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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?

nauticant Fri 20-Dec-13 21:20:03

In my experience, my desire to be right = total arse more often than not.

aciddrops Fri 20-Dec-13 20:10:52

LRD. No offence taken. You have a perfectly valid point and I knew it was debatable ;) fsmile

JapaneseMargaret Fri 20-Dec-13 18:53:43

I am a pedant and notice errors all the time.

We were in a cafe yesterday with food displayed behind a glass cabinet. One of the items was "Scone's". I discreetly tried to scratch the apostrophe out with my fingernail as I waited to be served, but it wasn't budging, so I gave up.

Never in a million years would I actually have said something. Purely because I just know, without a shadow of a doubt, that no matter how politely my comment might have been received, the person I was speaking to would have privately been thinking I was a total arse.

My desire not to be thought a total arse (even by strangers) overrides my desire to be right.

Good on you OP, for not minding one bit, being thought a total arse. smile

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 20-Dec-13 18:32:21


I am a giant pedant about that one, proving it is possible to be hypocritically pedantic. I'm sorry if I offended you by saying it.

aciddrops Fri 20-Dec-13 18:30:56

OK, maybe I should have stuck to people who are still alive. However, it is documented that Einstein was particularly crap at school and not expected to amount to much.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 20-Dec-13 18:26:03

Einstein wasn't dyslexic. Or at least, there's no proof he was. People also claim he had Asperger's/ADHD/whatever.

aciddrops Fri 20-Dec-13 18:17:45

OK hmc I'll carry on a little longer - just for you ;)


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

Possibly because admitting that you are dyslexic is less taboo than it used to be. Did you know the following people are dyslexic - Richard Branson, Richard Rogers (the architect), Damon Albarn, Jamie Oliver, Darcey Busssell, Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Lynda La Plante, Benjamin Zephaniah.

I don't think I would claim to be superior to any of these dudes just because they find it hard to spell.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 20-Dec-13 16:06:50

Oh, I see.

I suppose that's because it's become better known, hasn't it, so it's an easy excuse to reach for.

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

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

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

SeaSickSal Fri 20-Dec-13 12:17:22

Being condescending and patronising and expecting to be grovellingly thankful for it. Niiiice.

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>

MadameDefarge Fri 20-Dec-13 12:03:52

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.

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!

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.

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 10:02:12

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)

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.

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

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.

thebody Thu 19-Dec-13 23:57:29

grin hope op spread her joy again today. Only joking op you actually sound quite funny.

HesterShaw Thu 19-Dec-13 23:51:02

Sorry. Pissed suggestion

HesterShaw Thu 19-Dec-13 23:50:48

False teeth?

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?

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