Chronic Correction Syndrome
Manhattan, Upper East Side, 2005
I walked through the automatic doors of the Gristede's on First Avenue and was just about to reach for a handbasket when I processed the sign that I had just seen in the front window. I walked back out to look at it again.
Attention Gristede's Shoppers: Entenmann's Baked Goods Are Now Located On Isle 3.
I walked back into the store and began my shopping. I only needed a few things, so in less than 5 minutes I was in line at the cashier. One of the store managers was standing at end of her counter, observing.
"Don't say anything. Don't say anything, " I kept repeating in my head.
Because you see, I have a pathological need to correct misspellings, including (especially) my own. A friend once called and mentioned a typo in this blog and I cut short my afternoon to rush home to correct it. These things bother me, and I don't know why.
I once called a Mexican restaurant from I-95 to tell them to change their marquee, that there was no "T" in salat. Another time I told a waiter that I wanted their Lamm Chops, "Hold the 'B'", yuk yuk. And then there's the time my favorite Chinese restaurant was "Closed For Re-Molding", and I wanted to break the window to correct their sign.
I put my items on the moving belt and tried to think of something else. Nope. All I could think was Isle.
After I paid, I smiled at the manager and said, "Oh, by the way, if it matters to you...there's a misspelling on the sign in your door."
He narrowed his eyes, "There is?"
"Yeah, it says "Entenmann's Baked Goods are on Isle 3" but you used the wrong spelling of aisle."
He walked out with me and looked at the sign. "Looks OK to me."
I said, "Well, that is how you'd spell it if you were talking about the Isle Of Capri, or the Isle Of Man or some other island. "
"But it does say aisle."
I started to get dizzy, "Right, they sound the same, but are spelled...."
The manager was already going back inside, shaking his head.