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What is so offensive...


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What is so offensive...

carswell | Aug 6, 2006 09:59 PM

...about politely pointing out that a poster has misspelled the name of a restaurant?

I just replied to a post on the Quebec board, thanking the poster for his report on his visit and noting that he had misspelled (repeatedly, including in the title, though I didn't mention it) the name of one of the restaurants. He had written it as two words ("Le Meac") whereas it is actually spelled as one (Leméac). I also provided a sentence's worth of background on the name by way of illustrating that the *le* is not the masculine definite article as the poster obvioiusly assumed.

My reply was deleted within minutes of posting.

I'm not a pedant -- someone who spells as poorly as I do has no right to be -- and I'd never hit on someone for misspelling common words. But a gentle correction struck me as approriate in this case for three reasons: First, we're talking about a name here. Second, these garblings of foreign words have a way of propagating themselves (already others have begun spelling the restaurant's name LeMeac; how long before they, too, introduce a space?). And, third, this particular misspelling would make a post about "Le Meac" invisible to someone who's doing a search on the right name. (Yes, other posters have spelled the name correctly in their replies so the search engine will pick up this particular thread. But, hey, I'm inquiring about the principle.)

I know moderators' time is far too valuable for them to bother explaining their deletions to us peons, who are just supposed to shrug off the loss of the valuable time we invested in penning a well-intentioned reply. But in this case, the deletion of a polite, informative post that didn't countervene any of the published Etiquette guidelines and was intended to make the forum more useful for future users smacks of political correctness and suggests someone's delete button has a hair trigger. And, this public forum aside, there's no way to vent or appeal. And since Chowhound doesn't have a personal message or e-mail system, there's no way to contact the OP offline to suggest he edit the post. And so the error stands.

Is the proper spelling of restaurant names so unimportant to the powers that be? Is it a question of degree? In doing some research to reply to another post, I stumbled across a post where someone had spelled Slovenia, a Montreal butcher cum sandwicherie, Scandinavia. Would a reply pointing out that mistake also be deleted? Just asking for some guidance here.

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