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Unthightly and unsymphatetic

November 12th, 2013 · 62 comments

Alrighty, folks. Yesterday’s “millennial-bashing” post seemed to stir up outdoor-cat levels of ire, so I think it’s time for a day of healing. I’ll even set aside the issue of “passive-aggressive” vs. “just straightforward aggressive.” Cheap laughs for all, courtesy of Sarah in Providence and Peter in New York!


'Gentlements' be 'symphatetic enough' not to use: 'ladies restroom' thanks management

related: “Employees” must “wash hands” with “soap”

FILED UNDER: bathroom · spelling and grammar police · unnecessary "quotation marks"

62 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Daniel

    It never ceases to amaze me how so few managers can spell or use grammar properly. But then again, these photos both appear to be from restaurants (or perhaps a Staples or Home Depot, neither of which require a college education from their management teams) so maybe I’m not so surprised after all.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Velvet Redd

      One would hope that the proper use of grammar and correct spelling would be learned well before college.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm   rating: 88  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   kermit

      As the previous post has taught us all, you’re wrong, Velvet. Clearly 12 years of English / writing classes teaches you nothing.

      Then as if by magic, in your college English classes you learn how to write properly, think critically, communicate clearly and be a competent, cultured employee ready to impress your clients and coworkers.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm   rating: 26  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Daniel

      One would hope. But when a large portion of high school students read at only a 5th grade level, that is no longer the case.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   Jami

      Could be English is their 2nd language. One of my coworkers is from Poland and even though she’s smart, she still misspells english words. I can’t get her to put a “T” on the end of “complaint” for instance.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 10:59 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   R. Osorio

      Anyone with a computer has access to online dictionaries to check his/her spelling. I know people who speak English as their second language and their spelling is better than that of native-born Americans.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 1:14 am   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   redheadwglasses

      Russians and Poles don’t come from a language that uses “the” or “a,” so on the college papers I proofed for a Russian coworker, I had to add countless of those two words throughout.

      My Polish nurse two nights ago (please don’t cue the porn music) spoke otherwise excellent English, other than the lack of “the” and “a” in her speech.

      And in working with engineers, I learned long ago that there are different kinds of smarts. I have language/word smarts. You do NOT want me designing the mechanical systems for your home or office.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 2:00 am   rating: 37  small thumbs up

    • #1.7   H for Toy

      It’s true, red. My Polish grandmother wished me a “happy berzday” every year; but she could do the New York Times crossword. She could spell the words, but couldn’t pronounce them. Also true that some people are better at maths/sciences and other at language/ words. That’s why we should work together to write a PAN and then figure out a way to make it light up or move.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 7:46 am   rating: 27  small thumbs up

    • #1.8   Maitri

      I am in HR and I attended a conference yesterday where they revealed the results of a survey in which the #2 thing that hiring managers and HR say is lacking in today’s job seekers and employees is a lack of grammatical and writing skills. I have no hope.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 8:27 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #1.9   Belaani

      Written by Daffy Duck, it seems. I always wondered what the Warner Bros. characters did in their retirement years.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 9:02 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #1.10   Jami

      @R. Osorio – There’s often not time to look up words. I work in a public library and sometimes the desk is swamped. So there we’ll be trying to make a note about a complaint on a DVD or CD the patron said is scratched, or a note on a patron’s account because they got verbally abusive or lost/damaged an item – and we have to do this while also talking to someone who wants computer help but refuses to go to the reference desk, dealing with a ringing phone, and trying to keep the people who want to check out calm cause they’re being kept waiting by the first person who just won’t go ask a librarian.

      So taking time to get to a dictionary – not going to work.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 9:09 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #1.11   The Elf

      This is why you should type all your PANs (or JSFANs, in this case). Most word processing software has spelling and grammar checkers built-in that would catch most of these errors.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 9:12 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #1.12   kermit

      I bet you $50 that the PowerPoint slides at that presentation/conference dealie contained errors.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 9:23 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #1.13   Tard

      Did I hear Polish nurse? Bow Chicka bow wow… (uh, that’s my porn music).

      Had to do it.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #1.14   RetailSquirrel

      Wow. Daniel, do you realise how arrogant you sound? Having worked in retail for 15 years I can tell you that degrees tell you nothing about a person’s ability to spell or use grammar. Some of the most intelligent people I’ve worked with have no degree and some of the most profoundly stupid do have one.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 2:14 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #1.15   a-Arialist

      Although, Jami, one would hope that if anyone would have language and writing skills, it would be a librarian.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 5:02 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #1.16   Jami

      My coworker and I are library clerks, not librarians.

      And like I said, she’s NOT stupid, English is her second language. So sometimes spelling of our words escapes her. Heck, if it wasn’t for spell check I would have trouble with many words. And in fact, sometimes I spell a word so badly spell check doesn’t know what the heck I’m trying to write.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 10:54 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #1.17   Snicklefritz

      Spelling issues aren’t discrimatory. I have to admit to being a bit of a spelling snob myself. Nothing irks me more than seeing mispelled words. I work hard to push that aside so I can rationalize that as long as the person get’s their point across, what does it truly matter. I know plenty of people that I consider to be highly intelligent, that can’t spell worth a tinkers dam.
      Not that I know how well a tinkers dam can spell, I just like saying tinkers dam.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #1.18   Snicklefritz

      Oops, I spelled discriminatory wrong. Since it’s multi syllabic, I’m hoping no one will notice.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #1.19   Lab dude

      Spell Check is the downfall of the written English language; and in this situation will fail you every time – no one give a *tinker’s damn* anymore, because tinkers and dam are both spelled correctly, even if they are aren’t correctly used.
      Case in point: I went to a restaurant website today to scope out a meeting place after work. Said pub advertised its “ECLIPTIC [emphasis mine] mix of students, tourists and music lovers.” I’m guessing that they meant ‘eclectic,’ but if you don’t already know how to spell ‘eclectic’, what are the odds that you will recognize ‘ecliptic’ and realize its really not what you meant?

      Nov 15, 2013 at 10:41 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #1.20   Susan

      Thanks, lab dude, “tinkers dam” nearly caused me actual physical pain.

      Although it did lead me to imagine what a tinkers dam would look like. Something like a beaver’s dam? I doubt it would hold water very reliably. Which may be why so many people don’t give one.

      And now I’m also wondering what arrangement you have to put people in such that they become ecliptic. A quick dictionary check indicates that they would have to form a great circle inclined at an approximate angle of 23°27′ to the equator. Sounds challenging, but I would like to see the pub that manages that.

      Nov 16, 2013 at 3:29 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #1.21   H for Toy

      I have to agree with your assessment of spellcheck, lab dude. I’ve been reading quite a few free books on my Kindle, and I am astounded. While quite a few are enjoyable reads, I cringe every time I come across things like, “do to the weather,” “her face was taunt with worry,” and even “she threw on some close.” This kind of thing comes up often enough that I wonder if anyone even glances through these books before publishing them.

      Nov 16, 2013 at 6:43 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #1.22   Raichu

      Every time I see “phased” when “fazed” should have been used I feel this way, and it happens ALL THE TIME.

      Nov 17, 2013 at 9:57 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #1.23   operagost

      Stephen King is one of the best-selling authors of all time, yet his novels are replete with errors. I suppose he’s too proud or too cheap to use a proofreader.

      Nov 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #1.24   H for Toy

      That doesn’t phase me at all, Raichu ;)

      Nov 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #1.25   joshua

      Doesn’t matter how educated or uneducated you are, odds are, the proper spelling of Gentlemen is on the damned door.

      Nov 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.26   mytake

      I’m pretty sure the person who wrote the note has a Romance language as his/her first language. Look at the use of “sympathetic” to mean “nice.”

      Nov 19, 2013 at 11:50 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.27   teresasbell

      what Debbie explained I am shocked that a mom can get paid $9355 in 4 weeks on the internet. go right here……..

      Dec 5, 2013 at 7:24 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #2   kitten mittons!

    Closing this door properly is endorsed by Suzanne Somers.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm   rating: 41  small thumbs up

  • #3   RedDelicious

    I can’t say I’m surprised any place with faux wood paneling would be lacking folks with proper spelling habits.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #4   Raichu

    I “really” do not understand the “random” quotation marks thing. At “all”.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm   rating: 47  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Sir Puke

      I always believed that random quotation marks are (incorrectly) used for emphasis.

      Do it, “now”.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Snowflame

      The bits in quotation marks are supposed to be read out loud. It’s a freeform poetry performance before every bathroom break.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Raichu

      Who taught those people how to punctuate???

      And in this case, the emphasis seems pretty random. Of course, the rest of their grammar is nothing to write home about, either…

      Nov 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #5   Dantebenuto

    the 2nd one is the Munro Leaf version of a management sign. It’s truly wonderful, a throwback.

    Is that sympNatetic or sympHatetic? Either way, its golden.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Lythande

      SympHathetic, because clearly she always writes her N’s in capital case.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #6   rapevine

    PSY wrote these

    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:36 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #7   Sir Puke

    The Thightly sign is a rare example of a notice with a lisp.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Tard



      Nov 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #8   Tupelo

    You better safe them, Sorry. Otherwise heads will roll “into” the pile of Gentlements.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   buni

      I read it as “better safe, them sorry”. You will be safe, they will be sorry.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 7:30 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

  • #9   Rene

    All those quotation marks, JEEBUS! I want to cut somebody.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   redheadwglasses

      I will leave you my top-quality box cutter in my will.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 2:02 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   The Elf

      The “idea” is to “emphasize” certain “words” using “grammar”.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 6:51 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #10   My name is Princess

    Closing the door thightly sounds like good advice to avoid pregnancy.

    Nov 13, 2013 at 6:12 am   rating: 25  small thumbs up

  • #11   The Elf

    Are Gentlements the opposite of Altoids?

    Nov 13, 2013 at 6:52 am   rating: 24  small thumbs up

  • #12   Roxy Random

    The second one looks like a non-native English speaker, but I can’t explain all the quotation marks.

    I used to have a manager who couldn’t spell at all. She used me as her spell checker. I got calls two or three times a day from the office, asking how to spell this word or that word. She was otherwise a lovely person, she just had trouble spelling.

    Nov 13, 2013 at 7:23 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #13   Tesselara

    Closed thighs = better safe than sorry.
    They’re also less fun. But that’s another story.

    Nov 13, 2013 at 9:47 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Sir Puke

      I am reminded of an old (and sexist) joke.

      A girl’s legs are her best friends, but even the best of friends must part.

      Redd Foxx

      Nov 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #14   m9

    every time i read ‘symphatetic’ out loud (well, out loud to myself), i sound like i may be having a stroke. ‘sym-fah (this is where i stutter) tu-ta-tick’.

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   wut

      Wouldn’t it be sym-fah-TET-tic?

      Nov 14, 2013 at 9:11 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #15   redheadwglasses

    hey, folks — anyone who’s checked out my caringbridge site, I posted a photo from my visit with Santa Claus at Mall of America today. : )

    Nov 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   redheadwglasses


      Nov 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   H for Toy

      I saw it this morning. You’re so cute!

      Nov 14, 2013 at 6:11 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   Katimomkat

      It’s adorbz, but too tiny. (Perhaps your pics are so small because you reduced their sizes in order to use them as your avatar pics?) I’m hoping you will post pics of your getaway trip. I’m sending you good juju for a wonderful trip, with warm and sunny weather, the strength to fully enjoy all the things you have planned to see and do, and the wisdom to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard.

      Nov 15, 2013 at 1:02 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #16   Karen

    watt’s roong wit tha noets dont git it…ha ha

    Nov 14, 2013 at 9:39 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   HidingInKarensCar

      You misspelled “ha ha”!

      Nov 15, 2013 at 8:50 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #17   Victoria

    As an editor, I would like to stab these writers in the face. With my red ink pen.

    Nov 15, 2013 at 10:49 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   buni

      I used to think “ink pen” was redundant. Then I saw an advertisement for a “vaporizer pen”. I wondered what kind of vaporized ink it used. Turns out it’s just an electronic cigarette.

      Nov 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   Raichu

      Well, there are also electronic pens and the like.

      I think “red ink pen” makes sense though because it clarifies something important – that is, what the adjective “red” is modifying. If you just say “red pen” without any other context, it could be interpreted as a pen that’s red in color but may have a different color of ink.

      Nov 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #17.3   buni

      True, I have a red pen that contains black ink. It’s very confusing and I always have to warn those that want to borrow it.

      Nov 20, 2013 at 10:51 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #18   Randal Romero

    We often never start projects that could make us money because we want a “perfect” idea. We think that our idea needs to be unique. Or we think that our idea can’t be any good because someone else has already done it.

    Dec 5, 2013 at 6:05 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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