The Accidental Discovery Of Upper Case SchwaPosted: March 28, 2011
On Friday, I swung through the lot of the local post office to drop something in the mail. That’s the sort of extravagant thing I do. I will spend forty-four cents to have someone bring something to someone else. I think the recipients are impressed by the gesture.
As I was driving out from making my grand gesture, I passed a white pick up truck. The owner had put lettering across the front to spell out the word MOVE in upper case letters. The word was spelled backward so as to be easily readable in the rear view mirror of cars in front of the truck.
Now we all know what this person’s plan was in putting this lettering across the front of their truck. It was done with the express intent of driving up close behind people and pushing them to drive at a pace they’re not comfortable with, or move aside. Very classy.
Some people charge through life as if they have to get where they’re going first. I’ve never quite figured out the benefit of being that way. As best I can tell, nothing really starts until the rest of us arrive. What’s their hurry?
No one who drives aggressively has ever convinced me of anything, except that most states will issue a driver’s license to a fool.
…Still Need To Proofread
When I saw the truck with MOVE on the front, I just glanced at it and didn’t pay it a lot of attention. My mind turned the letters around and told me the word the driver had put on their truck.
Then, it happened. I looked in the rear view mirror. The white truck was behind me and I could see the lettering on the front. This mirror view reversed the letters as intended. Here is a photo I took of what I saw. I hope you can appreciate the complexity of this shot – in the mirror, past my head, using my not-that-smart phone.
I know that you probably can’t see it yet. That photo was really just a lame attempt to appear in my own blog like Hitchcock did in his movies. Now, through the wonder of technology, let’s zoom in on the word in question.
Read it carefully…M…O…V…backward E? Let’s see, what would those crazy kids say about this? I think they would say FAIL. They would say EPIC FAIL. They might even say PWNED, even though I still don’t get why it ever became cool to spell it that way.
Some time ago, I proposed a business where intelligent people like you would proofread things for the less bright among us. Here, my friends, is an example of our customer base. Left to their own devices, this person has delivered the message “I am just smart enough to come up with a way to prove I am not smart without even talking to you.”
On examining this picture I realize that this person may have inadvertently made a contribution to grammatical science.
Think back to your early school days. Remember the schwa? Schwa was a pronunciation character that was always depicted by a backward, upside-down, lower case e. I’ve long wondered about the existence of the upper case schwa. None of my teachers could ever show me one, but I remained convinced there had to be one. If there is a lower case character, there must be an upper case one to match.
Last Friday, I believe I saw the first ever use of upper case schwa. Capital E, upside down and backward. There it is, right before your eyes. Gaze upon it. None of your English teachers could show you that. You saw it here first, and you saw it courtesy of someone who thought they were cool but failed to proofread.
I really do need to get to work on my business plan for the proofreading shop.