Why You Need a Writer: The Zookeenes & Bail Peprs Sign

Why You Need A Writer: The Infamous Zookeenes & Bail Peprs Sign

by | Aug 19, 2015 | Copy Editing

Need a writer?
The people in the Pacific Northwest might…
Imagine this, you’re driving there, and you see a farm stand coming into view on the horizon.
Your mouth waters as you imagine the juicy produce, and your mind begins to fill with fantasies of fresh-picked cherries, strawberries, apples, raspberries, honeys and jams and maybe even some delicious veggies to throw on the grill during dinner that night.
As you get closer, however, you realize that this isn’t just any fruit stand. This is a fruit stand that appears to be in desperate need of a good writer, as evidenced by the spray-painted wooden sign that advertises “zookeene”, “tater + maters,” “hallopinyo” and…
Your favorite member of the entire vegetable family – “bail peprs.”

Zookeenes, y'all?

Zookeenes, y’all?

3 Other Major Sign Mistakes (Aka Why You Need a Writer)

Hold your giggles now folks, because this is exactly what happened to customers at the infamous “zookeene” farm stand and, while there is certainly a decent amount of power in sounding out difficult words, we can probably all agree that this is just one piece of evidence that indicates the need for good writers in all industries.
Why you need a writer is about to be illustrated in 3,2,1…

1. The Case of Patterson School 20’s Misspelled Sign

There is one misspelling mishap that might be slightly more tragic than the colorful “zookeene” and “bail peprs” sign and that is the infamous misspelling on the Patterson School sign.
When students arrived at Patterson School 20 in Patterson, New Jersey in December 2014, they were in for a surprise. There, on the school’s marquee sign prominently located directly above the entrance to the prestigious establishment, was the newest of the school’s monthly information boards. This one, however, read like this:


Watch out kids, those teachers are out to dice and reepor you this month!

It didn’t take long, of course, for students and faculty to notice that, not only was December misspelled “Dicimber” and report as “reepor” but also that there was a ‘1’ facing noticeably backwards.
To make matters worse, the school’s principal, who earned a salary of roughly $108,000 per year, left the sign up for an entire week, seeming not to notice the multiple mistakes.
As a result, the school board grew angry and the principal, Antoinette Young, was quickly relocated to a different school district – all over a proofreading failure that went embarrassingly public. And that my friends is why you need a writer (or just a good copyeditor).

2. The Montgomery Debacle

As if losing a job weren’t bad enough, imagine losing several thousand dollars over a misspelling. This is exactly what happened in Montgomery, Pennsylvania when the Montgomery County Court House left an important ‘m’ out of “commissioners” and produced a grand total of 26 signs throughout the county that had glaring and obvious misspellings on both sides, resulting in the need to fix a whopping 52 sign panels to rectify the mistake.
After a call from the public and elected officials to fix the signs, Montgomery did so, at a cost of $4,000. To add insult to injury, the city projects that the signs will need to be replaced yet again after the local general election, resulting in another several thousand-dollar expenditure.

3. The Case of the Misspelled Spelling Bee

When two young girls, Maiesha Akhand and Anamaria Brown came out as victors of the Centennial Elementary spelling bee, they expected local fame and maybe their name on the school’s marque sign. In the end, they got both but they were in for a bit of a surprise when their bus rolled by the billboard on the way out of town and they were met with this:
misspelled spelling bee
Little did the girls know that the students would soon become the teachers, both in spelling and in irony.

There’s A Growing Epidemic, And It’s Called Bad Spelling

If the state of our spelling is this bad with all of our current technology, just imagine a civilization without spell check. Misspelled signs are popping up in everything from “A State Sales” to homemade billboards advertising “farwood fer sale.”
Although these signs seem funny, and indeed they are, they also provide a pretty obvious reminder that there is no end to the value of a good writer – no matter what you’re selling.
Although the “zookeenes” example is hilarious in its absurdity, it’s clear that these mistakes also make their way into high-level affairs, such as official city signage and school billboards and it goes without saying that it’s difficult to be taken seriously as an individual or an institution when your literature is riddled with misspellings.
In addition to writing, optimizing sites for search engines, incorporating keywords into content and helping devise marketing and promotional materials, a great writer can also play the important role of proofreader and editor, which evidence has shown may be more important than anything else, in some cases. Businesses need a good writer more than they know.
Although misspellings like Westar Mart’s “Ice Cold Bear” are hilarious at first glance, oversights like this can be detrimental for business at a higher level and spelling, as it turns out, is an indiscriminate and persistent scourge.
Misspellings affect everyone from fruit salesmen to lawyers (as was the case when one attorney misspelled public as ‘pubic’ – as in “in consideration of important pubic matters” – all throughout a27 page legal document) and can cost a business time, money and sales.
That said, the moral of the story is clear: hire great writers and keep yourself out of Elite Daily’s list of the “25 worst public spelling errors ever seen”.
Need a writer (or two)?
To learn more about the importance of hiring a great writer and how it can benefit your business (so you don’t let any “zookeenes” sneak in)… check out our Proofreading services. 

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