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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Sign Language: Innglishh 4 Dummeez

In this edition of Sign Language, AYTD takes a look at how a literary disease is infecting the third most spoken language on the planet. Interestingly enough though, this illness seizes upon the visual dimension; the text in which English is utilized, rather than its sound. Slowly, more and more companies are setting up shop and deliberately tamper with the spelling of real words to spawn a new one. Whilst the new word is cosmetically different, its definition remains unchanged. Much like the emergence of txtspeak, logos highlight words with perhaps a letter missing or exchanged for another one, some go further and even use a numerical digit as an unnecessary replacement. The practice of conjuring up trade names to help advertise a product is far from a new technique; notable examples include the pharmaceuticals (Viagra, Prozac, Xanax, etc.) and the automotive industries (Mondeo, Impreza, Cee'd, etc.) but its the exchanging of correct for incorrect wordage that is a real cause for concern.

It may seem initially harmless to have these differences, but this intentional misspelling of real words isn't evolving the English language, but gradually eroding it. The increasing prevalence of misspelled words in various texts has gone to the next level in this digital era - where this relaxed and informal style of script is used in millions of messages sent between mobiles and chat sessions held amongst friends, family and acquaintances. Regarding education, a 2013 major study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has shown England's 16-24 year olds to be 22nd and 21st out of 24 developed countries in literacy and numeracy tests respectively. It appears that teens and young adults are sacrificing wanting to have even a basic level of reading, writing and arithmetic in exchange for appearing cool and trendy to their peers as they repeatedly say phrases that don't make grammatical sense and ryte fings rong - much like these branded firms.

So, here's a selection of logos that have been spelt wrongly on purpose. Are there any that you can think of? Why not send an email over to and it might just be added to those below.