Thursday, 5 April 2007

Rig spelling

Many of the people I have to work with are, to be frank, complete spastics. Nowhere is this better exemplified in their use of written English. The standard of English in the oil industry is appalling. While this is forgivable with non-native speakers – who continually put native speakers to shame with their command of two or more languages – there can be no excuse among those who grew up speaking and learning the language. Even Glaswegians. Nary a day goes by without me seeing another notice or set of procedures with glaring, painful, basic, schoolboy mistakes. A recent notice, posted in my room, stood out especially.

Now as you can see, there are a number of errors contained in this simple message. The author – a gentleman named “Steve”, who is likely a dour Scot – obviously exhausts himself with his correct debut sentence, because it all falls apart from there. My assessment follows:

When I can get my hands on a red pen, I’ll amend the actual version. I may also, if I can locate the crass illiterate, sit Steve down and give him a quick English lesson.


swishfish said...

3 points:

1) I'm not sure that the first sentence is as perfect as you think: is "messroom" an actual word? Shouldn't it be "mess-room" or "mess room"?

ii) Steve should be obvious to you. As the "camp boss", he will be the one mincing about complimenting the workers on their tattoos.

C) Are you sure this was written by a Brit? The poor grammar and wording reeks of someone who has English as a second language. Is the steward a local? I suspect he was behind the sign.

Jenny said...

I think Justin is right - mess room is two separate words.

Perhaps Steve's atrocious English is what got him stuck as the "Camp boss" in Nigeria? Or, perhaps his English was stellar before he came to Nigeria and has degenerated after being stuck in the demotivating country?

Mark said...

Give him one from me, Big Nev. Steve is obviously an idiot. Youd never cach me showin'g sutch blatant disregaard at the Inglish langwej.

Eileen said...

You can be a language missionary on the oil rigs of Nigeria. I'll send you some rags, rosary beads and a dictionary. You can spread the word, so to speak. Granted, you will probably be tied to a post and burnt alive for being "too intellishiunt", but what are little sacrifices when furthering the distorted minds of the middle aged?

Nev 360 said...

I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt over messroom. The term is so familiar on rigs that the two words can quite naturally contract into one, just like "classroom", "ballroom" or "mushroom".

"Steve" is not a typical name for a Nigerian. More pertinently, this rig is run by a mostly British crew - it is only in Nigerian waters for the current set of welltests. The culprit of this pig-ignorant use of spelling is almost certainly a UK born-and-bred individual.

Lack of correct spelling in the oil industry is something that genuinely disgusts me, but I feel I'm fighting a losing cause. Even within my own company, when I offered to re-write our health and safety induction because it contained so many errors, I was told it might not be such a good idea as it might ruffle the feathers of the guy who had written it.