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Not responsible for typographical errors. May 12, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben, as a writer and editor, can’t help but notice the endless spelling, grammatical, and just dumb-ass usage errors that seem to plague our society. It provides hours of entertainment and outrage to me and Silence Dogood to point out the near-constant transgressions we encounter, from signs and billboards that simply cannot for the life of them manage to understand the difference between a possessive and a contraction (it’s yours, it isn’t your’s) to newspapers, magazines and even books whose (not who’s) publishers  apparently dispensed with copyeditors and whose editors, authors and proffreaders—oops, I mean proofreaders—have yet to encounter a single rule of grammar.

Still, our friend Ben was stupefied (not stupified or stupidfied) when getting the mail today to receive a catalogue (“catalog” is not just an acceptable spelling but is now preferred, so no worries on that one) that actually said, on the cover, “Not Responsible For [sic] Typographical Errors.”

Mind you, I would have been stupefied anyway, because this catalogue sells “shooters [sic] supplies,” which is to say, guns, ammo, and accessories. Why they decided to send a copy to me and Silence in the first place I’ll never know. No doubt Silence would love to shoot her arch-nemeses, stinkbugs, and would probably like to shoot yours truly every now and again. But fortunately (for me), she’s a tender-hearted vegetarian who actually catches and releases even the hated stinkbugs, and I’ve never seen her kill a thing in her life. I doubt I could be so kindhearted if I saw something coming for me, or her, or our dog Shiloh, but in general, I prefer the bunker mentality to the “get out there and blow them away” attitude. We’re not what you would call trigger-happy.

So why this company sent us a catalogue remains a mystery. But for us language freaks, why the catalogue features “Not Responsible For Typographical Errors” on its cover is far more intriguing. It really makes you think. What sort of typographical errors, exactly? And why are they not responsible for the content of their own catalogue? You order a Glock for $5, and end up being charged $500 because of a “typographical error”?! How about misleading advertising, aka lies?

Talk about “Things That Make You Go Hmmmm.” Just think of the commercial possibilities:

“For only $5,000, in cash, of course, we’ll send you an entire box of gold bullion!* Send your money to our friend Ben care of Poor Richard’s Almanac today before all the bullion is gone!”

* Not responsible for typographical errors.

Oops, did we say gold bullion? We meant to say a box of Clowder’s Gold Chicken Bullion Cubes! What an unfortunate typographical error. Yikes, looks like we mispelled the “Bouillon” in the Clowder’s brand name, another typo. Can’t win ’em all, especially with these crazy foreign words. But no worries: Clowder’s sets the gold standard for delicious bouillon among chefs and home cooks worldwide! You’ll know your money was well spent as you savor each simmering bowl of rich, golden broth. In fact, we’re so convinced that you’ll love it, we’ll sell you a second box at half price! But hurry: At these prices, they’ll be flying out of here, and when they’re gone, that’s it!

Still hesitating with that cash halfway to the envelope? Well, here’s an extra bonus for the first 50 lucky buyers: An original Silence Dogood soup recipe featuring Clowder’s Gold! Serve it to your guests and you’ll be golden! Remember, it’s FREE** and As Seen on TV!!!***

** The recipe, not the bouillon; that still costs $5,000.

*** Whoops, another typographical error, we meant “As Not Seen on TV!!!” But hey, TV’s so overrated, anyway.



1. Laura - May 12, 2011

What a great way to start the morning–with a great read. Thanks!

Thank YOU, Laura! You’ve certainly made my day!

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