Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Repelling that the Media Can't Spell Rappelling

OK, so maybe this isn’t the most grave and compelling thing happening in the world right now. But it gripes my butt.

What the hell has happened with our ability to spell? Have we gotten that lazy that we 1) don’t KNOW how to spell or 2) don’t bother to run spell check—even though spell check doesn’t correct every error?

It’s bad enough when you or I do it. It’s even worse when the media does it so conspicuously as was seen yesterday all over the internet, TV and print media. And when it comes to the media, whatever became of editors or even interns who double check this stuff?

So just what the hell am I ranting about? Yesterday, inspectors crawled out of a tiny “hatch” at the top of the Washington Monument in order to begin inspecting the entire structure. They are going to work their way down the monument by rappelling.


They’re two entirely different things. TV stations got it wrong. Newspapers got it wrong. Bloggers got it wrong. And, in all likelihood, the poor schmuck who wrote the press-release got it wrong and everybody else just copied him or her in their collective ignorance.

Apparently it takes an anal retentive like me to spot it and take umbrage.

Here’s what they’re doing—rappelling

Here’s what they’re not doing—repelling (as in “repel all boarders”)

And it's certainly not this kind of repel:

No wonder most of the adults look so dufus on “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?”


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