Can’t spell? Go and work for Waterstones!

Here, for your reading pleasure, is a selection of the staff recommendation cards on display on bookshelves in Waterstones in the Manchester Arndale shopping centre:


Oops, we lost an N.

They had a pile of spare hyphens in the stockroom, and they had to use them somewhere…

…and that letter E just refuses to behave itself.

See? There’s an evil extra letter E lurking in the store that’s clearly determined to insert itself into as many cards as possible.

Finally, here’s the apostrophe that the company removed from their corporate name at the beginning of this year. Obviously, it refuses to go away.

I was with a friend; we were in there for about fifteen minutes, we certainly didn’t go into the shop intending to poke fun at their signs, and without really looking we found about ten cards containing horrible spelling mistakes. Since we only browsed through a fairly small section of the store, it’s almost certainly fair to assume that there are more. Presumably the branch’s management approves these materials; if head office aren’t embarrassed, they should be. This is sub-GCSE English, and to allow this kind of weapons-grade illiteracy to be part of a merchandising display at all, never mind in a bookshop, is inexcusable.

It’s also, to be fair, not at all what I expect from Waterstones. In other branches, the standard of English on display on these cards is usually impeccable. This, however, is sloppy, lazy, and thoroughly unprofessional.


2 thoughts on “Can’t spell? Go and work for Waterstones!

  1. Embarrassingly, their ad on the back of this weekend’s Independent magazine has a whopping spelling error in it (“we shold know this”) too..

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