Bad spellers

Why can’t people spell ‘Collier Hardware’?

How many ways can people misspell the name of a certain downtown hardware store? As the big sign out front says, it’s Collier Hardware. Not Collier’s. Not Colleers or Colier’s or Collards or Coolier’s, and certainly not Collins or Cullers. Those are just some of the goofy spellings we received in the Best of Chico balloting for best hardware store. In fact, of the more than 700 votes Collier got, only 29 were spelled exactly right.

Don’t ask me why so many CN&R readers are such bad spellers. I’m a word freak. I notice misspellings wherever they pop up. I don’t understand people who don’t share that eccentricity.

I’m not judging here. Brilliant people can be crappy spellers. W. B. Yeats, the greatest English-language poet of the 20th century, needed a secretary to correct his spelling errors. He heard words more than he saw them, which for a poet is a good thing, I suppose.

Fortunately, the CN&R computers do a good job of arranging similar spellings in proximity, which allows us to count them. A vote for Collards or Coolier’s was worth just as much as one for Collier Hardware.

Congratulations to Collier and all the other winners, however your names were spelled.

Daily gets it right: That was a good editorial in Sunday’s Enterprise-Record chiding Republican candidates Doug LaMalfa and Dan Logue for ducking debates in Redding and Yuba City. The writer wasn’t buying their excuse that their districts are big and they can’t be in two places at once.

The real reason the candidates didn’t show, of course, is that they had nothing to gain from it. Their districts are solidly Republican, so they hardly have to get off the couch to win. If they do debate, they might make a gaffe, as LaMalfa did recently in Redding when he stated that abortion causes cancer—an ignorant comment that went national.

I like the E-R’s argument: “Even if the election seems to be a slam dunk, it’s a disservice to the voters to not give them the side-by-side comparison provided by a debate. It really needs to stop.”

Amen to that.

Pawn shop pickup: Chris Daniels, co-owner of Chico Cash Exchange, has pointed out that our story last week about George Marley, the fellow who was upset because her pawn shop was charging him $20 to return his stolen iPod (“Who gets the iPod,” Newslines), was incomplete. As the story noted, we tried unsuccessfully to contact the shop’s manager, but Daniels said we should have done more research. So we did.

Turns out the laws governing pawn shops are quite demanding. Every person who brings in an item, whether to sell or as collateral on a loan, must have photo ID, be fingerprinted and reported to the police, along with the item’s serial number. The law allows the shops to recover their costs by charging for items returned to their rightful owners. A lot of people get their goods returned this way.

Mr. Marley, if you stop by the CN&R offices, I’ll give you the 20 bucks to get your iPod back.

Robert Speer is editor of the CN&R.