Travel Branding: What Happened to Funk & Wagnalls and the Elements of Style?

Oh, hospitality and lifestyle marketers, please learn how to spell. It bugs me to no end when I see foreign languages used incorrectly to try to convey high style, chic something-or-other or to just seem cool. Take, for example, the maddening haircut chain in Manhattan “Amour de Hair.” I would imagine that French grammarians are rolling over in their Pere-Lachaise graves at that one. Then there’s the misspellings of basic words like Caesar when it comes to salads. How many times have you seen Ceasar or even Cesar on the menu? Thankfully there’s spell-check when you need to post something, but sign painters and menu writers need to apply the same discipline. I recently read a review of the Meatpacking District’s Tanuki Tavern by a well-known critic. In the space of four paragraphs, she spelled our favorite of-the-moment overpriced beef slider ingredient as wagyu and waygu. I saw the same error on another menu this week in Brooklyn. What gives? Has spelling gone the way of penmanship?

I feel a little like Jay Leno here, asking for Headlines. But I'd love it if you could send me photos or examples of other irritating names and signage from the travel world.


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