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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?

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)

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 18-Dec-13 11:06:50

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.

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