Tag Archives: writing

A Bad Sign

I take an unhealthy delight in typographical errors on notices and signs.  The dry cleaner on the corner offers a “pans hem” service for $8.  There was a Dunkin Donuts© in Connecticut with a bathroom that was out of order, a handwritten note imploring patrons to “pleas bare with us”.  There are websites and late-night talk show segments devoted to “Bad Signs”.  One of these signs was for a children’s software company whose tagline was “So Fun, They Won’t Even Know Their Learning”.  Despite the errors (in grammar, spelling or context), the information is still conveyed – that the cleaner offers tailoring for pants, the coffee shop begs for their customers’ patience and that they are retaining knowledge while enjoying the computer products.

Almost every blog posting I write has some typographical error.  Sometimes it is grammatical, crafting sentences where I lack verbal agreement or confuse plurals with possessives.  Sometimes it is spelling, such as when I use form for from or an for any (often words that slip through auto-correct but are misspellings for what I intend).  Sometimes it is contextual, when I think effect is correct instead of affect or use complement for compliment.   While I am not fond of disclosing my imperfect nature to the cyber-universe, I am blessed to have a few readers who are caring enough to make me aware of my mistakes (mind you, this is not an invitation for anyone and everyone to point out my many flaws).

This is one of the wonderful aspects of life in Christ and living for Christ – God doesn’t require our perfection, but our faithfulness.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.   2 Corinthians 4:7

In the words of Scripture prior to this verse, Paul mentions our ministry, our knowledge of God, the gospel and the light – all of which could be the treasure he mentions.  Then, in the above verse, he likens us to jars of clay (common earthen vessels) susceptible to cracks and chips and vulnerable to failure due to imperfections.   One implication of Paul’s teaching is that our value is in our content and not our form.  In other words, what we say is more valuable than how we say it and what we do is more valuable than how we do it.

My goal in ministry, sharing the knowledge of God and shining the light, is not eloquence and exactitude (as is evident with a blog post a few weeks ago containing more errors than a little league game) but expressing the truth of God to all those whom God blesses this earthen vessel to reach.  So, I no longer wander about if I could of had an affect on the readers personnel growth if I could only write good (I know, at least 6 errors in that last sentence).  I only hope that God can use this imperfect platform and performer to point to Him, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Even a misspelled sign can give direction if its message is true.  Of this, I am living proof.

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