was getting her knickers well and truly twisted.

(I've misspelled something in that post, haven't I? grin)

ilovesooty Wed 18-Dec-13 10:30:16

"The dyslexic"? Really?

LambinsideaDuckinsideaTrout Wed 18-Dec-13 10:30:27

I missed out quotation marks in mine.. blush

ilovesooty Wed 18-Dec-13 10:32:54

I work with someone with dyslexia and her work would be checked first. Pointing it out to the company - yes. Labouring the point with an individual - no.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 10:33:29

Maybe it's just my background. Any errors in my work result in a bollocking. It just doesn't give a good impression to the customer if something is spelled incorrectly (IMO). I just wasn't sure that the aggressive response was warranted.

ViviPru Wed 18-Dec-13 10:34:32

I notice errors everywhere as you do. I wouldn't necessarily point them out to individuals or expect people to be grateful.

Yes, this. Pats on the back for waving my correctional magic over society grin

Amrapaali Wed 18-Dec-13 10:34:43

I agree with Lambinside.

differentnameforthis Wed 18-Dec-13 10:35:03

I don't see what being a lawyer has to do with anything, to be honest.

And I see plenty of spelling mistakes in everyday life, but my life is too short to be telling anyone about them.

magicbiscuits Wed 18-Dec-13 10:35:17

The menu is marketing. Anyone with spelling difficulties must get their work proofread. You were trying to be helpful OP - it's not your fault that their marketing makes them look ignorant.

SirChenjin Wed 18-Dec-13 10:35:43

Again, I smiled (awkwardly now) and repeated that I had a job that made me notice spelling errors

I don't think that is labouring the point - it's just an explanation. Otoh, repeating that you will tell your dyslexic colleague is.

differentnameforthis Wed 18-Dec-13 10:36:51

Perhaps the person you spoke to wrote the sign & was embarrassed? Don't see why you had to carry on about it though

winklewoman Wed 18-Dec-13 10:38:34

You were perfectly reasonable, she was rude. Sorry, ilovesooty, she should have been grateful to FreckledL for helping the business to project a professional image.

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 10:41:07

do not see what you being a lawyer has to do with it tbh.

differentnameforthis Wed 18-Dec-13 10:41:18

I disagree, op didn't need to mention it twice or point out again that she worked in a job where she "noticed these things"

HavantGuard Wed 18-Dec-13 10:42:28

You sound like my SIL. You couldn't even say, "gravy is misspelled." You had to say, "just wanted to point out that "gravy" is not spelled with an "e" in it." That comes across as smug and pompous.

AnnBryce Wed 18-Dec-13 10:44:08

I'm a pedant (but not a lawyer)...Life is full of crap like this, I choose not to point it out normally because nobody likes a Smart Arse. What did you expect, A free round of drinks?

TBH, I would count a handwritten menus, and things like the signs on fruit and veg in the market, as places where I'm not terribly surprised to see errors. Does it matter?

If you were at somewhere mega-poncey ignore me, but if it's just a bog-standard cafe I'd imagine it's fairly normal and you were a little bit rude.

merryxmasyafilthyanimal Wed 18-Dec-13 10:49:22


DoingItForMyself Wed 18-Dec-13 10:49:24

It was probably the assistant you spoke to who actually wrote the sign, which is why she was so offended. Whether or not she is actually dyslexic, as a customer service representative the correct response is to smile and say thank you.

Not only shoddy publicity but also shoddy customer service.

snowed Wed 18-Dec-13 10:49:42

YANBU. If someone is presenting something in a professional environment they should make every effort to ensure it's correct, and if it isn't, to appreciate being given the information they need to correct it. There's no need to get defensive about being corrected.

merryxmasyafilthyanimal Wed 18-Dec-13 10:50:38

And Msvee - so you let shoddy spelling stand on a school sign?! Surely the school should be spelling things right in case the kids saw it?

AnnBryce Wed 18-Dec-13 10:50:46

Of course being a lawyer it's important to spell correctly, in a pub having a drink, it's generally not.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 10:51:14

Tbh I wouldn't have even bothered saying anything. It's not like medication where spelling mistakes matter as there are medicines spelt very similar.

I don't see the need to embarrass people like that.

nennypops Wed 18-Dec-13 10:52:30

Must admit as a certified pedant that even I wouldn't have said anything about this, especially in relation to a handwritten sign. People just don't tend to be grateful to have this sort of error pointed out - for all you know, the person you spoke to was the person who wrote the sign.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 10:52:45

I expected them to acknowledge the error and change it. To me, it definitely matters. Just because it's depressingly normal to see spelling and grammar mistakes everywhere, doesn't mean you should just accept poor standards.

Also, slightly different example, but if I were on a website and thinking of making a purchase, any spelling errors would immediately put me off and make me question whether the website was legitimate. I appreciate being in a cafe is different, but it still doesn't give a great impression, which, if I were the owner, I would want to rectify.

mensachampion Wed 18-Dec-13 10:57:29

Strangely enough people tend not to enjoy having their mistakes pointed out to them, so I'm not sure what sort of reaction you were expecting. By all means point it out to any children you have with you so that they don't make a visual note of the spelling and assume it is correct, but grown adults tend not to like being told they've fucked up stuff that ought to be simple.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Wed 18-Dec-13 10:57:30

Dd is dyslexic and I can assure you that if she had spelled gravy it would probably have started with a V.

Why was the "dyslexic colleague" put in charge of writing the menu?

caroldecker Wed 18-Dec-13 10:58:00

what sort of cafe sells sausages and grav e y and wine?

tombakerscarf Wed 18-Dec-13 10:58:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnnBryce Wed 18-Dec-13 10:58:52

I think you may have given the woman behind the bar the impression that you were better than her. Just a hunch I have! Funny how people don't always take kindly to that.

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 10:59:11

i love gravey with me chipzz

MaidOfStars Wed 18-Dec-13 11:00:12

I'm as pedantic as the next person but was this really worth it? I might have commented to my mates - hur hur, they put an E in 'gravy' - but even then, the motive is dubious. This dubious motive is amplified when commenting to a stranger.

If you were a regular who could have been perceived as someone with an interest in the continuing good business of the cafe, fair enough. But as it is, you just sounded like a bit of a dick (especially so by labouring the point).


SirChenjin Wed 18-Dec-13 11:00:19

Strangely enough people tend not to enjoy having their mistakes pointed out to them

You might not 'enjoy' it, but when it's your business promotional materials or you're in the workplace then it's par for the course. No point in getting upset - just be professional, acknowledge the error, correct it, move on. Easy.

cantheyseeme Wed 18-Dec-13 11:01:50

Why did it really matter that much to have to point it out? I think the response was warrented.

tombakerscarf Wed 18-Dec-13 11:02:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhereIsMyHat Wed 18-Dec-13 11:02:22

I can be pedantic especially when the local Tories send out a questionnaire asking how we feel about the opening of 'lidl's and sainsburys on the high street'! I sent the questionnaire back highlighting their mistake.

I DNTYWU. (Do not think you were unreasonable).

AndYouCanDance Wed 18-Dec-13 11:04:30


TheMuppetsSingChristmas Wed 18-Dec-13 11:04:37

You expected her to correct the error? What, there and then, with a sharpie perhaps lol? Or gather every single menu back in and not let people order till they'd been changed? YWBU to repeat your point twice over and your exactitude clearly isn't accompanied by an ability to read social situations correctly...

mensachampion Wed 18-Dec-13 11:05:39

No point in getting upset - just be professional, acknowledge the error, correct it, move on. Easy.

I agree the staff member shouldn't have reacted the way they did, however the OP asked if they were unreasonable to point out the error in the first place, IMO they were because attempting to educate adults about the spelling of 5 letter words while they're on the job is highly likely to piss them off and achieve little - also to note it's a bad idea to upset the staff in any place that is serving you food/drinks! (again, not that any reaction they have would be justified)

Oh, come on. It's a menu, not 'business promotional materials'.

I have yet to read Jay Rayner gushing about how delicious a properly-spelt menu is.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 11:10:30

It was written in chalk on a blackboard and was the only menu in the cafe, so yes, very easy to change then and there.

Most people I've pointed out mistakes to have laughed along, or acknowledged that it's an error, or told me about the even worse error that was made the day before etc etc.

Of course no-one likes having a mistake pointed out. But does that mean everyone should bury their heads in the sand for fear of offending?

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 11:11:34

Exactly LRD

I see signs mis spelt all the time. Usually I think it's because a lot of the staff in some places we go to don't speak Englishbas a first language. As long as they are friendly polite etc which they always are , not hoping to go pointing out all the spelling mistakes.

poshfrock Wed 18-Dec-13 11:12:27

I'm with you OP. If they can't get something as simple as spelling the dishes on a menu correct then it suggests sloppiness and corner-cutting throughout the business. Not sure I'd even want to eat there.

sapfu Wed 18-Dec-13 11:14:20

I would have left her a 2p tip and written down 'Here is £10, Merry Christmas! PS I have discalculia.'

I wonder if the woman you spoke to was the one who had written the menu.


HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 11:15:13

A dyslexic person being asked to write the menu?

OP, I don't think you weren't rude at all, though I don't know if I would have been bold enough to point out the error. If people want to try and present their businesses as high class establishments, they should proof read their written communication. A local hotel to us has delusions of grandeur, but because they apostrophise their plurals, I am not taken in for one moment grin.

People with dyslexia I have known always double and triple check their writing for errors.

Aren't you hilarious, sap.

You won't mind me telling you its dyscalculia, will you?

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 11:16:27

the dyslexic really people think that's acceptable?

My oldest son is dyslexic, it's not because he can't ' be bothered to learn to spell' he's got a degree in engineering and is joining the navy.

Thankfully he isn't a patronising twat of a lawyer.

GhostsInSnow Wed 18-Dec-13 11:17:18

I'd have been grateful tbh. It depends how the menu/posters etc were made for the most part. If they are done through word or some other word processing type program then the spell check would pick up errors. If they are created in something like Adobe Illustrator then there is no spell check and it can slip through.

I'm currently sat here working on posters for an art classroom using illustrator which are basically lots of art related words. After a while of screen staring you do make mistakes and you don't always pick up on them, especially in a 'wordy' document. If someone tapped me on the shoulder now and said 'excuse me you don't spell 'undulating' like that for example, I'd be incredibly grateful and get editing.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 18-Dec-13 11:18:05

grin @ 'Nobody likes a smart arse' and 'waves correctional wand over society'.
I notice some spelling mistakes OP but I don't point them out. She was rude but so were you. I also don't know what your job as a lawyer has to do with anything.

snowed Wed 18-Dec-13 11:18:42

Of course no-one wants to find out they've made a mistake. But that's life, isn't it? Learning from mistakes?

Waitress was a trifle touchy. Did you spit in her soup? grin

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 11:21:53

thebody - I never used that term. The person behind the till did. I have simply repeated what she said verbatim.

sapfu Wed 18-Dec-13 11:22:40

No, LRD.

I am dyslexic though! grin

genuinely lolling about that!

CocktailQueen Wed 18-Dec-13 11:23:30

The OP didn't labour the point at all! she made the point. Once. The waitress was BU - how could a customer be expected to know that a staff member was dyslexic?? And why on earth didn't any of the other non-dyslexic staff members pick up on the mistake? She was being an arse. OP - YANBU.

HyvaPaiva Wed 18-Dec-13 11:24:54

It sounds patronizing to me: 'I have a job that requires me to notice spelling' and 'I notice these things' are quite rude comments to make to another person because they strongly suggest 'and you don't'.

It's not about promotional business materials or gravy. Had you said 'god, i'm so pedantic that seeing gravy spelt with an 'e' makes me teeth itch', it would somehow seem friendlier and more casual, more approachable. 'Smiling' doesn't cancel out the fact that you spoke to her like you were her teacher.

You spoke down to her and the fact that you don't see it makes you look rather arrogant, I'm afraid.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 11:24:56

I suppose my job (which I didn't mention to the assistant, btw) is relevant because it involves a shed load of proof reading and drafting documents. Lawyers are generally known to be pedantic and exacting. I suppose it would be the same if one were a writer or a journalist. Or a proof-reader grin

winklewoman Wed 18-Dec-13 11:25:27

That's a bit cruel, LRD, sapfu might herself suffer from dyslexia.
You won't mind my pointing out that it should be 'my telling you' not me and it's not its, will you?

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 11:26:16

Ah well think the op came across as a patronising smart arse. I know she's a lawyer but that's not a good enough excuse.

winklewoman Wed 18-Dec-13 11:27:07

Cross-posted with sapfu but a correct guess.

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 18-Dec-13 11:27:25

I would have noticed, smiled and ignored. I'm generally a good speller but I wouldn't point out mistakes as I really don't give a shit.

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 11:28:27

Or a proof-reader
yes i am a proofreader and have been known to point out mistakes on chalk boards....
one classic was 'rashes' of bacon, I couldn't help but point it out...

mensachampion Wed 18-Dec-13 11:28:45

But that's life, isn't it? Learning from mistakes?

Actually lots of people don't learn from their mistakes, and lots of people don't want to do any learning the minute they leave school, and are happy with an easy life.

It's not cruel, winkle, because, as my post said, she won't mind because she accepts it's ok to correct people despite whatever disabilities they have.

And I assume you don't mind that either, so is it ok if I point out your misreading of my post there? No? Good! smile

'rashes' of bacon would actually put me off. Yeuch!

Topaz25 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:29:29

Spelling mistakes on promotional materials make the company look unprofessional. I recently told a company advertising business cards on Facebook that there was a typo in their advert, it said "vide" instead of wide. They were grateful for the input. I probably wouldn't have mentioned the menu, because I have a policy of not pissing off the people who serve my food and drinks. A general email to a company is likely to be taken more constructively than a conversation with an individual, who might take it personally.

I don't think it's fair on the Dyslexic colleague to have to write the menus without back up or support and I wonder if they know their disability is being discussed with customers?

DaisyBD Wed 18-Dec-13 11:30:24

Why didn't you just rub out the 'e' with your finger?

SirChenjin Wed 18-Dec-13 11:30:54

If owned a restaurant and I had misspelled something I'd be very grateful to you for pointing it out.

scottishmummy Wed 18-Dec-13 11:30:56

You were out socially,op this wasn't work and didn't require the intervention
It was petty to bring it up,and unnecessarily wound up folk

SirChenjin Wed 18-Dec-13 11:31:57

If I owned - obv grin

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 11:33:31


There probably is no dyslexic colleague.
I bet she wrote ''gravey'' and that's why she was so pissed off.

normalishdude Wed 18-Dec-13 11:35:41

...'double check' should be hyphenated.

I don't think the OP is applying her standards to a post on a chat website, normalish. That's what people generally explain, anyway.

NurseRoscoe Wed 18-Dec-13 11:37:36

It's unreasonable of them to have a dyslexic member if staff writing the menus! They wouldn't ask someone in a wheelchair to do a job that involved stacking items on high shelves, they would find them a job suitable for them, in a restaurant I can imagine there would be plenty of jobs someone who is dyslexic could do with no difficulties and another member of staff could write out the menus! It's not very professional.

However I do think you were being unreasonable to point it out, that would be the managers job to deal with and it was clear what it meant

mewmeow Wed 18-Dec-13 11:38:13

I dont think your intentions were unreasonable, but it does smack of self-satisfaction and one up man ship (even if you didnt intend it that way, sorry). Maybe resist the urge next time.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Wed 18-Dec-13 11:40:01


I hate to see spelling mistakes like that too. Surely someone should have noticed even if the person writing was dyslexic? And I bet there wasn't a dyslexic colleague anyway and the assistant obviously had no idea how to spell gravy anyway or she would have noticed

There was no need for her to be so rude.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 18-Dec-13 11:40:09

TBH OP, it really does not matter if you are a lawyer, teacher, proof-reader or not. She obviously felt patronised by you and responded aggressively. You really should have kept your mouth shut. It's quite tiresome when people go around pointing out mistakes.

lessonsintightropes Wed 18-Dec-13 11:40:36

I think you were out of order and shouldn't have mentioned it. Our local cafe which does lovely food is run by Turkish people whose grasp of the finer points of English is not marvellous - why would I be a wanker and point out mistakes of theirs? Comes across as snobbish and arsey - fine if to your children, but not to strangers.

normalishdude Wed 18-Dec-13 11:41:01

It seems to me that she tried to.

Yes, because being dyslexic and writing a menu is exactly like being in a wheelchair and being asked to stack shelves. And misspelling a word on a cafe menu is precisely as much of a failure of your job as being entirely unable to perform any part of it.


Got that.

Good good.

Leaving that aside ... why on earth does it matter if this colleague really had dyslexia or not, or if it's her or not? If someone is working as a waitress in a cafe, they are working in a low-paid job that is quite physically demanding and tiring. Sure, they should do it perfectly and respond cheerfully to customers being rude ... but it'd be awfully nice to cut people a break every now and again, wouldn't it?

FourLittleDudes Wed 18-Dec-13 11:41:21

Seeing as 'the dyslexic' seems acceptable, can we start saying 'the black' or 'the downs' or 'the fatty' when referring to people now....? No, didnt think so.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 11:41:37

I am a qualified nurse but I don't go around warning people who are cyanosed, coughing and having a fag that it might be better for their health if they stopped smoking.

I bet you were head girl at school too. grin

lessonsintightropes Wed 18-Dec-13 11:42:04

And OP I write for a living. Still pedantic, uncivil and patronising - YABU.

HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 11:42:53

Why is it though? In other areas of business no one has a problem with pointing out if a company has made a mistake. The restaurant is a business. I imagine they want to look professional. Why so touchy?

olidusUrsus Wed 18-Dec-13 11:43:21

But you weren't really doing it to be helpful, were you?

In the past, people have been grateful, made a note or acknowledged that other people have highlighted the same error.

I don't think you demeanour was as polite as you say it was, you sound like you could have been very patronising and seeking a pat on the back for being right at the same time...

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 11:43:54

FourLittieDudes and LRD exactly.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 11:45:13

I have a job where I'm presented with illegible stuff all the time I practically have to be psychic and often can't read a bloody thing that's been written. I still manage to restrain myself and serve them politely withiy humiliating them over their writing and spelling.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 11:46:08


catsmother Wed 18-Dec-13 11:51:41

I agree that spelling mistakes create a bad impression and I can't help but wonder if anyone with dyslexia actually works there at all ? My bet would have been on the huffy waitress writing the blackboard menu and she took umbrage at having her mistake pointed out to her.

I look at web pages all day long as part of my job - I see literally 1000s of sites a week - and I'm continually gobsmacked by the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors to be found on even the most 'professional' looking sites belonging to well known companies and establishments most people would consider as pretty credible. If you want to present a professional image then surely having your web content proofread, edited where necessary and spell checked before you publish it goes without saying ?

I do agree though that pointing out spelling or grammatical mistakes isn't always a good idea. You'd probably get your head chewed off by the stereotypical market greengrocer for example (best banana's etc). However, anyone who wants to make a success of their business should welcome constructive criticism, even if it is a tiny part of the whole picture (as in a single spelling mistake). Most professionals want every single aspect of their business to create the right impression and communication is pretty important.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 11:52:08

the assistant obviously had no idea how to spell gravy properly anyway

Really? You know this how? That she's just a waitress?

Maybe she too is working her way through uni and working part time but was angry on her colleagues behalf that a smug patronising customer felt the need to point out a tiny spelling error on a menu.

Have you ever worked in a restaurant?

My ds2,not the son who has dyslexia,works as a pot wash to supplement his uni course and regularly does 9am through to 12pm. He is beyond tired after a shift. Mistakes could quite easily be made.

Those of you who have to correct others all of the time, you must have loads of friends.

mensachampion Wed 18-Dec-13 11:53:56

The restaurant is a business. I imagine they want to look professional.

This isn't the first comment that appears to try to paint the establishment as some sort of high end gastronomic institution, but from what I can see the OP has only ever described it as a cafe! That doesn't mean its a dump staffed by chavs, but if you want perfection, go somewhere that charges the going rate for it, don't go to a cheap cafe and bemoan the minimum wage staff are lowering the standards of society with a few incorrectly spelled words..

nauticant Wed 18-Dec-13 11:55:49

Is it just possible, a long shot I know, that the waitress was being sarcastic when she said "I'll be sure to tell my dyslexic colleague that she spelled it wrong"?

Anyway, enough of that. Tell us more about your job OP, it sounds fascinating and important.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 11:56:21

I used to waitress and pot-wash as a teenager in a restaurant. The mantra we were taught was that "the customer is always right".

Mistakes can easily be made. I make mistakes - they are pointed out to me in red pen by a partner. I try to double, triple-check my work before it goes for review.

Anyway, my drink was poured before the conversation took place, so at least she didn't have the opportunity to spit in it grin

JingleMyBells Wed 18-Dec-13 11:56:46

Why on earth would you do that? I have been to places where every other word is spelt wrong but it wouldn't occur to me to say anything.

YABU and trying to make yourself look and sound superior.

HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 11:57:40

I wasn't moaning.

I was just giving my opinion. I'm a small business owner myself, and I check all the info being presented, in case of mistakes, but sometimes they do happen. I had an email once saying there was a typo on my website. Obviously I wanted to email back saying "fuck off you pedantic fucker" but I didn't. I just thanked him for pointing it out and said that I would amend it forthwith.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 11:58:31

The customer is not always right. In fact the customer is very often more wrong than you could imagine possible. Do not ever think that being a customer gives you any kind of superiority.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 12:01:52

As this thread demonstrates, I'm not the only one who can't abide poor spelling. Therefore, if the cafe amends its menu on the blackboard and doesn't piss off another customer, then surely it's in its benefit to do so and not potentially lose further customers and revenue?

It's nothing to do with superiority. It's to do with the fact that certain words are spelled in a certain way.

haveyourselfashandy Wed 18-Dec-13 12:04:08

The cafe will not lose customers due to a spelling mistake on the menu board.People aren't that sad surely?

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 12:05:34

Oh don't make out you were doing them a favour fgs. This says more about you than it does about them, you coukdvt help it clearly.

By all means be quietly annoyed at the mistakes. But don't try and make yourself look clever by pointing them out and then make out you give a crap about them loosing revenue.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 12:06:00


LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 18-Dec-13 12:06:29

You were a bit of a patronising prig, OP, I would have cringed at your comment if I'd heard it. No matter how lofty you think your job is, it wasn't your place to pick up somebody's spelling and they've called you on it, good for them.

Yes, spelling is important and errors annoying but there's are places where it's vital other places where it jars a little and others where it should be a matter of no importance at all. Know the difference.

TheMuppetsSingChristmas Wed 18-Dec-13 12:07:32

And I stand by my assertion - on the basis of this thread, you appear totally unable to read social situations correctly or with any empathy. You come across as a rigid thinker, unable to consider others, and as someone who is rude and patronising.

nauticant Wed 18-Dec-13 12:07:47

Shakes head sadly at slack proofreading by Gileswithachainsaw

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 18-Dec-13 12:08:35

Ohh. You've typed another few posts in the meantime. You sound worse. Loss of revenue, customers? Wow. Did your parents not teach this out of you as a child? It's the sort of 'look at me', precocious stuff that some kids do - and then hopefully grow out of. shock

HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 12:09:24

Someone scoffed upthread about the use of the word "professional" and said it's only a cafe. Shouldn't all businesses want to look as good as they can, whether or not they are "only" a cafe? Words are spelled a certain way. If one of the staff members is genuinely dyslexic, or even if s/he isn't great at spelling, then shouldn't someone else be doing the boards?

Yes, of course it'd be lovely if the cafe spelt everything correctly.

Yes, waitresses should always be polite and charming.

We all know that.

But when you're the customer, you should still try to be reasonably polite, and it sounds as if you upset someone.

We've probably all done that by accident, too. But maybe it's an indication it's time to save the pedantry for more appropriate contexts?

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 12:10:33

What can I say, I'm on my phone and have fat thumbs grin

<waits to be torn to shreds by op who clearly has no manners and is so far up her own arse she's talking out her neck>

HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 12:10:48

In a social situation it's of course different. My mother for example delights in correcting people's punctuation on FB. She seems to think it is her duty blush. Quite what she would have made of "Preggerz and peng" I shudder to think.

eurochick Wed 18-Dec-13 12:12:07

I'm a lawyer and pedantic about spelling in work that is prepared by my team. I really wouldn't have pointed out this error. Menu errors are common. As long as someone is able to comprehend what the dish is, I really don't think it's an issue.

HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 12:12:52

(though I really really really want some spuds and gravy now)

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 12:14:45

Yes op you are a very clever girl. And well done to you for being a lawyer.

I expect the staff had a bloody good laugh about you, I know I would have.

Lost revenue over a spelling mistake!! Ha ha ha

curlew Wed 18-Dec-13 12:15:33

You know, I spend a lot of time teaching my children that if somebody makes a small mistake that makes no difference to whatever's going on, the polite and gracious thing to do is ignore it.

ExcuseTypos Wed 18-Dec-13 12:17:59

Do you honestly think that the 'server' as you called her, on a busy evening before Christmas is really worried about a spelling mistake? I expect she has other things on her mind.

LRD has summed it up for me "you were a bit of a patronising prig, OP"

Dd1 is dyslexic and has just started a graduate training scheme.

Her employers are extremely tolerant of her spelling issues and have actively encouraged her to do things she would have had a near panic attack at the thought of, 2 months ago. Her confidence is soaring. glad she doesn't work for you OP

ExcuseTypos Wed 18-Dec-13 12:20:39

Anyone else dyslexic on this thread who, like me, wouldn't have noticed the spelling mistake?

It can be quite liberating sometimes. At least I don't have to spend my time frothing over an extra e .fsmile

Beeyump Wed 18-Dec-13 12:20:41

And the waitress didn't really 'have a go at you' did she, op? I think the fact that you are still feeling a bit pissed off about it is weird, tbh. yabu

IThinkThat Wed 18-Dec-13 12:24:35

C'mon , for goodness sake, please can someone find a spelling mistake or grammatical error in the OPs post, PLEASE! grin

lol, I'm crap at spelling so I can't help blush

lookatmybutt Wed 18-Dec-13 12:25:46

If it were me, I really wouldn't give a toss about the sign but I think the waitress was an overly touchy, precious idiot. It also smacks of laziness. Why didn't the waitress give the sign a quick once-over to save her poor dyslexic colleague such heinous embarrassment?

So what, someone made a mistake and someone pointed it out. I like to think most reasonable people would go 'Ooops!', laugh and correct it. I always spell calendar wrong, but I don't go home and slash my wrists over it.

My dad's super dooper dyslexic and doesn't make a fuss - he just gets me to rewrite his letters prior to sending. Also, I'm a little sceptical that this fabled dyslexic person managed to spell sausages but not gravy - maybe it's just my dad, but he'd probably spell it sossajes and gravey if he was in a hurry.

My sister saw a rather amusing sign outside a juice bar in Japan. Instead of 'mango', they'd written 'manko'.

マンゴー mango
マンコー manko

The first means mango, unsurprisingly. The second means 'pussy', or even 'cunt' in some areas.

She just laughed and left it.

Now, that's a spelling error to be proud of!

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 12:26:25

Ok. Consensus is I'm a patronising lawyer and life's too short.

I accept I'm not a people-person and my desire to be right probably pisses people off.

I still maintain that anyone running a business should try and take on-board feedback rather than being rude. But that's obviously just my opinion.

excuse - not my quotation, but I agree with it.

And yes, very liberating.

angelos02 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:27:22

If I'd been in your company I'd have been mortified. You were with friends I assume & you were so bored you not only noticed but also commented on a spelling mistake in a menu? Grip. Acquire.

SanityClause Wed 18-Dec-13 12:29:30

I dislike spelling mistakes on menus, but I dislike bad manners even more.

I think you and the person serving both displayed poor manners. And imagine, if you had just let it go, would you still be thinking about it now? Probably not. But, as it is, you are still dwelling on it the next day.

ShinyBauble Wed 18-Dec-13 12:31:07

Society is rapidly dumbing down, and people are increasingly easily offended. You have to start ignoring these things because no-one will thank you - or if it's a chalkboard, just rub out the 'e'!

lessonsintightropes Wed 18-Dec-13 12:31:33

Ok. Consensus is I'm a patronising lawyer and life's too short. I accept I'm not a people-person and my desire to be right probably pisses people off. I still maintain that anyone running a business should try and take on-board feedback rather than being rude. But that's obviously just my opinion.

Hit the nail on the head there OP. But nice you personally have learned to accept constructive feedback! Merry Christmas fsmile

ExcuseTypos Wed 18-Dec-13 12:31:57

OP how do you know "the server" is running the company? She might be on minimum wage having been working since 8 a.m. Or her pet fish may have died, or YOU may have just irritated her.

You don't seem to be able to look beyond the 'this is wrong, be thankful I've pointed it out' Yes, the waitress should have said 'thank you for pointing that out, we will get it changed" but she didn't, just let it go.

The only time I would point out an error on the menu would be if the mistake led directly to misunderstanding, the mistake was very funny or very rude.

An extra e in gravy wouldn't be enough to make me behave badly.

IThinkThat Wed 18-Dec-13 12:33:35
Fakebook Wed 18-Dec-13 12:34:39

YABU. Stop going on about your job and how you're a pedantic. I'm sure you can control your urges outside your job. You were rude.

BillyBanter Wed 18-Dec-13 12:34:46

Surely even if you are dyslexic it is useful to have a spelling mistake pointed out to you so you can correct it?

However as long as the menu was easily comprehensible then it doesn't really matter that much and I wouldn't have bothered saying anything.

ViviPru Wed 18-Dec-13 12:36:22

nyone running a business should try and take on-board feedback rather than being rude.

This is a fair point - but only if she was actually running the business.... Was she?

snowed Wed 18-Dec-13 12:36:22

> lots of people don't want to do any learning the minute they leave school, and are happy with an easy life.

That's fine in their spare time, but if they have a job to do, they should take pride in doing it properly and paying attention to detail. If this involves writing, they should make the effort to get it right, rather than opting for an "easy life".

If I was near two restaurants, I'd choose the one without spelling mistakes on the menu, because I'd assume they made an effort with everything else too.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 12:36:29

i accept I am not a people person etc

How about

' I know I am insufferable in my desire to be always right and point out others mistakes so I really need to work on this and stop as I have probably really hurt other people's feelings and that's a horrible thing to do.'

aciddrops Wed 18-Dec-13 12:36:41

I'm dyslexic is the default excuse for a lot of people who can't be bothered to check/spell correctly.

Does my head in.

Dyslexic people have to spend a LONG time checking their writing - not just for spelling mistakes either. What if dyslexic person doesn't have a dictionary to hand? Would someone who used a disability as an excuse for walking slowly in front of you do your head in as well?

HavantGuard Wed 18-Dec-13 12:36:59

Can you not see the difference between mentioning a mistake on the board and informing someone that "gravy" is not spelled with an "e" in it"? One is pointing out a mistake. The other is patronising the waitress by informing her how to spell a basic word.

Are you sure you're not my SIL? I had to restrain myself from buying her this for Christmas.

snowed Wed 18-Dec-13 12:38:27

Anyone working in a customer-facing role will often receive feedback from customers, whether good or bad. The best thing to do is take it on board and pass it on to the relevant person, rather than getting stroppy or sarcastic with the customer.

IceBeing Wed 18-Dec-13 12:39:09

"you were so bored you not only noticed but also commented on a spelling mistake in a menu? "

Sorry but this is a really ridiculous thing to say....

I mean you look at the menu in order to know...order stuff. At this point you automatically notice any spelling errors.

I don't know what my lunch companions would have to be doing in order to stop me looking at the menu...but it would probably be something wildly inappropriate to be doing in a cafe.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 12:39:44

Definitely not your sister-in-law. I have never been described as perky or particularly enthusiastic. Cynical and jaded, yes.

Rosencrantz Wed 18-Dec-13 12:39:45

Sounds to me like you just got a member of staff who doesn't give a shit. Like I didn't as a student working part time jobs.

If one of our menus was wrong, I couldn't give a flying fuck. I'd have thought of you as a pain in the arse.

However, a manager would have been really keen to know.

Sounds like your comment fell on the wrong ears. Ask to speak to someone senior (ie, likely to care about business and not just their own pay) next time.

HavantGuard Wed 18-Dec-13 12:42:02

No. It's the closest I could find. They don't do one that says 'You're not refreshingly upfront you're rude and devoid of social skills.' It would need to be on something bigger too. Maybe a salad bowl?

aciddrops Wed 18-Dec-13 12:43:59

Most people I've pointed out mistakes to have laughed along, or acknowledged that it's an error, or told me about the even worse error that was made the day before etc etc.Of course no-one likes having a mistake pointed out. But does that mean everyone should bury their heads in the sand for fear of offending?

I'd just like to point out a mistake that I think you are making OP. The mistake is that you are being insensitive and displaying a lack of emotional intelligence.

diddl Wed 18-Dec-13 12:44:34

I'm with you OP.

It saddens me that noone seems to care tbh.

HavantGuard Wed 18-Dec-13 12:44:40

Her latest was asking her sister, who has been trying to conceive for 10 years what she's going to call her new cat. Only what she said was, "have you come up with any names for your new baby?"

normalishdude Wed 18-Dec-13 12:45:03

No. It's the closest I could find. They don't do one that says 'You're not refreshingly upfront you're rude and devoid of social skills.' It would need to be on something bigger too. Maybe a salad bowl?

Or a large gravey boat perhaps?

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 12:45:31

HavantGuard - perhaps you could find one that says "I'm right and you're wrong" - that would be a mug I'd drink from wink

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 12:46:34

Thanks diddl smile

RodneyTheChristmasElf Wed 18-Dec-13 12:47:18

I think you were being unreasonable and rude to point out the error.

HavantGuard Wed 18-Dec-13 12:48:30

She has one that says 'always right' and thinks it's funny.

IceBeing Wed 18-Dec-13 12:52:15

This is about people how prefer things to be right versus people who prefer people to feel right.

Some of us are focussed on practicalities. We would like our own errors pointed out and tend to assume others would too. We think 'bloody hell I would be sooo embarrassed if no one told me I had gotten this wrong and the sign was up ALL AFTERNOON. Why the FECK didn't anyone tell me?'

Others are focussed on people. They would rather let a mistake of theirs carry on than deal with any unpleasantness that might arise from pointing out the mistake or correcting it. They think 'argh why did you mention it? Now I am embarrassed and you are embarrassed and there will be thread on MN in two days time. How could it possibly be worth it for an extra 'e'?'

Turns out people are different.

IceBeing Wed 18-Dec-13 12:53:48

who probably rather than how...but who knows...

IceBeing Wed 18-Dec-13 12:55:21

Oh - I forgot to say, OP people who would rather things were right than that everybody was happy are sadly (for us) in the minority in society as a whole. So although you are happy having your errors pointed out it is a massive mistake to think that the average person you bump into feels the same way.

sapfu Wed 18-Dec-13 12:56:14

I don't consider my dyslexia to be a disability.

Were I given the task of writing a menu, I would ask it be proof read, or someone better suited to the took it on.

And I don't mind being corrected, I honestly laughed when LRD pointed out my misspelling. But then, if someone I knew to be dyslexic sent me a text, for example, misspelling something, I wouldn't point it out (if I noticed). However, if I were looking over their CV, I would.

I'm with the OP.

sapfu Wed 18-Dec-13 12:58:35

Oh, and in case it's relevant, 'gravey' would have had me confused for a moment. I would be thinking, is that 'gravy' or another thing?

biryani Wed 18-Dec-13 13:03:58

Yabu. I'd have done the same. Actually, I think the "dyslexic" was a figment of the imagination. The person you spoke to wrote the menu herself, hence her embarrassment. That's why she was so arsey.

If she can't be bothered to check her own menu, it doesn't bode well for business, imo.

biryani Wed 18-Dec-13 13:04:32

Meant yanbu! I blame the tablet......

sapfu Wed 18-Dec-13 13:05:41

Now the tablet is dyslexic!


struggling100 Wed 18-Dec-13 13:07:02

While I understand the annoyance that errors cause, I think complaining about misspellings is rude because it can seem as if you are saying that someone has been poorly educated, and that you have a right to 'correct' them. Language can be very political like that.

KhunZhoop Wed 18-Dec-13 13:09:09

Frankly, if no one died, or was likely to get sued because of the error, I'd have left it alone.

hmc Wed 18-Dec-13 13:09:26

"Surely even if you are dyslexic it is useful to have a spelling mistake pointed out to you so you can correct it? "

Heavens no Billybanter! - why would you think that? Certainly not by a customer - better if coming from a colleague whom you know, like and trust. Funnily enough people with dyslexia are aware that they are prone to making spelling mistakes wink. If the board was in fact written by a dyslexic person he or she no doubt did check it but that one spelling eluded them. I think they did pretty well with just the one error. Many people with dyslexia suffer from lower self esteem (like my dd) due to their spLD and society's stupid crass assumption that an inability to spell equates to being a bit thick... Random people telling a dyslexic person that they have made a spelling mistake - especially when they may have laboured long and hard to get it right - is not especially helpful, - again, different if you are their teacher / a trusted friend/ colleague / family member (when they know that your motive is to help not condescend)

I am aware that the waitress in this case was purportedly not the person who wrote it, just thought I'd comment on your specific point

And OP - you may not have intended it but you always and invariably will come across as patronising in doing this. I am with the "does it really matter" brigade since it was just a wipe on, wipe off chalkboard. Will concede it matters on published, permanent material however

msmoss Wed 18-Dec-13 13:12:13

Icebeing sounds like a fair assessment. I'm probably more inclined to be focused on practicalities and would have been grateful for you spotting the error and letting me know.

Just a shame I wasn't your waitress smile

Although I do think the waitress was unreasonable in her response, surely in any customer facing role you just have to suck up the comments and put a smile on your face (and then give the customer a good slagging off to your colleagues out of earshot) and I'd be quite annoyed if I was the colleague with dyslexia.

SunshinemMum Wed 18-Dec-13 13:12:52

YAB a bit U, I take it the food and drinks were up to scratch? What should the waitress have done, a walk of shame up to the blackboard to correct it whilst people made a joke at her expense? I'd have just smiled and let it go.

cafecito Wed 18-Dec-13 13:16:47

yanbu - I was a lawyer, and I notice these things all the time (not sure the two are connected, I am no longer a lawyer, and am still a pedant) - when it comes to writing on a board, I ignore it - but things that may make someone look bad or stupid, then yes I find it very hard to say nothing. I am a bit better now.. but find it very hard to put the red pen away, particularly when it involves big companies or merchandise for educational purposes

msmoss Wed 18-Dec-13 13:17:15

I always assume that people who make mistakes do so because they either write/ type too quickly, don't proof read or maybe just don't realise how it's spelt. I'd never take spelling as a sign of intelligence.

Which is probably why I see pointing out mistakes as a favour rather than an insult.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 13:17:35

Although I do think the waitress was unreasonable in her response, surely in any customer facing role you just have to suck up the comments and put a smile on your face (and then give the customer a good slagging off to your colleagues out of earshot)

I think even the rude waitresses are saints grin
Imagine having to put up with rude u grateful, whingey, pedantic customers aaaallllll day. Same jones over and over and over. If you make it past the four hour mark you deserve a medel grin where's mine

Joysmum Wed 18-Dec-13 13:18:17

A business needs to project itself in the best way possible. It makes sense to ensure that details are correct.

We can't all be good at everything and there's nothing wrong with that so it's up to a business to ensure that staff are responsible for tasks they are best suited to.

There's a big difference between making a formal complaint and pointing out an error so it can be corrected for the good of the image the business is promoting.

The OP did the right thing to gently raise it because it does no harm and can only benefit the business.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 13:20:34

msmoss - thank you. You have succinctly put into words the point I was trying to get across. I don't think of correcting spelling as insulting - if someone genuinely isn't aware that there's a spelling mistake or typo, then surely it's in their interests to have it pointed out?

Sunshine - no-one was making a joke and no walk of shame necessary. A simple "thanks for letting me know" would have been fine (even if privately she thought, "fuck off you pedantic wanker").

biryani Wed 18-Dec-13 13:24:26

hmc surely a dyslexic person in charge of writing a menu board would be even more conscientious about spelling, though? I don't think being dyslexic should be an excuse for making errors. Spelling can quite easily be checked by someone else, after all.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 13:25:16

I think there are 2 types of people.

The first type are thoughtful and consider other people's feelings and consequences before opening their mouths even if they know they are right. They are kind, tactful and friendly.

The second type have huge egos, don't consider other people's feelings or conveniences, they see their need to be right and clever trumps everything else. These people are smug, patronising and unpopular.

I see signs mis spelt all the time. Usually I think it's because a lot of the staff in some places we go to don't speak Englishbas a first language.

Ho ho ho. Yes, it's those who have taken the trouble to learn a second language who are so ludicrously sloppy with the written word. Defo-pants.

msmoss Wed 18-Dec-13 13:30:57

thebody sorry but that is a bit uncalled for. The OP pointed out a spelling mistake she didn't give the waitress a character assassination.

OP, YANBU, by the way.

hmc Wed 18-Dec-13 13:31:29

YY thebody grin

and the latter group cannot be reasoned with!

msmoss Wed 18-Dec-13 13:32:21

The waitress however did put forward a response designed to make the OP feel bad about herself.

SunshinemMum Wed 18-Dec-13 13:32:30

I can see why the waitress would have found this demeaning. I think you have to ask yourself what it added to your evening, other than a sense of embarrassment all round.

Sunflower49 Wed 18-Dec-13 13:33:07

She was BU by response. A favoured response would be to apologise and say she would fix it.

If she really felt the need to say her colleague was dyslexic, (if she actually was!) she could have said, 'My colleague is dyslexic but we should have noticed that misprint' , or something similar.

The reason for what I've bracketed, is it seems to be this person could have just not liked being criticised and decided to retaliate by making you feel uncomfortable.

I point out errors all the time.I emailed a (very posh!) hotel/restaurant not so long ago with some pretty sarcastic remarks about several errors on their menu. I don't think it looks professional and it puts me off.

I know and have worked with many dyslexic people, as well as many people who find spelling and grammar to not be their strong point-I don't judge them whatsoever-I help them, I proof read and I expect if somebody knows they may need help, to ask for it.
This is one reason why I'm suspicious as to whether there is actually a dyslexic colleague.

ShoeWhore Wed 18-Dec-13 13:37:03

I'd have noticed this too but I wouldn't have pointed it out. Because it really doesn't matter!

sapfu Wed 18-Dec-13 13:40:33

hmc I disagree - I think it's helpful to have mistakes pointed out.

Had I been the waitress/cafe person to whom freckled leopard was speaking, I would have made a joke out of it,

aciddrops Wed 18-Dec-13 13:42:03

Also, to those who say that dyslexics should check their work, I agree. But, if you are dyslexic, you cannot see all your errors. Obviously, a blackboard does not have a spell-check function and you would only check a word that you thought might be wrong. If it doesn't feel wrong, then you assume it is right. Perhaps the dyslexic board writer didn't have enough time to do all this checking and given that no member of staff corrected it, then I would assume that they would not have been very useful to check it either.

cafecito Wed 18-Dec-13 13:43:01

I also believe the waitress was rude, and it is actually helpful to companies/people to have their mistakes discreetly corrected.

nauticant Wed 18-Dec-13 13:44:09

A favoured response would be to apologise

The waitress was to apologise for a spelling mistake? Really? Would that be because the misspelling would have hurt the OP's feelings?

bisjo Wed 18-Dec-13 13:46:34

I'm a lawyer and I think pointing out incorrect spelling is insulting. Most people don't deliberately misspell words and therefore pointing out their error is telling them they have done something wrong. I don't know anyone who likes to be told they are wrong.

Imvho the only time spelling errors matter are those in CVs I receive and in any work document I am asked to review.

TheFarSide Wed 18-Dec-13 13:47:09

I don't like guilt trippers, and it seems the waitress fell into this trap - trying to make the OP feel guilty for inadvertently criticising a poor helpless dyslexic person.

By the same token, how would all the people having a go at the OP feel if it turned out her supposed lack of emotional intelligence/social skills were a result of something like Asperger's?

I think the waitress over-reacted in this case.

hmc Wed 18-Dec-13 13:49:45

Well not everyone is the same sapfu, but my dd would be very perturbed (but too polite to show it), and I know other people with dyslexia who would feel similarly .....may I be bold enough to suggest it would be small minority, with thicker skins, who wouldn't mind. I see plenty of 'shaming' on public boards (and come across examples in RL) to know there is a prevalent attitude of lets all belittle the person who can't spell. It seems to attract contempt (obviously not from everybody but from enough people to make it matter) whereas strangely an inability in maths for example is accepted as entirely reasonable

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 13:50:25

msmoss I was also going by the ops subsequent posts not just her original one.

She thinks she's right. Why post on aibu if you think you are right.

youretoastmildred Wed 18-Dec-13 13:53:06

OP, I do not believe you are nearly as good at spelling as you think, if you point out mistakes whenever you see them, and this is the first time you have not had a good response. Frankly if you point out all the spelling mistakes in daily life and are not used to being told to fuck off at least once a day, you are missing a lot of them.

I can't believe how many people think this behaviour is ok. I never ever want to go out with any of you. The waitress should have kicked you out and told you to make your own dinner, on the basis that if she expects waitresses to spell as well as lawyers then lawyers should be prepared to roll their sleeves up and cook and serve as well as the pros.

hmc Wed 18-Dec-13 13:57:31

grin @ youretoastmildred

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 13:58:33

As I posted before my ds1 is dyslexic and has been bullied for it. He can't proof read his work because he doesn't subways know its bloody wrong. Surely that's obvious.

If the op was at work correcting documents then of course she should point it out.

She was in a cafe and decided to let the waitress know how clever she is by pointing out a minor spelling mistake

If I had been with her I would have told her to get a fucking grip and apologised to the waitress for her twattishness..

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 13:59:20

Why post on aibu if you think you are right.

Well, obviously to get flamed, be told I'm a pedantic asshole with no empathy or social skills who is possibly on the ASD spectrum. Clearly hmm.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 14:00:14

yourtoastmildred absolutely. grin

msmoss Wed 18-Dec-13 14:00:53

thebody the OP is much less an arse than the waitress.

The OP's intention in mentioning the mistake was so that it could be corrected, she wasn't trying to make anyone feel bad about. The waitresses response on the otherhand was designed to bring the OP down a peg or two and make her feel about herself.

So whilst it can be annoying to have your mistakes pointed out there is no need to be rude.

hmc Wed 18-Dec-13 14:02:12

I must confess I am feeling sorry for you freckledleopard - but tis a sensitive issue.

I've tried not to be too rude (and have been okay, I think...?) but the subject gives me the rage wink

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 14:04:12

Don't worry hmc - I've been on this site long enough to know that if one raises one's head above the parapet on AIBU, there's a strong likelihood of being roundly abused!

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 14:04:59

Well there was no need to mention it in the first place was there. If someone tells you repeatedly that they are a lawyer and notice these things or "that they have a job that makes them notice", then why wouldn't you be pissed off.

What did her profession have to do with it? Why mention the job thing at all of not to make out you are superior in some way to a "server"

msmoss Wed 18-Dec-13 14:04:59

freckledleopard mission accomplished then grin

RibbonsInMyHair Wed 18-Dec-13 14:07:10

A favoured response would be to apologise and say she would fix it.


What the hell for?

People make mistakes. I understand that half of MN seems to read the dictionary every night before bed, and tweet companies to inform them of their spelling errors. But why the need for an apology?

TheFarSide Wed 18-Dec-13 14:07:46

Exactly, msmoss.

OP, I don't think you're on the ASD spectrum (in case it was my post that made you feel that way) - I was just making the point that some people, in this case the waitress, like to make others feel guilty.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 14:07:52

I mentioned my profession on here as I thought it a well-known fact that lawyers are paid to be pedantic.

I didn't mention my legal status to the woman, anyhow. And frankly, I'd have said the same thing when I was a 20 year old student, so it's nothing to do with some kind of imagined career superiority, merely the difference between spelling a word correctly and spelling it wrongly.

MysterySpots Wed 18-Dec-13 14:08:23

This is the kind of thing my mother does except its usually with pronunciation and the person she corrects is humiliated and my mum gets to feel smug and superior. OP you need to ask yourself what outcome you expected from this and what the actual outcome was? You are not single handedly going to correct the country's spelling errors, but you are going to upset people who perhaps are less well educated than you or have spelling difficulties. If you really must, have a quiet word with the manager but not the person who is likely to have made the error. Or maybe you could just chill out and enjoy the wine :-)

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 18-Dec-13 14:09:57

Quite frankly if I eat or drink somewhere all I care about is , is the place clean , is the food any good and the staff are friendly. Whether their sign is mis spelt , or something's been slightly lost in translation, or there's n error somewhere I don't really care.

I have never felt the need to say anything but please/thank you and politely order.

KeinBock Wed 18-Dec-13 14:10:08

YANBU. Personally, I think the only logical explanation for the woman's (otherwise inexplicable) response is that she herself was responsible for the spelling mistake on the menu.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 14:10:18

I actually give up here.

msmoss if you and the op seriously can't understand the waitresses response here then there's not a lot to say is there.

Clearly you are type 1 people. Your desire to be clever and always right trumps understanding conventions of good manners, tact and general niceness.

She was in a cafe not proof reading documents.

Seriously can't you actually understand how rude this is? How unnecessary?

SunshinemMum Wed 18-Dec-13 14:11:55

I don't think that it is right to say that someone who is pedantic is on the autistic spectrum, although I have a son and husband who are both on the spectrum and are both pedantic about spelling and rules grin. I think that it is always wise/kind to drop the matter if someone has explained a difficulty or disability. I don't expect people to continue to criticise perceived rudeness or lack of social skills, in my son, once I have explained that he has childhood autism.

ViviPru Wed 18-Dec-13 14:11:55

In the OP's shoes, I'd assume everyone had noticed such a blatant error and it would be stating the bleedin' obvious to point it out. I think IceBeing makes some really good points. I, thankfully, fall slap-bang between the two types; I am a pedant practicalities and correctness are important to me, but I don't strive for them so much that I alienate those around me <preens>.

The waitress handled it badly.

YABU, she BU, and to sum up, I'm just glad I wasn't there.

HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 14:13:08

ViviPru, your last sentence sums it up perfectly.

It's the kind of thing I would blurt out and then go and cry in the toilets!

IceBeing Wed 18-Dec-13 14:20:04

ha - I like to pretend I have enough emotional intelligence to let these things go...but I am 100% practicalities in reality.

I don't get fashed about spelling but if people are doing things inefficiently then I basically have to clamp my jaw shut to prevent myself from embarrassing everyone.

I am usually like:

<don't say anything>
<don't say anything>

Oi you fools! Load it all onto the jeffing trolley and do it in ONE trip instead of 15!

<runs away to hide>

IceBeing Wed 18-Dec-13 14:21:51

I heard a great question for separating the two types:

Your friend rings you up and tell you that she has been burgled.

Do you:

A) ask if she is okay, if she needs company or a cup of tea
B) ask if she has arranged to get the locks changed and found her insurance documentation.

msmoss Wed 18-Dec-13 14:21:58

thebody I can understand that the waitress was embarrassed, it's not uncommon to take criticism personnally. I just think bringing a dyslexic colleague (who may well be a figment of her imagination) and trying to make the OP feel bad about herself was an uncalled for response.

By arguing that the waitress's response is perfectly reasonable you are letting her off the conventions of good manners, tact and general niceness. Why does she get to play by different rules?

youretoastmildred Wed 18-Dec-13 14:25:25

Surely people grow out of this when they are about 7?

Stage 1 - preschool - not being able to spell, not caring
Stage 2 - early days literacy - struggling to learn to spell, a bit hit and miss
Stage 3 - pretty solid spelling - thrilled with self and not socially sophisticated enough to know when to point out others' mistakes, partly because as a child you have been solidly congratulated for getting spelling right so often that you think it is an unequivocal Good Thing
Stage 4 - realising that you can spell a lot better than a lot of other people and it is neither kind nor interesting to go on about it

Yep, I think stage 4 should hit at around age 7.

I think the mistake a lot of good spellers make is that on some level they think "STANDARDS ARE SLIPPING, THE BARBARIANS ARE AT THE GATES" and they think that they are doing the world a favour by going on about it, keeping a finger in the dyke against the rising tide, blah blah. I just don't believe this is true. I think that spelling in a weird inconsistent language like English has always been tricky for a lot of people not that way inclined, and life will therefore throw up a lot of spelling mistakes, but who cares. Just relax and enjoy your own textually-accurate job. Not all jobs have to be like that. There has always been, and will always be, a lot of stuff spelt wrongly. I just don't do it myself, but you know, each to their own.

RodneyTheChristmasElf Wed 18-Dec-13 14:25:55

I agree with the thebody

I'm a pedant and autistic. Even I know it's rude.

ViviPru Wed 18-Dec-13 14:25:57

I like to pretend I have enough emotional intelligence to let these things go...but I am 100% practicalities in reality. ME TOO ME TOO! Ah well, at least you're honest.

I'm the inefficiency pedant too. I have to count to 10 about a million times a day lest I get violent at DH's others' inefficiencies.

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 14:26:33

I just don't think any of them could spell gravy.

I mean if your dyslexic colleague spelt something wrong that was in the public I you would correct it wouldn't you?

That's why she was off with the OP, she was embarrassed.

TheFarSide Wed 18-Dec-13 14:27:52

IceBeing you are very wise, and I also liked your earlier post.

I find it hard to understand how people who feel sorry for the waitress because they think the OP has been mean, can then turn around and be so mean about the OP.

nauticant Wed 18-Dec-13 14:32:17

That might be related to the fact that the waitress didn't post in AIBU.

Namechangersanon Wed 18-Dec-13 14:32:40

OP I think you are incredibly daft if you think pointing out spelling makes is ever going to make you popular or get a thank you, you were lucky they didn't spit in your drink, in fact someone might do that the next time, because no doubt you'll be remembered.

Maybe consider getting some behavioural therapy, you seem a bit obsessive, being a lawyer is no excuse.

TheFarSide Wed 18-Dec-13 14:35:44

youretoastmildred shouldn't there be an apostrophe in your name?


thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 14:43:33

msmoss my take on her is the waitress was not embarrassed, why would she be its a simple mistake on a chalk board.

She felt angry that either she or a colleague had been patronised and sneered at by a twatty customer.

I repeat if I had been with the op I would have apologised on her behalf to the waitress and called her up on her bad attitude and general bad manners.

It's not a case of patting yourself on the back because you see these little faults in others rather shut up and stop having egos the size of planets.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 14:46:07

Thefarside I feel far sorrier for the op actually as she doesn't even see how her posts come across or how she presents herself to other people.

The waitress can obviously take care of herself.

HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 14:49:37

Dear God, all this over a superfluous "e"...

Pagwatch Wed 18-Dec-13 14:51:21

A guy once corrected a spelling mistake on a white board in my kitchen.
He is a massive, egotistical, self absorbed twat
I don't think those two things are unconnected.

Perhaps "jus" would have been less controversial.

sapfu Wed 18-Dec-13 14:52:25

I'm amazed (and tbh highly amused) at those suggesting the OP is everything from a type 1 total bastard (I'm paraphrasing here) to emotionally disturbed and possibly has a disability.

So many assumptions made, so much projecting. I don't get the impression the OP was trying to be superior, she was pointing out a spelling mistake, not saying 'Oi, you there, serving wench. Have you thought of getting an education so you don't have such a shit job?'

OP please confirm you are not actually Edmund Blackadder or Rainman, people are confused.

msmoss Wed 18-Dec-13 14:52:32

thebody if it's just a simple mistake on a chalk board then what is the problem with someone pointing it out?

Namechangersanon Wed 18-Dec-13 14:52:35


I'm intrigued OP, after the response you've had on this thread, do you still think you were right to correct the spelling mistake or can you now see that pointing out mistake as you do will most probably lead to people getting the hump.

Have you learnt anything or are you still determined to share your special brand of love, joy and correct spelling to the nation and to hell with how it makes people feel.

Btw I wouldn't go back to that pub, the staff will spit in your drink - or worse....because you will be very memorable.

MaidOfStars Wed 18-Dec-13 14:54:27

if it's just a simple mistake on a chalk board then what is the problem with point of someone pointing it out?


freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 14:54:39

That's ok, namechangersanon - they served my wine in a tumbler, so I wasn't planning on going back again anyway!

givemeaclue Wed 18-Dec-13 14:58:06

You do know they will have spat in your food?

Yabu. It is rude to point out other peoples errors.

Pagwatch Wed 18-Dec-13 14:58:43

Arf at 'jus'

ViviPru Wed 18-Dec-13 15:01:30

they served my wine in a tumbler

And you were worried about a misplaced 'e'?

winklewoman Wed 18-Dec-13 15:03:55

grin grin grin
MN at its daftest.

msmoss Wed 18-Dec-13 15:05:13

MaidofStars well it could go either way, I'm probably on the fence on whether the OP was actually being unreasonable as I'm generally not bothered about people pointed out my spelling mistakes and if I owned a cafe I'd want the menu to be spelt correctly, but I can see how this would could easily come across as rude.

HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 15:05:30

"Oi, you there, serving wench. Have you thought of getting an education so you don't have such a shit job?"

Sniggering my head off at that grin

nauticant Wed 18-Dec-13 15:18:21

What an entertaining thread this has been. It's also been good to have had my impression confirmed that lawyers tend to be happy-go-lucky fun-loving types.

magnumicelolly Wed 18-Dec-13 15:30:15

Why do people get so twitchy about people pointing out spelling mistakes? If I make a mistake, I like to be told, in case I didn't realise. It may just be a typo/one off error, but it may be because I don't know how it should be spelt. I would rather be told so that I don't make the same mistake when it actually matters. For example, if 50 job applications come in for a particular position, many employers simply bin those with grammar and spelling errors to cut the number down to a more manageable amount. Why do some people think it is fine to carry on making the errors, but absolutely terrible to dare to point them out? It just seems odd to me.

GreenShadowsOfTheChristmasTree Wed 18-Dec-13 15:45:54

People tend to get twitchy about spelling when it is in public and therefore representing the organisation involved.

When we had an appalling written email from school about a problem one of the DC was having, my DH wrote back acknowledging the problem but also drawing attention to the way it was written (this wasn't just spelling, but grammar too) and copied the head of department in on it.

The HoD then of course wrote back saying the teacher was dyslexic which, as others have said is fair enough, but when they are writing on behalf of the school about an important subject, we did feel that someone who knows they have a problem with writing should at the very least, get it checked before sending the letter out.

MaidOfStars Wed 18-Dec-13 15:48:33

Why do some people think it is fine to carry on making the errors, but absolutely terrible to dare to point them out? It just seems odd to me

It's not so much the pointing out of an error, but the context.

When reviewing a colleague's CV, it is more than reasonable to point out mistakes.

When reviewing a legal document, it is more than reasonable to point out mistakes.

When buying a drink in a cafe, not so much.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 15:50:50

missmoss if it's a simple mistake on a chalk board why bother!

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 15:52:17

maidofstars exactly so. And amazed some posters really can't tell the difference.

msmoss Wed 18-Dec-13 15:54:52

I think you'll find it's ms wink

SunshinemMum Wed 18-Dec-13 15:57:02

There's more of grave than of grav*e*y about you whatever you are wink

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 15:58:01

grin sorry I don't have a degree therefore I am indeed as thick as a plank and can't spell for toffee.

Have lots of friends though.

'Perhaps "jus" would have been less controversial.'

This may be my favourite ever MN response.

The dyslexia thing is a giant red herring.

Sure, if the OP had said she'd corrected a subordinate at work, it might be relevant - in that in a law firm, someone who has a reason for being a bit crap at spelling might need extra help rather than a bollocking.

But in a random cafe? Really? Who gives a flying fuck.

Busybusybust Wed 18-Dec-13 16:02:02

Yesterday, from the board outside the training restaurant at the FE college where I work

'cock au van'

It made me smile.

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 16:06:09

See, busy, it'd make me wince and I'd avoid the place like the plague.

HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 16:06:43

In the (almost) words of the great Baldrick..."Yeah, it's cock which has been run over by a van."


thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 16:10:37

Busybusybust grin

Gingefringe Wed 18-Dec-13 17:46:57

A new cafe has opened down the road from us. There's a lavish painted sign outside which includes "Afternoon Tea's" on the menu. I'd love to go in to point out their mistake but after reading this thread I probably wouldn't!
Also saw a sign which said "Seasonal Vacancy's" outside a shop - that did make me wince as well.

usualsuspect Wed 18-Dec-13 17:55:04

No one likes a smartarse.
Did you tell her about your important job?

freckledleopard Wed 18-Dec-13 18:08:02

No usual. If you'd bothered to read the thread you'd see I didn't mention my job.

IThinkThat Wed 18-Dec-13 18:26:18

I think I am going to join Team FeckledLeopard. I think her replies are clever, funny and as far as I can see totally devoid of ANY grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. I am impressed. grin

On any other day her comments could have been well received.

So, I am jumping ship and going to give the OP a big shiney YANBU

ps, I did that on purpose

HairyGrotter Wed 18-Dec-13 18:30:25

Were you with anyone OP when this happened? Did they agree with your approach? If my mate did that, I'd roar with laughter and tell them to take the stick out of their arse and drink the fucking wine.

What is lacking so badly in people's lives that they feel the need to mention things so unimportant and pernickety as a simple spelling error.

I need a wine now

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 19:25:10

hairyGrotter hear hear hear!!! So would I

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 19:26:55

freckled have to say totally disagree with you but to be fair your posts have a humour that belies your actions.

Think you are a deep one.

GreyWhites Wed 18-Dec-13 19:36:53

I am a linguist. It is my job to write impeccable English for my clients, my livelihood depends on me being able to do do.

However I would never be so tediously pedantic as to point out a basic and unimportant spelling mistake on a restaurant blackboard. As far as I'm concerned, a restaurant can be safely judged on the standard of its food not the literacy skills of its staff. If I had a chef come to tea, I'd hope they'd also refrain from pointing out any shortcomings in the food I served. It's only polite.

Whistleblower0 Wed 18-Dec-13 19:45:26

I'm rather surprised OP that somebody with such an important and prestigious job is patronising a cafe selling sausages and gravy.wink
Oh, and you were being an arse. No need whatsoever to point out the spelling mistake. You were trying to make yourself feel vairimportant and thought a humble waitress should be grateful to you for pointing out the error!

scottishmummy Wed 18-Dec-13 20:01:22

It's about context.and it wasn't appropriate to correct misspelling
In work, yes. Cafe,no
It's quite boorish of you

winklewoman Wed 18-Dec-13 20:11:30

Wouldn't a linguist whose job is to write impeccable English say 'my livelihood depends on my being able to do so' rather than 'me ?

Probably not, if she's not a pedant, don't you think?

After all, you yourself gave up on appropriate punctuation, no doubt for similar reasons.

winklewoman Wed 18-Dec-13 20:15:39

Luckily my livelihood will not be affected by my missing out a quotation mark. blush

At least you noticed now! grin

But she did distinguish clearly between her job and what she'd do on her own time, and I think that's the point.

winklewoman Wed 18-Dec-13 20:22:31

I did indeed notice, LRD, and had I been writing for public consumption, would have been very grateful to anyone pointing out an embarrassing error.

4yoniD Wed 18-Dec-13 20:25:11

Can you pay a visit to my local high school? "Slush Puppie's" signs all over the canteen. What hope do the children have? sad

I expect she's not embarrassed, though.

As a rule, people who're fairly confident of their ability to get it right when it matters don't get embarrassed by mistakes. People who feel insecure or anxious do. That's why it's so unpleasant to correct people unnecessarily, IMO.

Catzenobia Wed 18-Dec-13 20:28:48

It is, of course, "take on board feedback" rather than "take on-board feedback" unless you are on an aeroplane I assume... I have yet to see a menu which doesn't have an error (including Michelin star ones which I read for fun) but would never point it out as nobody seems to care. I didn't even point it out when my DD got a good "behavour" award at school. I think you just have to let it go OP or rant on Pedants' Corner...!

Amrapaali Wed 18-Dec-13 20:34:22

Any chance we can move on now? How was the wine in the cafe, OP? Was it prosecco? Were there any cakes??

phantomnamechanger Wed 18-Dec-13 20:37:27

my hairdressers used to have a sign saying "encase of fire, please assemble in the rear car park" above all the mirrors. I pointed out that it should be "in case", that it was 2 words. They said oh time I went it said "en case of fire..." I gave up. the sign is still there 4 years later. So either no one else notices, bothers to point it out, or they just don't get that it is still incorrect!

if I was a known regular in an eatery, I might point out in a friendly manner "do you realise this is spelt wrong" but TBH I am more interested in what the food tastes like than how it is spelt. Similarly I do not bother to point out to the chap that runs the local farm shop that he has rogue apostrophes all over the shop. his produce is great, his customer service is great and his mental addition is second to none.

phantomnamechanger Wed 18-Dec-13 20:40:27

when visiting secondary schools with DD1 we saw one where the canteen had signs up saying "hot dog's" and on the board advertising jacket potatoes "additional filling's 50p"

she couldn't believe her eyes!

justmyview Wed 18-Dec-13 20:45:30

In OP's shoes, I'd be more inclined to speak up if I were talking to the owner, as he / she might be more receptive to the observation and more likely to correct the error. The waitress is unlikely to thank you for it, so why point it out?

YABU for emphasising the point for a second time. I think that was rude.

stubbs0412 Wed 18-Dec-13 20:50:05

The person who wrote the menu wasn't dyslexic the waitress was telling you to pack your bags! " you're going on a guilt trip!'
I can't believe this event has upset you.

winklewoman Wed 18-Dec-13 20:53:51

Come off it LRD, anyone in a professional job who, for example, put up some sort of notice which contained a careless mistake would be annoyed and embarrassed at the thought of lots of others reading it, regardless of their level of confidence.

I wouldn't. smile

I teach at university.

I guess I'm not professional.

Why would you be embarrassed? confused

Surely, if you are already a lawyer or whatever, you feel fairly secure in your sense of your own education, right?

Idespair Wed 18-Dec-13 21:05:30

Ideally the waitress would have just said thanks and gone and rubbed the e out.

However we don't live in an ideal world! It would have been a better idea to say nothing. I don't particularly think ywbu but you should have realised that there was a significant chance of it being taken badly.

tolittletoolate Wed 18-Dec-13 21:16:27

I rubbed out an apostrophe on a notice board in the garage the other day!

ilovesooty Wed 18-Dec-13 21:25:05

I'm a former English teacher and can still understand why the waitress was pissed off.

OTOH if I'd received a communication from a school containing spelling errors I would point them out.

I wonder how the OP would have dealt with a restaurant near to me which used to have "brian curry" on the menu. grin

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 21:27:55

I used to have a little job in a greengrocers and had to write out little price signs on bits of card and used to throw in apostrophes just for fun and to annoy passing pedant's grin
banana's anyone?

I always found brian tasty. grin

I agree - it's different with a school.

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Wed 18-Dec-13 21:34:34

Note to self: don't go out for a meal with the OP. I bet you are a right laugh on a night out grin

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Wed 18-Dec-13 21:36:02

OTOH, I'd go out for a drink with you Nigellas. The OP wouldn't be able to cope with you though.

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 21:38:06

aww thank's santa's! mine is a large brandy grin

ljny Wed 18-Dec-13 21:39:34


Annoys me, too. Whether or not I summon up the courage to comment (probably also not a 'people person') I admit I tend to think less of places that have spelling errors.

If it's a cafe, I'd wonder if they're generally sloppy, if they track the use-by dates, stuff like that. Wouldn't give it a lot of thought, just less likely to go there again than another place that seems more professional and trustworthy.

You were doing them a favour, they reacted badly, YANBU.

Obvious exceptions for restaurants run by people from other countries offering their native cuisines - don't expect them to be perfect English spellers.

pixiepotter Wed 18-Dec-13 21:41:19

Everybody knew what 'gravey' meant, why did you need to point it out, make them feel small and show how 'clever' you are? Really of all the attributes I would want restaurant staff to have, spelling would not even figure.

HollaAtMeBaby Wed 18-Dec-13 21:51:38

YANBU to be annoyed by the spelling mistake but I don't think I'd have said anything in that situation. You have to weigh up the satisfaction of being right and the difference the spelling actually makes against the embarrassment and bad feeling you may cause by mentioning it. I feel very lucky to have had a vast amount of money spent on my education and to have grown up in a house full of books and to be naturally intelligent. Others are not so fortunate and I would be an utter arse if I were to judge them and make them feel small. I'm an absolute fiend for correct spelling, grammar and punctuation, but there's a time and a place.

On that note, while training someone at work earlier this year I looked at the notes he was taking and noticed that his spelling was appalling. When he asked me for feedback I took the opportunity to say "I'm worried about your spelling, as the job involves a lot of written work and presentation is very important". He explained that he's dyslexic and that anything he wrote to/for anyone else would be of a better standard than his own quick notes, as he knows he needs to be extra careful to look up words, proofread everything, get others to double-check when necessary etc. Sure enough, his written work has turned out to be absolutely fine. Dyslexia is not a licence for sloppy work and people who use it as an excuse do a disservice to conscientious workers like my colleague.

"anyone who wants to make a success of their business should welcome constructive criticism, even if it is a tiny part of the whole picture (as in a single spelling mistake)"

I run my own small business and I agree with you Catsmother. Clients have pointed out a couple of mistakes on my website over the years and although I was a little embarrassed ultimately I was grateful. I want to look as professional as possible, plus I take pride in getting my native language correct and want to improve. IMO grammatical and spelling mistakes in business literature, whatever it may be, don't give a good impression and can alienate some customers. Besides I really hate this dumbing down that seems rife these days, where many people simply don't give a shit whether they get something wrong or not, and have no interest in learning once they leave school. I find that very sad. Yup, I'm probably not a massive people person blush

freckledleopard I feel your pain. Seeing spelling mistakes like that grates on me, but I never point them out because I figure most people don't give a shit and would only take offense and think I was an arse. This thread has confirmed I've been right keeping quiet.

I think the waitress was unprofessional and should've just smiled sweetly, gritted her teeth, and said something like, "Thanks for pointing that out, I'll get it corrected". She should've taken her irritation out in private.

"Perhaps "jus" would have been less controversial"
LOL!grin Oh no, I can't hear that word in my mind without it being in a bad French accent, when it then sounds like "Jizz"! Get's a snigger out of me every time [yes, I'm childishblush] I don't want jizz on my food thanks grin

HesterShaw Wed 18-Dec-13 23:09:35

When I see "jus" I hear that Masterchef narrator's silly voice.

holla, dyslexia absolutely isn't an excuse for sloppy work, but that doesn't mean people will invariably avoid all mistakes. As you must know yourself: it's easy to make the odd error.

But does it matter that a misspelling creeps into a cafe menu written on a blackboard? Is it not possible that the cafe owner doesn't notice a drop-off in trade due to such misspellings? I mean, most people honestly wouldn't give a shit, just as with someone's notes to himself.

Plus, I have to ask, what exactly do you mean by 'people who use it as an excuse do a disservice to conscientious workers'?

Do you mean, everyone should try to the best of their ability? If so, yes, I agree.

Or do you mean, anyone who isn't as fortunate as my colleague and who still makes some errors must be definition be lazy and 'using it as an excuse'?

I ask because it's actually hard to tell which you mean. It's just ... you know, it actually is an excuse, that's kinda the point. That's why we have disability discrimination law to cover it.

ADishBestEatenCold Wed 18-Dec-13 23:53:06

Putting an ‘e’ in their gravy is possibly one of their secret marketing ploys. Probably best that you don’t return, OP.

missmarplestmarymead Thu 19-Dec-13 00:31:26

I think that the dyslexic response is really nothing more than a lot of moonshine and thrown out to make the OP feel guilty: I have never heard of a dyslexic person who could write out a whole menu and only make one single mistake. No, I fear it was hogwash.

If, on the slimmest of slim chances, it were true then how stupid and cruel to choose a dyslexic colleague to write a menu.

Quite right, OP, to correct it. If we all spelt things our own little way language would soon become something akin to the Tower of Babel syndrome. If one makes a mistake, especially on a public display, then a little modicum of gratitude to the corrector would be in order. YANBU.

Hello, nice to meet you. smile

Shall I introduce you to the thousands of others, too?

Btw, if we all spelt things in our own little way, language would get on much as it did for centuries, wouldn't it? This being a situation we know from historical study, unlike the Tower of Babel, which, I hate to break it to you, is not actually real.

missmarplestmarymead Thu 19-Dec-13 00:48:47

Yes, thank you: I do actually know that the Tower of Babel is not real- what a very....literal mind you must have!

Unfortunately, if everyone spells took to spelling words as they wanted to, it would be quite hard to decipher things. That's why we have standard spellings! In the allegory of The Tower of Babel, people couldn't understand each other and one of the reasons for that, was that they didn't follow the rules of their speech.

If, for example, I were to spell Daft Cow as Furk Yat, then you would be unable to understand the point I was trying to put across. We all have to agree to accept the way words are spelt, otherwise you cannot communicate.

I think you could also refer to as the Jaberwocky syndrome. That is a poem and no, it is not real either.

Indeed, it's terribly literal to point out fictions. Or, er, something.

Perhaps you need a little lesson in history. You see, it's a sweet idea that the Tower of Babel is about orthography, but it isn't. It predates standardized spelling by millenia.

I think, by the way, you are referring to a poem known as Jabberwocky.


LessMissAbs Thu 19-Dec-13 01:12:13

OP I've been trained with a similar attention to detail for mistakes, and spelling mistakes like this grind my gears.

I'm not convinced that there can possibly be such a high proportion of dyslexic people in the UK compared to other countries in the world. Or at least I'm suspicious that its also to with the UK falling so far down the international league for reading and writing.

I can't help comparing it to my Dutch and Belgian acquaintances, writing in their second language, who would appear to have a much lower incidence of 'dyslexia'. And a very high placing on the educational attainment league.

This sort of attitude towards spelling creates such a bad impression. The waitress was out of order to get argumentative about it and give so much detail. The obvious solution is to correct the error.

'gravey' would hardly be indicative of dyslexia anyway, in comparison to never bothering to check the spelling of a commonly used word...

I used to do a lot of marking of students' papers, and you get a feel for what is actually dyslexia and what is simply semi literacy.

NigellasDealer Thu 19-Dec-13 01:15:49

* In the allegory of The Tower of Babel, people couldn't understand each other and one of the reasons for that, was that they didn't follow the rules of their speech*

I thought the point was that they couldn't understand each other was that they spoke different languages? not that they couldn't spell?

besides, spelling 'daft cow' as 'furk yat' would be a bit silly really, but if you spelt it 'darft kow' i would have no problem understanding your meaning, just as the OP knew v well that 'gravey' referred to a dark jus like concoction that one pours over meat.

and yes Jabberwocky is real, I have a copy of it here.

less - I don't disagree that dyslexia incidence may be lower than we think. But it is correlated with orthography - so it is perfectly normal to find that some countries have lower rates than others. If the language is easier, it won't show up so much.

I'm not sure why 'gravey' wouldn't be indicative of dyslexia? It seems to me a pretty typical error - either an otiose 'e', which is common (and more dyspraxic, but they overlap), or someone who was not confident with 'vy', which isn't that common as a combination of letters in English.

GhettoPrincess001 Thu 19-Dec-13 01:32:34

Wrong spellings and poor grammar do my head in. However, I don't usually bother mentioning them. I can't spend the rest of my life correcting the world on a voluntary basis.

However, just once I noticed a repeated sentence in a list at my local supermarket. I pointed it out and the next time I was in there, the list had been removed. I wondered if they had to contact all the other supermarkets as this list as part of their marketing campaign would have been wrong on all the posters !

(The staff must say behind my back, 'I see Mrs Pedant has been in again !)

GhettoPrincess001 Thu 19-Dec-13 01:36:24

NigellasDealer - I just laughed out loud at, 'annoy passing pedants'.

Right as an ex cafe/restaurant owner.

Completely fine to point out mistakes on menu. But to be really helpful, email/twitter/facebook is best so that the owner sees it.

If it is the blackboard, well, hey, its all up for grabs in my opinion.

Once one of my best waitresses spelt trifle 'triffle' on the blackboard and A board. It became a bit of a ' thing', and all my customers asked for triffle.

Just depends on the relationship you have with your customers.

But if any of my waitresses had tried to make my customers feel uncomfortable about pointing it out, I would have had their asses.

<<rues the days of twitter...once had a customer tweet on my day off, your waitress and your chef are having a mahoosive fight right now in the restaurant>>

fucking fantastic.

Luckily I lived above the establishment and swept in like an avenging, yet, charming fury.


ShakeRattleNRoll Thu 19-Dec-13 01:43:48

I don't blame you for being cheesed off with the rude assistant she should have be grateful to you for pointing out the spelling mistakes.It sounds like she not only has chips on the menu but on her shoulder also.

Robfordscrack Thu 19-Dec-13 01:56:01

Is this thread a wind up?

You are wrong. waitress should not have been grateful. The owner should, or the manager in charge that night.

However, she should not have been so bloody rude. Sacking offence in my book.

Sunflower49 Thu 19-Dec-13 02:04:39

People have quoted me but not used my name so I cannot be 100% sure that they have aimed their replies at me.

If they have, my reasons for saying the waitress should have apologised for the error written on the menu board is;
It's a cafe. She works in hospitality/customer service and the organisation she works for have made a mistake that her customer has noticed. Therefore it is polite and in her own interests to say 'Yes sorry, that's a mistake I'll have it corrected'. It doesn't mean she is personally in the wrong, it means the establishment she works for have made an error that the customer has encountered, that has affected the customer service of that establishment. I have worked in customer service myself, in restaurants, in retail, if a customer is dissatisfied,whether it is actually personally my fault or not, I will apologise on behalf of that business. It's what you do.

Errors in spelling in any customer service environment annoy me and give me reasons to mistrust-if they do not care enough to ensure that their menu is accurate and spelt correctly then I do not trust that they care enough about their customers-they are assuming detail does not matter. If that is wrong of me to some people then so be it-to me it matters.
I do agree that the OP's occupation is irrelevant-she could be unemployed, a student, a solicitor or a chauffeur, whatever-I work in an industry that does not even require GCSEs. No matter-I'm a customer and I feel It's poor service for a customer service environment to have misspelt menus, it puts people off,makes the environment look unprofessional and uncaring. It might be that people do not know how to spell but they can check. I'm poor at Mathematics, but I use a calculator, I ask people to confirm if I have to do a sum, so that I know that I have it correct. Telling the customer that someone is dyslexic has no bearing on the customer pointing out that the menu has an error on it, it should have been checked.

You see, now you are just being annoying.

Yes it would be great if everyone spelt things perfectly.

It is fallacious to assume that an occasional mispelling means everyone is spitting in your food and cutting mould off your fish.

don't be silly.

freckledleopard Thu 19-Dec-13 08:31:56

I don't agree it's fallacious. Obviously one mistake doesn't automatically equate to poor food and service. However, if one uses a website analogy, I'd order from a website with all its text correctly spelled, instead of one with spelling mistakes. The first inspires confidence, the second suggests a shoddy or inept attitude.

struggling100 Thu 19-Dec-13 08:41:51

Interesting.... is it just me or is there a trend in responses here?

Those who work with language professionally, as editors, university teachers, linguists etc. and who might be expected to be the most sensitive to errors are actually highly aware of how sensitive 'correcting' mistakes can be and advise against doing it.

NigellasDealer Thu 19-Dec-13 08:46:50

absolutely, struggling, as an English Language teacher, (and now a proofreader/editor) I can be v pedantic but know how undermining it can be. In an English lesson for example, you do not correct every error/mistake if you want to build fluency and confidence, and even if you do some kind of correction exercise then peer marking is a more tactful move.
just 'pointing out mistakes' is not helpful.

biryani Thu 19-Dec-13 08:47:43

I can't abide errors like this. To my mind, there is no excuse for misspelling a simple, everyday word. It's sloppy and lazy. Not pedantic at all to expect better.

freckledleopard Thu 19-Dec-13 09:31:38

Nigellas - I'm in the polar opposite camp to you. I loathed it when DD would bring back homework or stories she'd written where the spelling and grammar wasn't corrected. I'm of the view that there's no point in fluency if what's being written isn't accurate.

NigellasDealer Thu 19-Dec-13 09:33:29

oh well school teaching is a bit different from English language teaching - what used to be known as 'TEFL' where if you corrected every error then nobody would ever speak.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 19-Dec-13 09:34:32


When they are little and first learning to write the key is to give them the joy and confidence to do so. That can be lost if there's a gazillion green pen marks all over it. Dds teacher told me that if it made phonetic sense they wouldn't always correct it as they would learn how to spell it but learning to actually write and enjoy it overrode the spelling at first.

VeganCow Thu 19-Dec-13 09:38:34

I agree with OP!
I also notice these things.

I think that anything that reflects on a business, like sloppy spelling mistakes, really would put me off that business. Sloppy in how they fron their business, sloppy in how they serve the customer.

ViviPru Thu 19-Dec-13 09:40:21

OP what did your friends make of it all at the time?

freckledleopard Thu 19-Dec-13 09:44:49

I was only there with one friend, who was sitting at the table whilst I got the drinks. I didn't mention it to my friend.

ExcuseTypos Thu 19-Dec-13 09:48:05

There's such a lot of ignorance on this thread, regarding all manner of things- the history of spelling, how people process the written word and how a dyslexic people seem to be "lazy"angry

There's no point in trying to discuss these issues with people who have such little knowledge of the facts.

123Jump Thu 19-Dec-13 09:52:25

On honeymoon in the West of Ireland, many years ago, my Mum and Dad went for lunch. The sign outside said "tick soup". My Dad asked if there were real ticks in the soup… didn't go down well.

ViviPru Thu 19-Dec-13 09:53:57

OH! Oh righto, then this puts a new complexion on things for me.

In the scenario in my head, I've assumed you're sitting at the table with several (Toast mohair and Whistles jacquard bedecked lawyer-type) chums all having a merry old time and the waitress is standing at your table. Your 'helpful' comment has the audience of the assembled group who are all staring at her expectantly as she struggles to retort.

For me, this is a VERY DIFFERENT circumstance to you standing alone at the bar/tills, almost absentmindedly musing to the assistant, with no-one else in earshot, and is actually less worthy of the outrage you've copped on this thread.

This is entirely my misunderstanding, as now on reading your OP the correct scenario while not exactly obvious, is more clear. I've made an ass out of me.

struggling100 Thu 19-Dec-13 10:18:24

Nigellas - agreed! I'm a professional writer who used to be a professional editor, so it was my job to correct other people's mistakes. I've learned through the years that you cannot possibly employ too much tact in the way that you do this. Writing - even workaday writing- is an intensely personal thing. It's someone's 'voice'. Criticising it (even when you have been asked and paid to do so, as I used to be) is like criticising someone's appearance. You have to be ever so careful. In all my years, I've met only three or four authors who really enjoyed being edited!! I certainly don't, though I do recognise that it is a tremendously helpful process nonetheless grin. It is like sprouts - unpleasant, but good for you!

I think there's also a very intense attention on here to errors of spelling and basic punctuation, as if they are some heinous cultural crime that is destroying the English language, one misplaced apostrophe at a time. I find this quite odd. A rather cynical part of me wonders if people feel affirmed by the fact that they have noticed the error, as if their attention to it is some hallmark of their superior education and intelligence. I have never felt that my ability to spot someone else's mistake made me more knowledgeable or better than them, or was a sign of the person's lack of intellect. In fact, I've seen howling errors by some of the brightest academics in the country. Does that make them stupid or call their research into question? Of course not!!

In fact, when editing, errors of spelling and grammar were the least of my worries, because they are very easy to correct, and rarely interfere with the writer's basic ability to communicate. Poor syntax is a much greater 'enemy' in my view, because it can lead to real misunderstanding and lack of clarity, which can have disastrous consequences - think about a poorly worded medical guidance document, and the legal cases that can result. The times when I have sat, head in hands, worrying away at a document for hours have all been over syntax, never punctuation or spelling.

And, of course, some of the greatest writers are those who have made up words, and been creative with spelling and punctuation!!

TheBakeryQueen Thu 19-Dec-13 10:40:06

Well done! You can spell gravy correctly. Next step, work on your social skills.

everlong Thu 19-Dec-13 10:58:48

If I owned a cafe and one of my staff had written "gravey" I would appreciate being told.

It doesn't look great if the food is spelt wrong.

She didn't tell the owner, though. Someone upthread suggested that might have been a politer/more appropriate response. Which it would.

freckledleopard Thu 19-Dec-13 11:04:07

I have no idea who the owner was. There were only two people serving/cooking/manning the tills in the entire place. The person to whom I spoke at the till appeared to be slightly more in charge than the person cooking in the kitchen.

As I said, I was up at the till, paying and just mentioned the error in passing. I didn't deliberately go up to highlight the spelling mistake.

everlong Thu 19-Dec-13 11:08:46

I know she didn't tell the owner. But the owner would have been alerted to the spelling mistake and therefore rectified it.

unlucky83 Thu 19-Dec-13 11:13:18

I think it might have been the OPs intonation/perceived attitude that upset the waitress..
If OP told the waitress 'don't you know there is no 'e' in gravy' with the assumption and attitude that the waitress didn't know it might have riled. (or maybe the waitress was just having a bad day)
Spelling mistakes like that are easily done, especially if you are writing a sign/blackboard etc.
At our playgroup, a retired primary school teacher put up a note saying 'Potatos for sale'. It was pointed out to her with good humour. No-one thought she didn't know how to spell potatoes!
I used to decorate birthday cakes (or even just pipe in chocolate on a pudding plate) and more than once have had to correct 'birtday' or 'birhday' even once a 'hppy'. Of course I can spell those words but if you are concentrating on what it looks like, fitting nicely into a space etc it is actually easily done - although to my knowledge I have never sent out anything like that spelt incorrectly.
I was a chef but also was a self taught typist. A couple of places where I have worked, if the secretary was off I've typed the menus. On a typewriter (then photocopied) in days before computers, in a rush because it wasn't really my job. I did make the odd mistake, chikcen was a common one. (A bit like now I tend to type thnaks if I'm not concentrating).
I will confess when DP had a restaurant I used to type his menus and once I did chikcen and realised after printing off 30 copies (had been fed through the printer twice, once to do the coloured header and once for the black text) . It was a lunch menu, on for a maximum of a week and lunches were quiet - I left it blush
One for the pedants (used to cause debate somewhere I worked, so used both depending on how I felt) ...should it be 'calf's liver' or 'calves' liver' ?

I doubt it, everlong. The waitress (who was rude, no question) isn't about to tell anyone, especially not her manager.

everlong Thu 19-Dec-13 11:20:21

My guess is she was the manager and the "gravey" offender and that's why she was so rude and offended.

Oh, possibly.

Poor her. Shouldn't have been rude, but still, poor her.

thebody Thu 19-Dec-13 11:34:20

Jesus is this still going!

diddl Thu 19-Dec-13 11:46:31

No, thebody-you must be imagining thingshmm

msmoss Thu 19-Dec-13 12:23:03

struggling I totally agree that on here the post pedants are really irritating. I view this and other forums as a conversation and write it in that style I also type quickly and whilst I reread my posts I don't do it with spelling/ grammar checking in mind so I don't always notice the mistakes in the same way that I would if I was writing for work.

When I talk no one knows if I'm spelling it there, their or they're or using its or it's so I don't think it matters that much when talking via my keyboard on a social forum.

chateauferret Thu 19-Dec-13 16:58:34

YANBU but maybe a bit pompous.

I'm sure the business about dyslexic people holds as much water as a sieve. Bad spelling is more likely to come from non-dyslexic people who don't give a toss about the impression their writing conveys. I knew a dyslexic woman who got a distinction in an exam that required candidates to write a fugue. Hijacking a recognised disability as an excuse for simple incompetence is hardly professional behaviour.

She was just trying to make you feel guilty.

hmc Thu 19-Dec-13 17:09:33

I thought a fugue was a musical composition? confused

hmc Thu 19-Dec-13 17:11:04

"Bad spelling is more likely to come from non-dyslexic people who don't give a toss about the impression their writing conveys" and that statement is unsubstantiated bullshit btw

HesterShaw Thu 19-Dec-13 17:14:28

hmc yes. So did I. A toccata and fugue, like Bach!

GhettoPrincess001 Thu 19-Dec-13 17:20:22

Fourteen pages and the 'gravey' thread is still going. Well done all.

fivegolddeblooms Thu 19-Dec-13 17:27:26

TheBakeryQueen Thu 19-Dec-13 10:40:06
Well done! You can spell gravy correctly. Next step, work on your social skills.

grin grin

AlaskaNebraska Thu 19-Dec-13 17:28:56

i am sorry to report that where i work adults occasionally have to read something out,. many an illiterate maintains they are dyslexic.

not wanting to malign dyslexics at all. but its not on

AlaskaNebraska Thu 19-Dec-13 17:29:19

i thought a fugue was music too

MaidOfStars Thu 19-Dec-13 17:30:09

Stupid question: do people with dyslexia have problems reading music?

AlaskaNebraska Thu 19-Dec-13 17:30:25

lol at maid

AlaskaNebraska Thu 19-Dec-13 17:31:06

maybe they are all dressed like this here

aciddrops Thu 19-Dec-13 18:12:32

i am sorry to report that where i work adults occasionally have to read something out,. many an illiterate maintains they are dyslexic.

not wanting to malign dyslexics at all. but its not on

And the point you are making is what?

MrsShortfuse Thu 19-Dec-13 18:21:57

Ha ha ha. I don't know what being a lawyer has to do with it. Judging by my experience of lawyers over the years, they make too many mistakes themselves to get shirty with others!

MrsShortfuse Thu 19-Dec-13 18:24:38

However, I'd rather have a lawyer that makes spelling mistakes than one who sends six figure sums to the wrong account....twice.

MrsShortfuse Thu 19-Dec-13 18:26:22

....but denies it, then charges me for the privilege.


Blu Thu 19-Dec-13 18:30:30

Could someone tell me when it is correct to use 'spelt' and when 'spelled', please?

They're just alternatives and either is fine. People sometimes come up with rules but I'm pretty sure there aren't any.

Some people think spelt/learnt and so on are a bit archaic, though.

Btw, I don't get the issue either, alaska. I mean, it's a pity people don't get the education they need and feel ashamed so that they lie. 'I forgot my glasses' is the one I've heard often.

I don't think I've ever heard a dyslexic person feel offended that someone illiterate lied and said they were dyslexic, because most of us can remember feeling really embarrassed ourselves.

I do get furious about people who claim to be dyslexic and are perfectly capable, or people who self 'diagnose' but who actually don't have difficulties. But I can't get terribly worked up about someone who's illiterate and which lies they tell to cover their backs, because it is absolutely horrible to be an illiterate adult in today's society.

aciddrops Thu 19-Dec-13 22:39:28

And it is highly likely that an illiterate person actually is dyslexic!

AlaskaNebraska Thu 19-Dec-13 22:44:27

I dunno. Just interested that it's used as a get out fri literacy.

AlaskaNebraska Thu 19-Dec-13 22:45:44

Agree glasses too. Often when person is holding glasses.

It could be undiagnosed dyslexia or just lack of education. Or both. You'd have to see the people I see to get it really.

But why does it matter, alaska? confused

My mum taught illiterate adults for years. She worked for a dyslexia charity, but they knew very well that many people would be referred to them who weren't dyslexic. Of course, it wasn't rocket science to distinguish between the two - but it seems unpleasant to do so in anything other than an educational context, doesn't it?

NigellasDealer Thu 19-Dec-13 23:21:15

yes it does really, but I guess it gives us somethiing to talk about; this thread could run and run!!!

Once I saw written on the wall in a South London market, "For toilits, tourn right true market" grin

That sounds wonderfully medieval. I'm envisaging the toilitis were primitive shitholes.

I used to love Leicester market - there's a large non-first-language-English population who've accepted the basics of greengrocers' stereotypical English, so you get 'yam's' and 'methi's'.

LadyBeagleEyes Thu 19-Dec-13 23:36:56

I can't read anything without my glasses and sometimes forget them and occasionally ask for help, whether reading a menu or the small print in a supermarket.
Does this mean people think I'm lying and illiterate confused?

thebody Thu 19-Dec-13 23:43:45

The most shocking of the whole thread is the op had her wine 'served in a tumbler' that's a mystery.

Wonder what that tumbler had once held?

HesterShaw Thu 19-Dec-13 23:50:48

False teeth?

HesterShaw Thu 19-Dec-13 23:51:02

Sorry. Pissed suggestion

thebody Thu 19-Dec-13 23:57:29

grin hope op spread her joy again today. Only joking op you actually sound quite funny.

coralanne Fri 20-Dec-13 00:05:39

God, I receive letters from Lawyers, Solicitors etc. on a regular basis with incorrect spelling and grammar.

Do you not have better things to do with your time? Fair enough , notice the error, have a giggle and then get on with it.

Back in the dark ages, my first job entailed typing letters on an electric typewriter. This also included 4 or 5 carbon copies. This was all transcribed from shorthand taken at a breakneck speed or from a dictaphone .

I also went through secondary school without a single error in my spelling lists and came first in every English exam I sat.

I love reading stories my grandchildren have written. I don't care that they have spelling mistakes or that correct punctuation isn't used. I think it would be completely demoralising to point this out to them. I just congratulate them on the content of their stories.

I have come to the conclusion that most of the current generation are pretty much at the same level.

RunRabbit Fri 20-Dec-13 01:28:41

I once saw a documentary that showed someone who went around the city correcting the spellings on everything, even graffiti. Wasn't you was it, freckledleopard? grin

IceBeing Fri 20-Dec-13 09:37:19

you know as a result of this thread 'gravy' has started to look wrong to me...gah.

freckledleopard Fri 20-Dec-13 10:02:12

RunRabbit - it wasn't me! But perhaps if the other person is on Mumsnet, we could join forces and start a regular spelling and grammar patrol of the cities (although I'd need childcare because DD has no inclination to join me on my crusade and would be hounding me on this thread and saying "no-one cares" hmmgrin)

LessMissAbs Fri 20-Dec-13 10:08:56

Again, I'm left thinking this dislike of correction of bad spelling is a British cultural thing! I'm working abroad at present, and the Dutch/Belgian attitude towards incorrect spelling is far less tolerant. The average person seems capable if describing quite advanced rules of spelling and grammar taught to them in school - in English, their second language! eg subjugated nouns, past participles, indefinate articles.

I don't want to keep harping on about recent international league tables in reading and maths skills, but the Brits came pretty low down. So from reading this thread, this seems due to higher levels of dyslexia here?

freckledleopard Fri 20-Dec-13 10:15:07

From my experience of France and the spellings that you see there, it does appear that people make fewer mistakes than they do here. Similarly, everything that is handwritten is done so with beautiful writing.

I think the French focus far more on rules, uniformity and learning by rote with the result that spelling, grammar and handwriting is far better in France than in England which I think is a far better approach than we have here.

aciddrops Fri 20-Dec-13 11:48:16

I don't want to keep harping on about recent international league tables in reading and maths skills, but the Brits came pretty low down. So from reading this thread, this seems due to higher levels of dyslexia here?

Not higher levels of dyslexia here. It is just that the educationists think that dyslexics are thickos and aren't worth teaching properly. Alternatively, it could be that the British method of teaching reading and writing is not dyslexia friendly.

Don't get me started on it!

Set ways of spelling is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Shakespeare spelled his own name about 29 different ways.

France and Germany have a schematic approach to the language because they instituted Academies to homogonise spelling and grammar in the 19th century.

One of the reasons English is such a successful global language is its flexibility and it can change quite easily without losing sense.

We make up words all the time here on MN and in real life. Because we can and its fun.

freckledleopard Fri 20-Dec-13 12:12:57

<Ponders that she was born in the wrong country and would be better suited to living somewhere with strict language rules and rote learning>

SeaSickSal Fri 20-Dec-13 12:17:22

Being condescending and patronising and expecting to be grovellingly thankful for it. Niiiice.

TSSDNCOP Fri 20-Dec-13 13:52:11

It was helpful sea in case the Michelin inspectors rocked up and demoted the caff for tumblers and excessive use of E's grin

hmc Fri 20-Dec-13 14:42:00

I think you should get started on it aciddrops - I'll cheer you on from the sidelines wink

AlaskaNebraska Fri 20-Dec-13 15:44:20

It doesn't matter. I've just noticed the dyslexia thing creep in more. Previously oeople just said they couldn't read. It's hard to explain the relevance out of context