Thursday, June 19, 2008

Show me state, and I'll show you idiocy

This is the new license plate design for the great state of Missouri. Glorious, isn't it? Note the upside-down horizon, miniature bird perched precariously on the edge of the frame, and of course the incorrectly written nickname, "Show Me State."

Mmm hmm.

For starters, it should read "Show-Me State." Note the hyphen. This error has already been noted publicly, but the Department of Revenue has decided not to correct it.

"Show Me State" is an imperative sentence. It commands all who read it to show the driver state. Missouri drivers may find themselves being confronted with examples of state, such as gases, solids, and liquids. Some clever passers-by may be tempted to draw a finite state machine, and hold it up to the window.

Of course, any self-respecting English major, lover of the language, or sharp observer who is issues one of these embarrassments will immediately break out a Sharpie and fix it themselves. It will at least be a good way of determining if the driver in front of you is linguistically adept.

Then there's that bluebird. I haven't seen visual imbalance like that since the time I tried to make a 1:1 scale sculpture of Atlas holding up the Earth.

It was basically just a sculpture of Atlas doing a hand stand.


Kate said...

Hahahahahahahahaha...whew. Hahaha. Damn.
You know, the hyphen actually comes before an accepted melding of non-adjectival words into an adjectives, so they COULD just put "showme," but that would be a daring coinage.
As long as you have the Sharpie out, I would recommend an article for clarity: "Missouri,THE show-me state." (Didn't it say that before?)

skmckinn said...

Why am I not myself? Okay, now I am myself again. Do I have two identities on this thing?

Digitizdat said...

Good call on the definite article, Kate. However, interestingly, the old ones don't have it either.