Wednesday, 2 July 2008

It's hell having any knowledge of language

You keep noticing when other people fuck up.

Particularly, you keep noticing when other people in positions of public notice fuck up. My father once wrote a letter to the Hobart Mockery, sorry, Mercury, offering to pay for a Real Estate Agent to undertake an Adult Education course in English. The offer was not taken up.

I have just been perusing disability concessions applications, and stumbled across the following gem from the Queensland Department of Transport, on the application form for the Person with Visual Impairment Travel Pass (bet you didn't know there was one, did you?):

"Veteran Affairs' - Blind Pensioner Concession Card".

Ignoring the callous and casual usage of capitalisation, note "Veteran Affairs'". That apostrophe is possessive, not contractive (is that a word?). It means that this fragment of apparent English is to be interpreted as "The veteran belonging to affairs". The actual department is "Department of Veterans' Affairs", which is correct: "The affairs relating to veterans".

It's this sort of casual mistake which makes me lose all hope for the future of human civilisation as we know it.

Link to the VIP (and there's another callous misuse of vernacular) Travel Pass web page.
Link to the actual DVA.

P.S.: If anyone wishes to take issue with any point I may have made in this post: The comments section is below. Please correct me.

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