Strange Brouhaha

Friday, November 11, 2005

Well, okay, I will. Err, won't. Err, will. Wait.

Let's say that you graduated from a private school in Hawaii. Its initials, let's say further, are "Iolani School." Its current K-12 tuition rate is over twelve thousand dollars a year. (Remember that number.) It provides very strong education in the sciences, arts, and humanities. At least, it did twenty years ago; we can assume that it still does.

The English teachers you had there were mostly competent. Some of them failed to understand, say, science fiction, and some of them were so wrapped up in teaching The Right Way that they needed to beat down creative thinking, but the majority of them left you with an appreciation for the English language and the vast number of ways in which you could use it.

For whatever reason (certain persons can feel free to refrain from commentary! <g>), you decide to look up the listings in the school's Alumni Database for your class. You notice that some of the names have "Send email" links next to them. Why...YOUR name has one of those links!

You decide to send yourself a message. You click on the link, noting with approval that you are not shown your own email address, a very nice touch. You wonder which email address the message will be sent to, so you fill in the form (sender's email, subject, and message), and click the send button. You recall with icy terror that the school's website had been in the habit of adding words in your name that you did not write.

You're looking at the email you sent yourself. It's very nice--the "from" address is the email address you entered on the form. There is a note attached, clearly from the Alumni Office, stating the origin of the email. They kindly inform you of the following: "If you do not wish to reply to the sender of this email you may feel free to do so."


Earlier, I asked you to remember a certain number. Recall it to yourself now, at whatever volume you feel is appropriate.

Okay. I realize that I'm picky. Part of it is natural, part of it is the result of having had to be picky professionally for the better part of the last decade--as an example, I've been known to submit technical writing bugs for misplaced commas. I'm painfully aware that my own spelling and grammar are not perfect, no matter how much I might wish the opposite.

This email, however, is part of the public face of an educational institution! Everything, and I mean everything that could possibly be seen by a human being should be checked, checked again, and then checked a third time to make absolutely sure that it's correct! Who okayed this?

What's worse, how many people using this service have seen this and let it slide?

Update: I decided to email the Alumni office and beg them to have that changed. Might as well let them know. I have now spent 1100 words on this topic, counting this entry, email to the alumni office, and a private rant to fellow travelers. That's 1100 words I haven't written for NaNoWriMo.


  • For the record: The Strange Brouhaha Master has submitted bugs on misplaced commas. My misplaced, commas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:24 AM  

  • To be rigorously fair, I suppose they could have intended to say "It is within your right to feel that you do not wish to respond to this email." Even then, the grammar is wrong, and they'd still look like bozos for adding something like that to their email.

    By Blogger Robert, at 8:00 AM  

  • Must... not... respond...

    By Anonymous david adam edelstein, at 9:55 AM  

  • from Dan:

    A poster for the new "King Kong" was released that has Adrien Brody as "Adrian Brody." How many people do you think approved that?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:08 PM  

  • Ugh! That would have to be infuriating. I wonder which would be worse: having your name misspelled or having your ass digitally altered, as Angelina Jolie's clearly was on the posters for Mr. & Mrs. Smith. (That one was bad; it was like the people who did it had never seen an actual human being, if I'm remembering correctly.) I'd vote for the name, myself.

    By Blogger Robert, at 1:16 PM  

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