Today is Festivus, a holiday for the rest of us, which means it’s time once again for the annual Airing of Grievances. I’ve made my list; how about you?
Airing of Grievances form may be downloaded here.
Grievance the First: Spotted at Bed Bath & Beyond.
There must have been 300 of these Draftdodger® door cozies at BB&B when I visited a store in San Francisco in early December, and as far as I could tell, every single one had the same misspelling on its package. (P.S. There’s no hyphen in drawstring.)
Grievance the Second: From a story about private jets in the Sunday New York Times Magazine.
Marketing critic Rob Walker writes the “Consumed” column, but I don’t blame him for the appearance of imminently where a near-homophone, eminently, is called for. I blame the copy desk. (Imminently means “about to occur.” Eminently means “extremely.”)
Grievance the Third: The taint of ’tis. Since Thanksgiving I’ve received seven e-mails from online merchants with “’Tis the season” in subject line or body copy.
I defer to John McIntyre, who lays down the copyediting law against clichés at the Baltimore Sun and on his blog, You Don’t Say:
“’Tis the season”: Not in copy, not in headlines, not at all. Never, never, never, never, never. You cannot make this fresh. Do not attempt it.
The only thing worse than a “’Tis the season” headline is a “’Tis the season” headline with a backward apostrophe.
Grievance the Fourth: The following phrases are expressed in two words with a space between the words: in spite, never mind, all right (also all righty), at least, more so, a lot. I don’t give a fig what the album title was or what the band’s name is. If you want my attention, use the standard spelling.
Grievance the Fifth: On the other hand, intact is one word. Keep it intact, you might say. That is my advice to the “homeschooling examiner” who criticized a “democrat candidate” for misspelling lobbyist—and proceeded to misspell “intact” and mis-punctuate everywhere. It is also my advice to Read Write Web.