Driving home in my car the other evening I was amusing myself by looking at signs and bumper stickers as I always do. I am a big fan of words and am endlessly amused by how people use and abuse them, especially here in the US of A; we are language manglers of the first water. One small example (although off topic) there is a small local restaurant with an out of proportionally large sign. It is an old fashioned sign in a 60’s sort of geometric shape. Now this sign has said the same thing probably for as long as I have lived here, but I never noticed the message quite as I did today. It says: “Old homemade Italian style bread”. I am thinking what they actually meant to say was “Old style Italian homemade bread”. I am guessing they didn’t really mean to advertise that they would be providing their customers with old bread. But whatever they meant, that is what they said. I saw a sticker that really struck me. It was a rear window sticker fashioned after those that are the names of a college or university; kind of arched and florid. Here is what it said: “Psychadelic State U”. Yep, it really said that and….no that is not a typo. You and I both know that psychedelic is spelled as I just did. And all I could think was that not only should a person not be all that proud that they think acid trips are a good substitute for a college education, but the proof that they are not is in the spelling. How fitting that they couldn’t even spell their own joke properly, and how pathetic. We live in the strangest country in the world where people think this is funny, where my former clients showed up for felony court wearing “things go better with Coke” t-shirts and rednecks hang tennis ball testicles from the backs of their pickup trucks (yes I know this last is not about words but it is so weird I had to include it). As a nation we seem to have virtually no boundaries about what we will say and do in public and although we know othat the internet is providing a new and sometimes devastating means of memorializing our dumbest moments, it is still the words that live on. Our words live on to haunt us, to remind us and to evidence how we abuse them. I think “Psychadelic State U” says it all, illiterate minimum wage worker with a wasted education.
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