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Sign of the times – Are errors reaching epidemic proportions?

Signs grab our attention.
From obscure billboards to hand-painted banners, we check signs to find what we desire.
Families want us to know about their upcoming yard sales. Churches ask us to be aware of their car washes, bake sales and vacation bible schools. Businesses demand that we visit them and discover proof of their great services and products.
But what happens when advertisers fall short of their duties?
A phone number may not be listed correctly; bad grammar sometimes explains the ad to us; or heaven forbid, there could be misspelled words.
Do we care?
Hungry fast-food seekers will undoubtedly still pull up to the drive-thru despite a sign recommending, “Try Our New Steak Bruger.”
I would still eat the chicken salad even if the sign maker asked me to “Try Our Chicekn Salad.”
The thought of “Home Growen Produce” would still probably make my mouth water.
But where do we draw the line? We may not care if the person who cooks our steak burger proofreads, but would you still get a free estimate from someone who boasts “Free Estamates?”
It’s a tough call.
I know about reader criticism. Luckily people still read my stories and columns despite my difficulty with “compliments” and “complements.”
Prospective interviews still take my calls and agree to see me even when they see that I’ve slipped and ended a sentence with a preposition or accidentally thrown in a comma when it’s not needed.
Luckily my stories and columns get checked out by editors at the paper before they’re printed, but mistakes still happen.
How can we help challenged sign makers?
Maybe we could form a countywide alliance to stop sign errors. Let’s take it upon ourselves to point out when a mistake is made. This quick and painless process can at least catch mistakes in a timely manner.
There’s no need for embarrassing confrontations. Let’s all keep brightly colored Post-Its on hand. When an error is spotted, simply make the correction and stick the Post-It to the sign in question.
I found five sign errors and one questionable posting — “Eat Here & Get Gas” — on a two-hour drive across the county Tuesday afternoon.
If we form a united front, maybe we could remedy this epidemic. Start a campaign — make our county literate and well-spoken.
Let’s be honest, you might be willing to purchase a phone card from someone who says, “We Sellz Phone Cards,” but wouldn’t you secretly be judging them?by Diane Turbyfill

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