Several of my 8th graders called the mayor’s office to tell someone, anyone, there that the sign contained a gross misspelling that would make us as a community look bad in the eyes of any visitors, and as this golf coarse is an excellent one which attracts golfers from all over the world, it was definitely going to be seen. I don’t know how many hundreds of people saw this sign and assumed, rightfully, that we here just didn’t know no better, but even one would have been humiliating.
The mayor’s office did not treat my students kindly, either. My kids were told, repeatedly, that the sign was correct; all the spelling had been checked and double-checked by the “spellchecker,’ and every word on the sign was spelled right.
This was, of course, very true. Spellcheckers know their business. Their business, to the later chagrin of many trusting people, is SPELLING, not context, and if you’ve used a word that is a genuine word, “spellchecker” will deem it correct. That’s write, rite? I tell my students that spellchecker is a fickle lover. It does not love you, and will laugh at you even as it assures you that your word choice is valid when it is, in fact, knot.
After about a month, the city was finally persuaded to remove this sign and replace it with a corrected version. I’m sure the person at the mayor’s office who treated my students so shabbily is still sitting there shaking her head and sending memos that wail, “Their wasn’t nothing wrong with that word.”
“Adjudged” was spelled correctly on this sign, too, but I don’t think anybody looked up its actual meaning in any dictionary. And while the corrected sign now spells “course” correctly, it still has the word “adjudged” on it. I wonder which court of law so proclaimed this golf course the best in Indiana?
I live just down the road from this country club. I first saw the misspelled sign as I turned onto the road late at night; my headlights swept the sign and I saw the writing on it and assumed I was just tired. The next day, I saw it again and realized that it was a genuine blooper of mindblowing intensity. My husband got the camera and took several pictures. During the course of the next couple of weeks, there were people parked by the sign every day, taking pictures and videos. This was also the time frame wherein my students were calling the mayor’s office about the spelling error.
But, as I said, the sign has been corrected, except for the word “adjudged.” And I’m probably the only person in the county who is bothered by it.
The language arts are not a priority here. Make a mistake with a basketball statistic, though, and all HELL will bust plumb loose.