"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for approval, I can tell you I don't have any. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills -- skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you leave my language alone right now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will punctuate you."
Monday, May 26, 2014
In the previous post, I was talking about how the internet can come to the rescue when you can't take a picture of something yourself. The subject of this post presented a similar situation as Joe's Garage - the business was in another town, and it was not possible to stop my bus and take a picture. The internet yielded some images of the establishment, mainly from its Facebook page, but none of the one I wanted. As luck would have it, I had a personal errand in the town, so I had an opportunity to take the picture I needed.
As you can see, it is a donut shop, which recently opened. They set up a bunch of (hopefully) empty donut boxes in the front window with "DONUTs" incongruously written across them. Why? Why does "s" not get its own box? Would it have been so hard to make a new column of boxes for the "s"? It has all the appearance of having been added in at the last moment. I have a hypothesis as to why, though you may think I'm racist, but here it goes...
The owner of the shop is a middle-aged woman who looks to be Laotian. In recent years, Laotion immigrants have pretty much taken over all the pre-existing independent donut shops in my county. This is the first new Laotian-owned donut shop of which I am aware. And one thing I've noticed about many of the Laotian-owned businesses around here (particularly the ubiquitous strawberry stands) is that the older generation - the ones who came here directly from Laos - seem to have trouble with plurals in English. It's very common to see signs saying things like "Fresh Strawberry", as if there is just the one available.
So, using poor sociological methods, I jumped to the hasty conclusion that the owner set up this display reading as a singular DONUT, and someone pointed out her mistake, so "s" was squoze in at the last minute for grammatical correctness, if not graphical attractiveness.
Perhaps the cover picture from the shop's Facebook page will give more weight to my sketchy hypothesis:
By the way, the donut was delicious.
One of the (many) things I like about the internet, is that sometimes you don't have to take a photo of something in order to acquire a photo of it, no matter how obscure. This post is a case in point.
Part of each week, I drive a bus locally in town which is a good 25 miles from where I live. In that town, I pass a billboard for the above business which contains a slightly longer version of their catch phrase.
It of course bugs me that the nouns don't agree with the verb. Unfortunately, the sign was not in a place where I could stop the bus to take a picture (which is a difficult thing to pull off, anyway, without raising the ire of the passengers). And it wasn't worth my while or the gas money to drive over there just for the picture.
Then I noticed that the billboard contained the URL for the business. It hadn't yet occurred to me that I could do a search for the business without there being a specific web address. I figured there was a very good chance that they would have their lovely language-mangling motto on their website, and I was not wrong.
So I present to you: Joe's Garage - where quality and honesty counts, but good grammars doesn't.
And of course, I can't leave without mentioning this:
(Have I mentioned that I've met Ike Willis - the voice of "Joe"? Fans will understand of what I speak)