After a couple of days of backpacking, one of my favorite things to do on my way back to civilization is to stop by a local joint for some good ole home cookin’. Driving through some small east Tennessee towns this past weekend, Granny’s Diner beckoned—with melt-in-your-mouth chicken-n-dumplings and chocolate meringue pie. Not only do these kinds of restaurants amp up the calorie level, but they can usually be counted on to fuel the funny bone. Granny’s did not disappoint.
After being greeted by a cheerful door mat saying, “Go Away,” we were bombarded by dozens of dos and don’ts signs aimed at restaurant employees—labeled “Employee’s.” My favorite sign admonished “employee’s” not to smoke on the job—“its the law I don’t like it anymore than you do but its not going to be tolerated and you got to go outside to smoke when no customer’s are here and if you don’t like it talk to your representative in Nashville.” Although few of the signs had out-and-out misspellings (Granny’s computer must have had spell check), grammar is not her forte, bless her heart.
Although I didn’t dare correct the woman who had just slaved over a hot stove to prepare such a delicious meal, I bet the Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL) wouldn’t have had any compunction about putting a red pen to all the offending signs.
Have you heard about these guys? Embarking on a “Typo Hunt Across America,” Jeff Deck and his grammar nerd-like friends have been road-tripping from coast to coast since March correcting typos in signs, restaurant menus and public posters. Deck concedes that grammar mistakes are bound to happen and he doesn’t harshly admonish the violators, but he laments, in his tongue-in-cheek blog, the failure of a culture that allows such errors to flourish. By the time they return to Boston in late May, TEAL hopes to have furthered the cause of “a typo-free society.”
Any vandalism aside, these guys are my heroes. If they want to take another loop through Tennessee, I’ve got the perfect place for Sunday supper.