or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, February 24, 2006

Taco Hell

Goddammit, why don't I just start every day's posting with, "Another typo or ten at The Consumerist", and be done with it?

Just look at this article entitled Taco Bell Cashiers Replaced By Soulless Robots:

As if fast-food weren’t synthetic enough already, here’s an automated Taco-Bell ordering machine snapped in Morisville, NC.

“You go to the machines and you’re presented by an animated Colonel and talking taco,” writes the photographer, Abir Majumdar.

Will completely robotified Fast Food restaurants become the norm? Doubtful. Just like the supermarket there will be a mix of touch-screen and real cashiers. You also always will need an employee around in case someone can’t figue out how to work the machines or the machines mess up.

So, no completely android fast-food eateries.

At least, for this generation.

What I want to know is, have The Consumerist's writers been replaced by soulless robots? Is there a machine that, like an automatic translator, writes things but doesn't really do a very good job of it? Or are the staff writers just throwing darts at a dictionary?

Paragraph one: "fast-food", an adjective, used where a noun is required. Paragraph three: "Fast Food", a noun clause, used where an adjective is needed (and, into the bargain, capitalized for no reason whatever). Paragraph four: "fast-food", used, to my astonishment, correctly. What is going on here? (And paragraph three also contains the correctly hyphenated "touch-screen" but the misspelled "figue", while paragraph one contains the wrongly hyphenated "Taco-Bell" and the misspelled "Morisville". What a mess!)

The Consumerist is an enjoyable website: I don't read it just to complain about it. However, if it's written by machines, then they're very impressive but they have a long way to go, and if it's written by people, then they need a spell-checker, an editor, and a course in remedial English, post-haste.


Blogger Frank said...

I also question the use of prepositions in paragraph two. "'...and you're presented by an animated Colonel and talking taco,...'"? Don't they mean "with"?

Saturday, February 25, 2006 3:00:00 AM  
Blogger pyramus said...

"By" is definitely wrong, but since it's a direct quotation, the best you can do is put a "[sic]" after the preposition, and that's probably rude.

I don't care for the sentence that begins, "Just like the supermarket", either, and I would have rewritten "You also always will need...", which sounds clunky. The whole thing's a disaster.

Saturday, February 25, 2006 5:43:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home