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June 3, 2005 12:03 AM

Broken: Tutoring sign

TutoringIrene Fulton sends this in from near Toronto, Ontario:

Just a fun submission for you of a picture I took a couple of months ago. This misspelled sign ("TUTOURING") caught my attention. I blocked out the name of the tutoring office, and their phone number. Apparently the sign company made the mistake and took two days to come and correct it.  The owner of the tutoring office was mortified when she saw her sign after it was delivered!  (And due to the metal mesh over the letters, she couldn't correct it herself.)

Who knows, they may receive more phone calls with the error than without, but the folks who call aren't likely to need help with spelling!


Wow. Really. Anybody working in marketing (the sign company) should know how to spell a little better than that. I hope somebody lost their job over a flub like that. Any misspelling is bad enough, but a major misspelling for a tutoring service is harmful to their business. (Why didn't the tutoring service have an opportunity to preview the sign *before* it was placed out on the street?)

This is reminiscent to me of all of the supposedly intelligent tech guys I have worked with over the years that can't even manage to use a spell checker. Nothing says moron quite like a major mispeling or tyop.

Posted by: Michael at June 3, 2005 01:28 AM

I work in a boutique advertising company specializing in printed labels. The amount of copy that we send out with spelling errors is staggering at times. At one point, we had two guys with doctorial degrees in the English language specializing in spelling, but they were too expensive to keep. With an average of at least 50 people seeing the label before it goes out the door, a good majority are now caught. You have to admit, this one is particularly funny, though.

Posted by: Jeff at June 3, 2005 02:32 AM

You sure that "tutouring" isn't just the Canadian spelling? (like "colour")

I was once in an electronics store that had a big hanging sign with about 30 words on it, and THREE spelling errors. And that same sign was hung in several places thru the store, so there were maybe 12-15 copies of the sign. That chain of stores is now defunct.

Posted by: Jacques Troux at June 3, 2005 02:38 AM

Michael, "Nothing says moron quite like a major mispeling or tyop"? LOL

I work for a news agency and once spotted a note to editors about why we were sending them a story again: "Eds: Fixes grable."

Posted by: stoo at June 3, 2005 07:53 AM

I believe the archetypical picture for spelling mistake threads is this one:

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at June 3, 2005 08:27 AM

Ummmm... Mr. Gomez? That link didn't actually take me anywhere. Your link needs a tutour.

Posted by: Bob at June 3, 2005 09:12 AM

Hi Bob. Allow me to tutour you re: The Internet: doesn't like people linking directly to images on their site. They are detecting the Referer header (yes, with one "f"), which is typically sent with the request from your browser. It says "I want A, and I am coming from B."

If "B" has nothing to do with, they put up a message accusing the person who provided the link of stealing. This is pretty heavy-handed, but in a world where bandwidth quotas can mean extra costs, it's not uncommon.

So the link works, as long as you clicked on a link from

Now, for the extra point bonus: You can usually get around this if you copy the link location, paste it into your browser's address bar, and load it directly. This is because there is no Referer in such a case. "B" is empty, and the request is (usually) allowed.

Here's another hint about The Internet: When you start your message with "Ummmm...", it makes you look like a jackass.

Posted by: The Tutour at June 3, 2005 10:39 AM

The Get a Brain Morans is clasic and has become a Fark cliche.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at June 3, 2005 10:49 AM

My wife and I lived in an apartment for several years. In the parking garage, there was a VERY big pickup truck. It had a full size bed and a club cab, so the thing was just just incredibly long. Someone obviously loved that truck, because it had lots of flashy chrome accessories, darkened windows, running board, and highly detailed pin stripes. Near the wheel wells on both sides someone had hand lettered the name of this highly elongated truck: "Strech".

We always wondered if the owner misspelled "Stretch" on the order form and got exactly what he wanted, or if the paint shop misspelled it and the owner didn't bother to complain, or if (highly unlikely) the owner really wanted his pickemup truck to be called "Strech" (maybe that was his last name or something).

Posted by: Todd Bradley at June 3, 2005 11:19 AM

I worked for a company that made "Intelligent Devices". In our marketing brochure, in one place, we mispelled "Intelligent".

Posted by: Alex at June 3, 2005 11:39 AM

Wow, that's inteligent.

Ummm, Tutour your way worked. Thx. You're all morans. Get a brain.

Posted by: Bob at June 3, 2005 02:18 PM

Remember Bob,

Ummmm, = Jackass

Posted by: Nick Karnbach at June 3, 2005 03:22 PM

I worked for a company that I will (un)affectionately call National Pseudoconductor. On my first day working there I walked past a sign in the hall, glitched, turned around and looked at it again. It was an abstract PR-type flowchart of how their "QUATILY" group was organized. Asked a few people how long it had been there and nobody knew for sure but it was years. Once I informed my new boss how it read, they had it down within an hour.

Posted by: Patentagent007 at June 3, 2005 03:44 PM

My apologies for posting a link to an image that doesn't want to be shown. It was a humourous image of somebody holding up a "Get a brain moran" sign.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at June 3, 2005 03:54 PM

stoo: I hope you got my intended sarcasm on "mispeling" and "tyop." I really wouldn't want you to think that I am a moran too. ;)

Carlos: Thanks for the "Get a brain" sign -- It made me laugh.

I find it disturbing how some misspellings become so common that they actually pass into accepted usage. For instance, the term "HTTP Referer" made it through multiple revisions of the HTTP standard, and has now been coded into so many web server packages that I doubt it can ever be corrected. (For those bad spellers out there it should be "HTTP Referrer.")

Posted by: Michael at June 4, 2005 06:24 AM

Maybe the Tutoring company should offer tutoring the sign company on proper spelling in lieu of paying the cash for the sign...

Posted by: infinity at June 4, 2005 02:35 PM

jacquez: it is not canadian spelling, but british. go educate yourself.

Posted by: dusoft at June 4, 2005 07:55 PM

Ummmm, I know, Nick. Thanks for helping.

Posted by: Bob at June 4, 2005 09:28 PM

"I worked for a company that made "Intelligent Devices". In our marketing brochure, in one place, we mispelled "Intelligent"."

So, you made them. That doesn't mean you employed them!

Posted by: Loren Pechtel at June 5, 2005 12:30 PM

This is obviously photoshop, aliasing on the lettering, I don't know many signs that have that resolution on their aliasing.

Posted by: daman at June 5, 2005 03:55 PM

Ummmm, it's obviously photoshopped, most signs don't have huge, solid orange patches like that. But the lettering isn't aliased, so I don't know what you're talking about.

Posted by: guy of doom at June 6, 2005 11:07 AM

Hey, idiot? Yeah, read the description.

"I blocked out the name of the tutoring office, and their phone number" ORANGE.

About the Aliasing, the real world has much better "graphics" than a game or anything else. The real world has no pixels.

Posted by: Jello B. at June 6, 2005 05:50 PM

Ummmm, no duh. I can read, yes it's been photoshopped with an orange patch - no problem there. It's been further photoshopped with yellow lettering - problem there.

I know when I take a photo of real-world lettering it doesn't get aliased by the jpeg compression. Very strange behavior indeed.

Furthermore, if the shop owner was mortified, why didn't she get a tarp and cover it? Metal mesh? Any shop owner I know would have turned it away immediately.

This just doesn't add up and I'm picky about what I believe, obviously you can believe what you want.

Posted by: daman at June 7, 2005 01:13 AM

Ummm, i'm glad i started a trend.

Posted by: Bob at June 12, 2005 10:42 PM

Hey, just saw my pic and have read through the comments.

To Daman: the sign letters are untouched. I photoshopped the phone number off to protect the innocent. (I don't have that much time on my hands to create a "fake" sign!) If you'd like to see the original, and scrutinize the authenticity, I'll send it on!


Posted by: Irene at June 20, 2005 03:09 PM

Oh and one more comment: "Tutor" is never spelled "tutour" (unlike some other words such as favor-favour etc.)

Take care!


Posted by: Irene at June 20, 2005 03:13 PM

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