May 03, 2006

O, Education!

On Monday night, I was watching the Yankees-Red Sox game with my Yankee-fan dad. Much of the announcer commentary centered around the storyline of Johnny Damon returning to Boston for the first time since he took the money and ran into the arms of Boss Steinbrenner. Damon was terrible, and he spent most of the game trying very hard not to look like he was not listening to the taunts from the bleachers, but this is not the point here.

From time to time, the ESPN cameras would show some of the signs that Boston fans had made to express their feelings about Damon. About the fifth or sixth inning, they cut to a very large banner, held up by at least three people, reading in its entirety:


I pointed this out to Dad, saying, "It says a great deal for the Boston school system that those idiots think that's how you spell 'traitor.'" This kept Dad amused for the remainder of the game ("Hey, look, it's the pride of Bunker Hill Community College!"), which is fortunate for him, since the Yankees got stomped like a Chardonnay grape.

I find this particularly interesting since, in his post-draft column on ESPN, DJ Gallo mocked some Green Bay fans for making this exact same mistake. We may be witnessing another victory for our collective illiteracy. You may have noticed that there are a number of words and phrases that so many people cannot use and/or spell correctly that the incorrect spelling/usage becomes generally accepted. One of my pet peeves is the use of "could of" or "should of" instead of "could have" or "should have." Is "trader" the next frontier for collective illiteracy? (I should point out that neither ESPN announcer commented on the sign; did they not notice it, or worse yet, did they think it was correct?) Stay tuned!

Don't mind me; I'll just be retching over in the corner here.

P.S. Dad's favorite anti-Damon sign read, "Johnny Damon: Looks Like Jesus, Acts Like Judas, Throws Like Mary." He also thinks the fans shouldn't complain, as the Sawx got the better end of things: "Damon was a Yankee-killer when he was in Boston. Now he's signed with us, and he's still a Yankee-killer."

Posted by Mediocre Fred at May 3, 2006 06:46 AM | TrackBack

Hmm -- when I read your post and saw "TRADER" I assumed it was actually a clever wordplay: Damon traded the love of Boston for the money of Steinbrenner. This applies even more strongly to Walker, whom I understand to have been literally traded.

However, I'm also an optimist and would rather see clever wordplay even in "congradulations" (see, it's referencing that the person is to be congratulated on graduating!) than admit that Americans are illiterate.

Posted by: PG at May 4, 2006 05:21 PM

Not buying that... way, way too much of a stretch. However, I think it's noble of you to try so hard not to believe that people are idiots. It's inspiring. Personally, I have no problem believing people are idiots. Color me pessimist.

Posted by: Mediocre Fred at May 5, 2006 05:37 AM

A couple years ago, George Mason was playing VCU in the CAA men's hoops final, and the broadcast showed a VCU fan with a sign that said "Their awesome baby!"

Now, perhaps he was referring to the wonderful new child born to, say, a Rams' player and his wife or girlfriend. But I found it more likely that he'd turn the sign over and it would say "Patriots: your done!"

Posted by: Carl at May 5, 2006 07:00 AM
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