If a tree falls in the forest…

OK, so the jury is still out on that one.
But what about big mistakes in tiny print in boring ads that no one reads? Do they count? Does it matter? Does anywhere out there care, except for a few persnickety editors/proofreaders and compulsive ad readers?...

Take this Mega ad the in the J. Post…

I'm pretty sure nobody reads it. If anything, you just glance at the pics of the products and their prices, and say to yourself, "Hmm… interesting… I wonder how much I paid last week for a kilo of this type of laundry power… I think it was buy one get the second one at 37.4% off, or maybe buy two, get the third for 23 shekels plus points, or stars, or stamps…" And then you just shrug it off and throw out the paper.
So obviously no one but me noticed the "handwritten note" that says, and I quote:

"Every family and it's
shopping – and shopping
is done at Mega chains!"

I don't know, maybe it makes sense if you've seen the original Hebrew version. But I wouldn't count on it.

You've learnt to expect stupid mistakes in ads.
But what about a catalog of an art exhibition by a respectable cultural institution?
Or rather, what about a mistake in a work of art that includes words as a visual element?

The other week I translated some texts for the highly aesthetic catalog of the delightful exhibition, Mythological Gods Step Down from Mount Olympus. I wasn't asked to edit the catalog. And I certainly wasn't asked to edit the illustrations hung up in the exhibition. But why, oh why, didn't anyone tell this artist that the text embedded in her illustration is in incorrect English?

The text in the right-hand bubble, which you probably cannot read in my scanned version, reads:

"I had a dream about my
mother in law again. I think
I am loosing it."

And the same mistake is repeated in the left-hand bubble.

(I only noticed it when looking closely at the 50x70 cm illustration, at the exhibition, on opening night.)

Why, oh why, do teachers worldwide fail at instilling in their students the difference between its and it's, lie and lay, lose and loose, to mention a few common offenses? I'm sure they (the teachers) do their best, I'm not blaming them. I'm blaming the students. I don’t think they're dumb; I think they just don't care. Its, it's, lose, loose -- why make such a fuss over it, they seem to say; the language will eventually change to reflect our usage anyway, so why bother?...


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