Stupid isn't Cute
We all make grammatical errors and spelling errors, especially when we are posting on social media or texting on our phones. Sometimes our communications are not erroneous at all; Twitter's 140 character limit and typing with our thumbs have legitimized the use of single-character substitutions for words - "U" for "you," "B" for "be" and so forth.
Honest mistakes (and I do make my share) and text and Twitter abbreviations are not the source of my ire today. The source of my ire is the concept that pop spellings are cute.
Today I drove by a restaurant with signs advertising "Shakez, Wrapz and Saladz." I can guarantee you the next time I want salads I will get them elsewhere. If you are not smart enough to spell the word "salads" I certainly don't trust you to be smart enough to make one.
Near my friend's house is a daycare that markets itself as a place for kids to learn and grow as part of their daycare experience. Its name is "Kidz Academy." I am overwhelmed by the many possible snarky comments I could make about that bit of irony.
Our nation's passion for "respelling" made national news last February when a Methuen, Massachusetts school menu item, "Krispy Krunchy Chicken," "KK Chicken" for short, was further misspelled as "KKK Chicken" on the menu sent home to parents.
In the furor that followed one smart student stated the obvious. If the school had chosen to spell the words "crispy" and "crunchy" correctly, there would never have been a problem. That a school doesn't value proper spelling is more than agonizing, and more than ironic. It's downright scary.
Somehow, Americans have decided that misspelled words and poor grammar are cute. So much so, in fact, that we create internet memes with pictures of adorable animals saying sassy things that are always misspelled and grammatically incorrect. My friend Natasha is quite sure that if cats could speak they would do so carefully and correctly, perhaps with a slight British accent. I agree.
We live in mysterious and confusing times. We aren't exactly sure how women get pregnant or whether dinosaurs co-existed with humans. We wonder if homosexuality causes devastating weather. We worry about the safety of airplane windows that don't open.
During such disturbing times it might be a mistake to propagate the idea that it is cute to be stupid.
Oh, sorry, I meant to say "stoopid." That would have made it cuter, right?