Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sloppy Copy on TriMet Sign

The ways in which government incompetence manifests are many and that incompetence, too often, reveals itself to the public in the form of sloppy copy on municipal government-issued signage. The latest found example is courtesy of reader Sean Patrick, who snapped the below photo as the TriMet MAX train he was riding pulled into the Gateway Transit Center in Portland, Oregon.

In his e-mail message, Patrick wrote that the mistake was on a sign "on the door to where the operator sits to drive the train" and "it caught my eye." It caught his eye because the S tacked onto the last word of the sign's second line resulted in the usage of the wrong tense of the verb "to vandalize." The copy should just read vandalize, sans the S on the end. In the second paragraph, the sign writers, editors and makers managed to use "vandalizes" properly, but that by no means negates the mistake above it.

TriMet's offering a cool $1,000 reward to people who report the assault of TriMet workers or vandalism of TriMet property to the transportation agency. Too bad for the Proofreader and Sean Patrick that there's not a similar cash reward up for grabs to those who report the assault and vandalism of the English language on government-issued signage.

The Proofreader thanks Sean Patrick for submitting the mistake.


stan said...

Aahhh, that brings back good memories of my beloved hometown. I rode MAX through the Gateway station many a time.

This is not the most egregious Portland-area government error I've seen, though. I remember living a few miles south in Oregon City, and at the intersection of McLoughlin Blvd and I-205, there was a sign that was supposed to read, "I-205 NORTH," but instead read, "I-205 NORHT." it was corrected a few years ago, but I always wished I'd snapped a photo.

J. Alfred Proofreader said...

I wish you'd snapped a pic of it, too!

Al M said...

You should see how many mistakes are on the "official" Trimet communications!

J. Alfred Proofreader said...

Al M,

If you've got pics of said mistakes, send them my way.

And thanks for the link.

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