Sunday, March 21, 2004

Potato, Po-tah-toe

I never saw the point of making fun of Dan Quayle for misspelling "potato"; in my experience, good spelling isn't necessarily an indicator of intelligence. Or, more specifically, I've never found bad spelling to be a reliable indicator of low intelligence. One boss I worked under for five years is a highly intelligent man, very articulate and pretty well-read – but his spelling is utterly ghastly. Occasionally he would try to post a strongly-worded notice to the employees of our restaurant over some recent performance issue, and the only result would be that the employees would cluster around the notice and laugh at its level of bad spelling and grammar. I eventually told him that he'd better leave that stuff to me. (And since I've encountered the "smart-when-talking, dumb-when-writing" combination numerous times in my life, I wonder why this should be so. Stephen Pinker has probably covered this in one of his books on language and the brain, somewhere.)

Of course, all that is just preamble to my linking this, at which I admit laughing despite my statement above. I'm so ashamed. Stricken, even.

(That's a great site, by the way. Take a few moments to explore the archives. Like this one: something tells me a sign like this at the boundary of Fangorn Forest might have saved Saruman a lot of grief, eh? Oh, and it's all via I Love Everything.)

(UPDATE: Well, this is a first: I've managed to contribute to demolishing some poor site's bandwidth, thus forcing its temporary removal from the Web! I'll try to remember to resurrect this post next month, after the site in question returns.)

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