Anybody who writes words for a living (or even as a hobby) makes mistakes.
Best efforts, constant proofreading, there are all sorts of checks and balances to ensure that words conveyed on a page (or an epitaph or a statue or a billboard...or a sign in a locker room) are spelled correctly and used properly, and convey thoughts accurately.
But even the best of us fail sometimes.
Hell, I fully expect to find at least two or three mistakes in this very post even after it's published on the site. I'm not perfect.
However, I would like to think that we hold our institutions of higher learning to some sort of higher standard.
Looking right at you, Michigan State!!
(The audible gasp you all just heard was every University of Michigan student and alum cringing at my calling Michigan State an "institution of higher learning." Yeah, yeah, we got it, Wolverines... "If ya can't go to college, go to STATE! CLAP CLAP!! If ya can't go to college, go to STATE! CLAP CLAP!!")
Michigan State's football program is in a pretty good place right now, having just come off of a 2013 season in which they lost one game (GO IRISH!) and walked away with a Rose Bowl title and some serious momentum heading into the 2014 season. The Big Ten is a very navigable conference in 2014 and Mark Dantonio's team is primed for a run at this year's inaugural College Football Playoff.
So football season is here, and with football season comes new and exciting cheeseball inspirational signage on the walls of facilities and locker rooms across the nation.
Michigan State recently spent $24.5 million on upgrades to their facilities, but apparently $24.5 million just doesn't buy a good proofreader these days. Amidst the bluster and hyperbole of this sign, can you spot the spelling error?
— David Harns (@isportsDave) August 5, 2014
Yes, "acurate." Apparently, the Spartans' passing is spot-on balls accurate, however, their spelling (ironically spelling of the word "accurate") is woefully inaccurate. It's the delicious irony that only college football can deliver! (By the way, if you had "BIG TEN +450" as the conference who would make a spelling error on an inspirational locker room sign, cash that ticket! Somewhere, all of you who had "SEC -300" weep.)
For his part in this, David Harris (Spartan beat writer and "patient zero" of this delightful web virus) is regretful that he himself didn't proofread the sign more closely and instead semi-blindly hit SEND to show just how massive the tsunami of enthusiasm for Spartan football past and present had become:
MSU Associate Athletic Director John Lewandowski told the Lansing State Journal today that a fix was in the works even before the sign started getting national attention. He said the athletic department is still completing the installation process for the new locker room and that some minor fixes always need to be made before the final product is debuted to the public.
To be clear -- I would not have passed the photo along if I had noticed the typo beforehand. It is my opinion that every institution should have the ability to fix mistakes behind-the-scenes before they unveil them to the public. This locker room photo was not released by MSU, unlike the one with a missing apostrophe. It was not taken after a grand opening celebration. In theory, MSU had time to make the correction -- and possibly was already doing so. There is no reason to not believe Lewandowski when he said a fix was already in the works.
My tweet did not allow MSU the opportunity to present itself to the public on its own terms at the MSU locker room's official dedication, currently scheduled for August 25th at 6:30pm. Put simply, if I could take it back, I would.
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As someone who needs content for a five-hour daily radio show and multiple blog posts per week, David, let me just thank you and reassure you that you did the right thing. It's not your fault that literally every person in quality control for that sign company and every person in a marketing position of authority at Michigan State can't spell.
It's not your fault, David Harris. It's not your fault.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to proofread this post, like 50 times.