Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Old Navy Needs a Proofreader

Today’s gaffe comes to us from Old Navy via a Yahoo! article written by Piper Weiss.

Ms. Weiss writes, “The person who writes copy for Old Navy t-shirts has a pretty easy job. No puns, no of-the-moment cultural references, just a word about sports or summer, followed by a couple of exclamation points. It's hard to screw it up. But screw it up, someone did indeed.”

The error is even more embarrassing to Old Navy due to its partnership with a number of colleges. “Duke, Syracuse, University of Texas and Notre Dame, to name a few, all signed on to be represented on the Old Navy tee. Now they might be regretting that decision. According to Fashion ETC, Syracuse University officials are leading an investigation into who approved the copy,” says Weiss.

The writer also poses the question of whether we’re being too hard on the guy (or gal) who made this mistake. “It's just a misplaced smudge between two letters,” she observes. (I would argue that the apostrophe wasn't misplaced - it's not there at all!) “Isn't this public flogging punishment enough?”

Judging by some of the reader comments (numbering 2,474 as of this writing, and not all in favor of the criticism), the punctuation-challenged copy writer is not going to hear the end of this any time soon.

Commenter “Jess” writes:

Going easy on things like this is why it's acceptable for people to say things like "irregardless", to not know the difference between "yea" and "yeah", or even know how to use quotation marks.

It might not seem like much more than a "smudge between two letters" to some, but to those of us who love literature, writing, and language in general, it's a huge glaring error that indicates a lack of respect for all of those things.

Plus it just makes the person look dumb.

Commenter “Red” says:

Let the flogging begin!!! We give people too many allowances for bad spelling and HORRIBLE grammar in blogs, texts, e-mails and the such. On advertising? On CLOTHES for our YOUTH, no less? NO! No allowances! I'm sorry - you messed up, sir. You're too large and too visible for us to let this one fly by so easily. Get out your marker and start editing those shirts, mister! ;0) ...tsk*tsk...

(Not sure about “the such,” but – wow! You think I’m tough on typos?)

Yes, folks. Apparently punctuation still matters.

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