Over a July 4 holiday visit to the East Coast, my sister had the opportunity to visit the Strand Bookstore in New York City, about which she raved to me in a recent communique. Once I got over my intense jealousy that she (1) was in New York City and (2) discovered a great bookstore, I got online and checked it out. For some reason the “embed video” code isn’t working for this one, but here’s the link: http://youtu.be/-dWBuFFxTMw. Copy and paste into your browser URL bar if this doesn’t hot-link in the translation.
I’m disturbed that (1) the speaker’s name, shown in a banner at one point in the vid, is given as Nancy Basss Wyden–yup, three esses in the middle name (who would notice?); and (2) the speaker says the bookstore is “run by my dad and I” when she should have said “run by my dad and me” (who would notice?).
Well, it may be a great bookstore, and I’m sold that it is, but couldn’t they have cleaned up their spelling and grammar act before posting the vid? To answer the “who would notice?” questions in the prior paragraph, an editor would notice, and did. I may not make my living editing anymore, but some skills die hard. The thing that bothers me is this is a bookstore ad, not an ad for the local car wash (no offense meant!). If we in the book biz can’t write and speak correctly–especially when it’s headed out for publication as a formal ad piece, it’s just a matter of time before our English teachers won’t either.
Why does it matter? Because communication is hard enough, and we need all the help we can get. Language spelling and grammar rules provide a basic platform upon which we can all agree and build ideas from there. We all did once agree on those rules, but now what? And come to think of it, maybe there’s an error in the embedding code there on YouTube… Coding matters! And come to think of it, maybe the recent update I just performed on WordPress has a problem in it. Updates matter! Whew, I think I’ll go have lunch.
Oh, my. I hope they were serving chill pill salsa with your meal