Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Yesterday I discovered this business card in my letterbox.

Part of me feels sorry for the guy. This part believes that he doesn’t deserve to be mocked on the internet when all he’s doing is trying to make a bit of extra money selling flowers.

But a larger part of me crushes the sorry part, like Gabourey Sidibe sitting back on her couch and squishing a lost and forgotten doughnut. The English language is a fine and glorious tongue, rich with nuance, history and potency, and I feel much the same way as Sarah Jessica Parker might feel if she saw someone hammering a nail with the heel of a Manolo Blahnik, or Jeremy Clarkson witnessing someone standing on the bonnet of an Aston Martin to change a lightbulb in their garage. We all make mistakes with language, me more than most, but this verges on naked sadism.

I can tolerate, barely, the fact that this card was put in my letterbox, which has a No Junk/Unaddressed Mail sticker on it. After all, people get a little over-enthusiastic when they’re starting up a new business venture.

I might even be able to forgive the apostrophes, given enough time, strong booze and a few pointed sermons on Christian charity. Quite what The Lillyman was thinking when he added those apostrophes I can’t imagine. I can only guess that he thinks apostrophes are like jewellery for words, added to give them sparkle and allure, rather than any functional part of language.

What I can neither forgive nor understand is The Lillyman’s inability to spell the name of the thing he sells.

Who does that? It’s not like I ever drive down the street past a Masda dealership, some furnniture stores, cofee shops and the local fried chickin outlet. I don’t get bills for electricery from the power company. I don’t notice 4x4s pulling into the service station to fill up their tanks with deisel. And I’ve never been badgered by people trying to sucker me into Ammway, Greenpiece or the Mormun Church. So why is it that the self-proclaimed “Lillyman” doesn’t know how to spell “lily”?

Sadly I must question the horticultural dedication of a man who has never had reason to look up his favourite plant in any book or website, or even noticed the spelling on the labels of his suppliers.


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