Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Misspelled Business Names

Does this bother anybody else? Here comes another pet peeve: I can't stand it when businesses purposely spell their business incorrectly! Ah, it makes my skin crawl...

I think my biggest issue is that, in the classroom, I see students misspelling these words, and it's probably because their exposure to it has taught them that it is the correct way to spell it. If it's advertised on TV, billboards, and other advertisements, it has to be correct, right?

I know businesses are trying to be witty, but it's just cheesy and it creates bad habits. It irks me the most when businesses focused on children spell the words wrong (Kidz, Skool, Toys R Us). Using letters as words also irks me. Again, that teaches younger kids that letters can replace words, just like their online lingo does. I won't even get off on that, but online lingo is used way too often on classroom assignments in the English classroom.

Also, I can't stand when businesses flip letters backwards to indicate that a child spelled it wrong. a backwards K in "skool" or R in "learn." Again, it's tacky and it reinforces the wrong idea when this generation of students are struggling with grammar because it is lacking more in the classroom and ever before and online lingo has taken over their dominant vocabulary.

Using Zs as Ss is also silly. It's not really cool unless you're in middle school. After that, it's just pre-adolescent.

List of Irksome Misspelled Businesses:

Kidz Tyme
Fatz Cafe
Toys R Us
Steak N Shake
In-N-Out Burger
Hot N Now
Krispy Kreme
Tastee Freez
Pick Up Stix
Dunkin Donuts

Just to name a few.

Can you think of any more? Is this bothersome to anyone else?


megan b said...


What's even worse, and possibly funnier, is misspelled billboards.

I drove past a Wendy's the other day and it said something like "The New (Whatever the Sandwich was Called). Get 'em before there gone!"

Another foul-up was from Subway. Their store was in a strip-mall sort of thing in Ithaca, and you have to drive in past a few stores to get to it, so clever subway had a series of signs stuck in the ground pointing diners to its location. The first sign said "Hungry?" The second sign said "Your Getting Warmer" and the third sign said "Their. You made it."

SERIOUSLY?!?! Did these people NOT pass sixth grade?! UGGG.

Kevin T. said...

I teach college writing courses, and I've been collecting corporate grammar and punctuation blunders to use as examples to my students.

Many of my examples involve incorrect use of the apostrophe:

General Mills Milk 'n Cereal Bars
Guns N' Roses
Nature Valley Oats 'N Honey granola bars
Soft & Dri
Sweet 'N Low
Tim Hortons
Shake 'N Bake

SquigNation said...

For over a decade, I have boycotted any store that intentionally misspells its name. One of the worst was a tanning salon called 'Darq Tanz'. They are out of business - serves them right.

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Anonymous said...

If you're annoyed by Kraft, you might as well be annoyed with Ford. Kraft is a founder's family name.

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Aeromer the Awesome said...

I agree with your comments; and how it affects children and their knowledge of grammar, mechanics, and spelling.

However, there are some good reasons to use misspelled names in business sometimes. Often they are either family names (like Kraft) or trademarks/copyrights keep names limited. This forces the companies to have to be creative about their spellings.

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I think that I passed in the same situation in the English classroom.

Hari Varrier said...

You should try to come up with good names for a start-up without infringing on a dozen TM. People have to get creative. Don't blame them, blame the kids, the teachers, the parents who have to show the right way. Businesses cant exactly keep future kids grammar when they decide on a name now can they? :P


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