Reading my morning newspaper today I came across three different things that I refer to as “speed bumps”. Though perhaps minor to some people, these not only caught my eye but literally derailed my reading.
The first was coming across the word “funnest”, as in, “This was the funnest thing I had ever done.” If I had read this in the “Letters to the editor” I might have been able to let this pass. However, I came upon this “not a word” within a column that is nationally syndicated (actually internationally as I’ve read it when I’ve been in Europe) and read by millions. This bothered me enough to cause me to check www.dictionary.com to see if perhaps this had become an accepted word. I did find “funest” (pronounced Fyoo-nest), meaning boding or causing evil or death; fatal; disastrous but this certainly wasn’t what the writer intended as they wrote.
In that same paper, I read a piece in the “Goings on about Town” about a spat of burglaries in a nearby town. I then read the exact same article under “Our Neighbors”. (I read about 1/3 of the article before I realized I had already read it. I then went back and checked to see if I was just tired and hadn’t had enough coffee or if in fact this article had been duplicated.
My morning reading was less than enjoyable at that point. And then I came across a picture with what was obviously the wrong caption. I did get a good chuckle out of this as the picture was of a family at a picnic and the caption read, “Town meeting results in clash of ideas.”
Will this make me cancel my subscription? Probably not. Has it changed my opinion/impression of the paper and the people that publish it? Yes, it has.
I’ve no doubt that “speed bumps” have a similar impact on the people reviewing/evaluating proposals.