Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A spree of *decor*? ...No, more like a spree of bad writing/transcribing...

This mistake, sent in by STEPHANIE, was so awful that I couldn't figure out what the hell it meant. Thank goodness STEPHANIE's a smart chickie; she was able to help me translate this one. She says:

I'm fairly sure the phrase the speaker said was "esprit de corps," which I had to look up because I wasn't sure if it had any accents or anything -- I never took French. The meaning of "the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group" seems to fit. The article was reported by a television station, and they don't seem to have much concern for how transcripts of their work look. (I'm assuming the articles are transcripts of their morning news stories.)

Damn. That's a hell of an error. I mean, I've heard of sounding out stuff phonetically and then trying to spell it based on that, but...

*headdesk*
*headdesk*
*headdesk*

Sigh.

Thanks, STEPHANIE, for finding this picture...and for getting to the bottom of this crazy mistake!

14 comments:

Liebchen said...

In high school, my English teacher told us about a student who had written once that his favorite dinner was "flaming yon." She couldn't figure it out for the longest time until she got...filet mignon! It's like unofficial Mad Gab!

ChicagoLady said...

I'm glad Stephanie figured it out. I was at a loss for what "spree decor" meant.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

That's hilarious! :) Wow. I wonder if the student ever learned that it was really filet mignon...

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ ChicagoLady: Yeah, I was totally clueless, too! I'm glad Stephanie figured it out for us!

Dave said...

My first thought when I saw the word spree was of the candy I used to eat when I was a kid. In case anyone needs help remembering, Spree is a brand of hard, yet chewable candy that comes in a variety of fruit flavors. So in other words, 'Spree Decor' clearly means that the mayor of this town plans on renovations utilizing the fruit flavor of Spree in order to spur the growth and redevelopment of the downtown situation. Case closed.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Haha! Great explanation. :) I used to LOVE Spree!

Brian said...

Spree. Sweet Tart imitator.

I hate those things. Spree makes me want to spew.

Gimme a break, I haven't had my oatmeal yet.

So Dave, what you're saying is they're going to have cobblespree sidewalks?

Actually, that might be pretty cool. ...Until it rained.

Okay, I'm starting to feel it coming back.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Cobblespree sidewalks! When it rains, then the streets look all rainbowy from all the fun colors...

That would be AWESOME. :)

Peter said...

A tip of my hat to Stephanie. That is a gem.
If you can find a copy, you may enjoy "Esprit de Corps and Stiff Upper Lip," by Lawrence Durrell (better known for his series of novels known as the Alexandria Quartet).

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Hi, Peter! :) I've not read any of Durrell's stuff yet...I may have to add that to my very long list of stuff I want to read...

I do wonder, though, how many people make the "spree decor" (or other similar) mistake when Googling that book's title or looking for it on Amazon... :)

Laura said...

Spree decor -- hee! Reminds me of a woman who I worked with years ago who had never heard of the word "entrepreneurial" but knew she had to come up with something, so she came up with -- "intrepid oriole." !!!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

"Intrepid oriole"! That's just too funny, Laura! :)

Laura said...

Loved it! My favorite from the writers at Yahoo! is "since time and memorial"

http://terriblywrite.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/of-time-and-memorials/

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Haha! That's a great one too, Laura! :)