An interesting morning; I paid a call to one of my favourite shops (one I visit on average once a week, so the staff know me). There was a chalkboard outside on which was written ‘many bargins (sic) to be had’. I brought the spelling mistake to the attention of the lady behind the counter, and it so happened that it was she who wrote the sign. The conversation went something like this:
Demi: There seems to be an ‘a’ missing in ‘bargains’.
Lady: Well, that’s the way the teachers at my school taught me.
D: Wow! They need shooting!
L: It was the nuns that taught me.
D: Well, they were ‘nun’ too bright were they!
L: At least I know people are reading my signs.
All this was said – both ways – with a smile and a laugh and intended to be positive. For the most part I think it was, but I get the feeling the lady did take a little offence at being corrected, maybe I hit a nerve from way back with the nuns! It was difficult for me, because I was always taught (and I agree – thanks Dad!) to correct errors in others’ grammar and spelling to save them from looking silly in the future, providing it’s done with tact & grace (or as in this case, humour), but from this lady’s offence I don’t know if that’s still the best course. It seems lately that (1) people would prefer to live in (blissful?) ignorance; (2) they are happy with themselves just the way they are and would not wish to improve or grow, and (3) we are all becoming a bit too sensitive and thin-skinned. What do you think?