Go Bananas

As many of you know, I am often telling my students about the importance of proofreading. Sometimes when we do not proofread, we convey things we did not mean. Sometimes what we write ends up being nonsense at best and downright wrong at worst. Sometimes we end up expressing the exact opposite of what we mean. And if that happens in a way that many people see it, it can be quite embarrasing.

The photo above is being circulated on Facebook. It brings me joy on a couple of levels as well as chagrin. First, it is just funny; the way people goofed on the network’s mistake is clever and humorous. Second, it reinforces what I’ve been saying ad naseum to certain students (you know who you are ;-). In this stressful time of the pandemic, it is wonderful when we find something that makes us laugh. And I did laugh at this one.

But, of course, it also causes a feeling of chagrin. Here is a very public mistake. This person’s job is to create these graphics for the news. S/he should know to proofread carefully and how important it is to his/her job. Writing bananas instead of bandanas changes the meaning to absurdity and makes the network look unprofessional.

Let’s do one more turn though. It’s a mistake, yes, and a very public one. But we don’t know if errors such as this are regularly occurring or if this is an anomaly. Everyone makes mistakes once in a while; that’s being human. It is unfortunate for this person that the mistake is so public, but that’s all it is, and it does not really put anyone at risk. Surely no one really thinks a banana is a good face covering. If the mistakes are frequent, well, that’s another story that the network itself has to address, but let’s assume that this is a one off. Remember too that we are in the midst of a pandemic and that this person may be working from home for the first time. Imagine this: the program for the remote workspace is new; the person writing up the graphics is sitting at a counter in the kitchen; his/her children, let’s say they are 5 and 7, are sitting at the table nearby, coloring; one looks up and says, “Mom/Dad, can I have a banana?” Boom. Viral mistake. I’m actually laughing again picturing this. It’s so plausible. So today, instead of chagrin and blame, I’m going to enjoy the malapropism (look it up-it’s a good word) and smile.

Now I think I’ll go for a walk. Let me grab my banana.

TV Show Review: Nancy Drew

With COVID 19 dominating the news and changing our lives, I haven’t had the time or inspiration to write. Transitioning to teaching online hasn’t so much been hard as it has been time consuming. But as I urge my students to write, so must I. Yet naturally with our home-based learning, I am spending much time in front of the computer, so I do not necessarily want to spend more time there after work. When I’m done for the day, I join my husband in the living room, and we watch some news. But then, enough. We need entertainment instead by the end of the day. Yesterday, we finished the first season of Nancy Drew, and entertainment it was.

This is not the Nancy Drew of my childhood. Now she is a high school graduate who has left college and returned to Horseshoe Bay, Maine after her mother dies only to find herself and a few others accused of murdering a socialite in town. They have to work together to clear their names. Horseshoe Bay is a town divided between the wealthy, country-club set and the “townies”, with a twist: there are ghosts. Lucy Sable who was murdered almost twenty years before our story begins, haunts Nancy and others, prompting her to also investigate Lucy’s death.

The show is campy. Horseshoe Bay is dark and rainy most of the time. The Claw, the local diner where Nancy and her friends work, is almost always empty, allowing them to leave it frequently to go off on one clue-chasing jaunt or another. They find long-lost, stolen treasure (and lose it again-to ghosts); they hold a seance to call on the spirit of “dead Lucy,” as Nancy calls her; they explore the seemingly endless supply of abandoned and neglected buildings Horseshoe Bay has to offer; they make wrong accusations and right ones. There are twists and turns I did not see coming, especially the revelation at the season’s finale. In a sense, it’s all a bit ridiculous, and I love it. It was a bit slow at first, but now I’m sorry I have to wait now for the new season to start. If you want to give it a try, you can stream it for free on the CW.