blujax01

You Can't Spell - And It Matters

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I don't blame tattooers here. When I've been getting tattooed and have seen people in the shop getting text tattoos, the client usually has to write down the text they want and that's what they get. In any case, the client always approves the drawing and the stencil before the needle hits. People get the tattoos they deserve.

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When did tattooing become a case for caveat emptor?

While I agree that the client does share responsibility here, the artist should point out spelling errors if indeed that is the submitted text, or at least do a grammar check on his/her own work.

In December, I had to point out to my artist that there are two "o's" in "This too shall pass." He cursed under his breath and reworked the stencil.

A well respected nationally known artist based in Columbus just became extremely embarrassed on FB due to the "Your" "You're" thing. He reversed a phrase that ended up reading "Your only as strong as you're faith" on a large shoulder piece.

Some may think that it's the customer's fault, but whenever the error is pointed out, I guarantee that the customer will blame the artist. Loudly and publicly.

Every time.

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I have no doubt that many people getting tattoos treat the tattoo artist as the knowledgeable one - and assume that the artist will ensure that the design will be "correct." Many people can't spell or just don't do the research - just come in with the phrase verbally. Then they are asked to approve the stencil. There is a strong chance that someone who isn't sure about the spelling or who isn't even thinking about the spelling will defer to the spelling provided by the artist, even if it is incorrect. You'll also get people nervous and anxious at that point, knowing the needles are coming, that they are not completely thinking straight. That's not a terrific time for a grammar test.

I'm not saying blame the tattoo artist, but I would really expect the artist to double check the spelling/grammar as part of their job. It's not fair to place the blame for that part of the design on the client. Own the entire design. The internet is right there to check.

I am involved in software and I see the same stupid programming 101 errors happening from apparently good companies. Why do these stupid errors happen decade after decade? Everyone knows these are common errors, but we don't have good processes in place to catch these errors and stop them from making it into the final product.

The spelling grammar stuff in tattoos - this is just a process problem. Rather than blaming the customer or the tattoo artist, develop a process to catch these problems before the ink flows. Is it so hard, as part of the process, to say, "Let's both check the spelling to make sure we have it right?" Kinda like, signing in the surgical center that yes, we all agree we are operating on the left leg and not the right.

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You wouldn't expect an artist to know which Brittany/Brittney you want, and I think the same principle should apply to words and phrases. If it's important enough to wear forever, the client should know the proper spelling and grammar and write it down for the artist verbatim. It's ideal for the artist to be able to spot mistakes, but script isn't something that should be left up for interpretation.

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When I worked for a printing company, we'd proof their art, but gently ask if the spelling was correct. Marketing departments sometimes play with spelling, so we were never 100% sure if it was a mistake or not. If we didn't ask, the claim was usually going to fall on us.

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The Brittany/Brittney thing is a whole 'nother discussion. (Last night I saw a basketball player with his first name spelled Don'tay. Apparently Dante is too common.

SeeSea has the correct approach. Programming 101 (or ID-10-T) errors are all too common. For a tattoo artist to say he/she can't be bothered to check the correct "to", "your" or "their" spelling is an indication of a lackadaisical attitude. Work with the client and both of you take ownership. Once you get some practice, using correct grammar isn't that difficult. I promise.

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I don't understand artists who make egregious errors. You'd look up an anatomy reference for an animal you're not 100% on, so why not spend the less-than-a-minute it takes to be sure everything is spelled right? Clients should be checking too, but that's another issue altogether.

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I don't understand artists who make egregious errors. You'd look up an anatomy reference for an animal you're not 100% on, so why not spend the less-than-a-minute it takes to be sure everything is spelled right? Clients should be checking too, but that's another issue altogether.

I agree. But really everyone owns a smart phone or has some access to the internet. It takes less than a minute to plug it into google and search the grammar and spelling.

But if your seriously considering getting a phrase tattooed on yourself you would think that you would make damn sure it was spelt right. I know I'd double check 100 times if it was mine.

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I don't see how Brittany/Brittney is another discussion. There's no room for artistic interpretation with any script. A SPECIFIC name/word/saying is important to the client so they should be able to write down exactly what they want. You also only listed English words. If artists aren't expected to be translators, why should they be dictionaries and grammar textbooks? It'd be ideal for artists to spot errors, but clients shouldn't make them in the first place.

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Was that deliberate? :)

Haha I didn't mean it to come off like that. I meant in general if your considering a phrase, look it up. Frankly any tattoo you should have some sort of picture or info on it to help the artist know what you want. They are only human, they can't read minds. But that is a debate for a different thread.

ps. Now that i know the grammar police are patrolling this thread I'm proof reading my posts.

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Haha I didn't mean it to come off like that. I meant in general if your considering a phrase, look it up. Frankly any tattoo you should have some sort of picture or info on it to help the artist know what you want. They are only human, they can't read minds. But that is a debate for a different thread.

ps. Now that i know the grammar police are patrolling this thread I'm proof reading my posts.

At the risk of sounding like the grammar police, you're*

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When did tattooing become a case for caveat emptor?

While I agree that the client does share responsibility here, the artist should point out spelling errors if indeed that is the submitted text, or at least do a grammar check on his/her own work.

In December, I had to point out to my artist that there are two "o's" in "This too shall pass." He cursed under his breath and reworked the stencil.

A well respected nationally known artist based in Columbus just became extremely embarrassed on FB due to the "Your" "You're" thing. He reversed a phrase that ended up reading "Your only as strong as you're faith" on a large shoulder piece.

Some may think that it's the customer's fault, but whenever the error is pointed out, I guarantee that the customer will blame the artist. Loudly and publicly.

Every time.

The client will blame the artist every time, but that doesn't mean that the client is right. If anybody has experienced any differently I'd like to hear it, but for every tattoo I have, every tattoo my wife has, and every tattoo I've ever seen happen, it's always been the customer who has to give that final okay before the tattooing starts. If a stencil goes on that has spelling or grammatical errors, it is ultimately up to the client to catch that. I'd really like to hear, for once, a client taking some responsibility for getting a bad tattoo.

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I don't really understand the point of this thread - I mean, surely we can all agree that good spelling is pretty important if it's on you forever, but it seems weird to aim it at the tattooers on a forum founded by a tattooer? Pretty sure most of the cringeworthy mistakes that circulate on the internets are on people who needed it pointed out to them after the tattoo happened.

Also, the good spellers stand out from the bad in almost any profession. I was having this conversation with a co-worker yesterday...

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I'd really like to hear, for once, a client taking some responsibility for getting a bad tattoo.

I take most the responsibility for my shitty tattoos. The rest I blame on alcohol, and head injuries at a young age. Both my parents are smart, so it can't be bad breeding. Must've been the ice hockey.

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About a month ago I was getting some work done on my arm... While I was there , The artist next to the one working on me refused to work on a tattoo the customer wanted with some dates... The customer was not sure of the date "daughters bday" but he was telling the artist "I think is right just go ahead and start!!!" and the artist said that he was not going to start until he made the phone call and ask his love one for the date to make sure....

Guess what? The date the customer told him was wrong... Everybody in the shop started laughing including the customer... The customer thank the artist for making sure he was right before he started...

Just my 2c, But it is the customers responsibility to make sure all is right before any works gets started... I can only blame my self if I gave the go-ahead on something that is wrong from the get go....

The customer left and while everybody laughed and had a good time the artist was pist at the situation... He just keep his cool...

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In the last three days I have read these:

"Haiti bound on Tueday".

"Thank you coming to our fundraiser"

I missed both errors on first reading, and needed the first one pointed out to me (my defense is that the font was weird).

And then I wrote this on a note at work "John - to sick to come to work."

I am usually the 'grammar nazi' type guy who is very bothered by the you're/ your, etc., etc. But anyone can make a mistake, and given that there are probably thousands of text tattoos being done daily in Canada and the U.S., mistakes by the tattooer that coincide with mistakes by the client WILL happen every day as well.

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About a month ago I was getting some work done on my arm... While I was there , The artist next to the one working on me refused to work on a tattoo the customer wanted with some dates... The customer was not sure of the date "daughters bday" but he was telling the artist "I think is right just go ahead and start!!!" and the artist said that he was not going to start until he made the phone call and ask his love one for the date to make sure....

Guess what? The date the customer told him was wrong... Everybody in the shop started laughing including the customer... The customer thank the artist for making sure he was right before he started...

Just my 2c, But it is the customers responsibility to make sure all is right before any works gets started... I can only blame my self if I gave the go-ahead on something that is wrong from the get go....

The customer left and while everybody laughed and had a good time the artist was pist at the situation... He just keep his cool...

It amazes me a guy couldn't remember his daughter's birthday.

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My bud has a kick ass script tattoo that reads "Pobody's Nerfect"

- - - Updated - - -

I also saw a chinese gal in a market once that had script on her arm that read "Perfuct"

Was the irony in your friend's tattoo intentional?

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