or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Left Behind

There's a church nearby with a large signboard on which it posts the usual smarmy bromides like "Faith is a journey, not a destination" or "When life is at its worst, God is at his best". Where do they get this crap from? Is there a mailing?

Today we were walking home and the signboard read, and this is a direct quote,

Sincerity is no subsitute for truth.

Ignoring the fact that the irony ought to have been dense enough to compact the sign into a tiny black hole, Jim noted that the sign-writer had somehow misspelled "substitute". I noted further that the other side of the signboard--it's built with two panels at ninety-degree angles, so as to get the drivers from both streets--bore the same maxim, with the same misspelling.

Which means that the sign-maker didn't make a mistake: he or she honestly thinks that "substitute" is spelled, and almost certainly pronounced, "subsitute".

The word "substitute" does not appear in the King James version of the Christian bible, which leads me to think that someone ought to be doing a little more outside reading.

"Substitute", in case you were wondering, comes, obviously Latin, from the prefix "sub-", "in place of", plus "statuere", "to cause to stand", which is the root of many, many words in English, not only such obviousnesses as "statue" but also...well, let's leave that for tomorrow, shall we?


Blogger Frank said...

There has to be a book or something that gives the churchs the lines for those billboards. They all seem to be cut from the same cloth.

Monday, November 27, 2006 2:19:00 AM  

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