Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Spelling Airs

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We all know that nearly all cake decorators misspell "congratulations" every day.

(Um, John? I don't think...)

This is obviously because they're either drunk or completely incompetent.

(Okay now, we're totally gonna get in trouble for that...)

Now you might be saying, "I thought all drunk and completely incompetent people were politicians?"

(Well, that's true.)

But you would be wrong!

(I would?)

Which brings us back to cake.

(Oh, good.)


See? Comgratation. Interestingly enough, there are close to 3,000 accepted spellings of "congradulationed" in the decorators' dictionary.

Occasionally, though, they do spell it goodly:

Like so. Of course, sometimes after successfully spelling a word the thrill goes to the baker's head. Thusly we get "Ternifer" - a hybrid creation of "Terrific" and the name of the person who ordered the cake, perhaps?

Here again the decorator got the "hard" word right:

Sure, the number's a bit, well, wrong...but hey, numbers are hard!


Wisites: n. [wi-SET-eez] Small, fuzzy mammals indigenous to Uganda prized for their venom, which is said to cure gout and certain types of restless leg syndrome.

See? No misspellings here!

Well, y'all have a grrr-reat day now. Oh, and decorators? Bottoms up!

Jessica E., Christy C., Dana S., & Jessica, watch out; I hear those wisites spit.


- Related Wreckage: The "Year" of the "Grad"
Anonymous said...

I work somewhere that teaches English and when i got the job the message said Congratulation!

Taylor@MyOlderBrothers said...

It's like they made cakes out of word verifications.

wv: mantnes - Happy Mantnes!

Sparky said...

That last one cracks me up. I know what happened. If you squint your eyes, the "it" looks like a capital H.

The order form had bad handwriting, and our decorator was either completely devoid of imagination, or was opting for a bit of subtle revenge.

Solgrundy said...

Hmm. I'm not 100% convinced the lettering on #3 is by a professional. Different icings (gel = ew), childish hand-writing + bad spelling? I think mommy let someone help with the blank cake she bought.

Solgrundy said...

Or #4. I blocked out the real #3 for yellow icing.

Southern Gal said...

Honestly. Dictionaries should be a requirement in bakeries. Wisites? Or maybe just an editor before cakes go on display or out the door. I'll do it!

Miranda said...

I really, really don't get it when the cake is nicely decorated and then then the writing is horribly scribbled all crooked and misspelled. WTF?

The anniversary one doesn't even have that much going for it. Kinda looks like someone's kid was trying out their icing tips.

Lady Anne said...

"Wisites"? I thought that was a question, usually answered by "I dunno. What do you think?"

In this case, I haven't a clue!

Amanda in Austin said...

No, No, No! A WISITE is the species of bird in the movie "UP." So, it's Venezuelan.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed friends on facebook who have started spelling the word congratulations as congradulations. I am hoping they are just big Cake Wrecks fans. I'm probably wrong.

Anne said...

I cannot believe the number of holiday wrecks and misspellings on cakes that exist, but at the same time I'm grateful because they keep this blog going!

Roo said...

People stupidity just kills me!

Kirri said...

I have never left a comment before because, well, someone else usually says it first!!
OK, here I go, this is only mildly relevant because usually I am paralytic on the floor by now pointing at the screen and gurgling inanely but today I managed to control myself.......you may regret that!
I have to ask, is this a USA thing?
I have peered hopefully now, into the window of many cake shops and all the supermarket cake aisles as well.
I have yet to find a single, not one single, misspelled cake, and of the notorious "Cupcake Cake" there is NO sign, none at all (not that it would be accepted or bought if it did rear it's ugly little head....that's something that surprises me, btw, why do people buy those things??) So, I know you have had cakes sent from the UK, but they have usually been humorous, not "bad".
Is this international?
Is is confined to the Americas??
Inquiring minds wish to know....

Diana said...

I fear Kirri is right and this is a "New World" problem....north of the 49th parallel we get CCC's (ptooie), irrational placement of plastic flotsam, and yes....bad grammar and spelling on our bakery products. However my partner wishes to add that the CCC (ptooie) appears to have only recently reared its ugly head and he is concerned that CakeWrecks is inadvertantly spreading this plague in much the way sensationalist news coverage encourages copy-cat murders....but I digress....

Albatross said...

It's a shame - the last one has such pretty flowers.

girlfmkitty said...

OMG, I'm laughing so hard, I can barely breathe! Ternifer sounds like a Mormon name, or something generated automatically but the definition of "wisites" just did me in.

Lizard said...

Taylor - Mantnes sounds like a holiday you celebrate with men without pants...

I have found a few wrecks, mostly of the CCC variety, locally. One of the bakers/decorators was my high school geometry teacher though... so the lettering is usually very accurately centered and spaced and even spelled right! (Makes me wanna retire to become a wreckerator!)

Deana said...

I just LOL'd so hard at "Wisites". Thanks for that, I needed it :)

Anonymous said...

May I ask what those ...umm things are on the top of that chocolate frosted wreck?
Looks like covered up poo. Eww.

Mocking
WV Lingt "Happy Lingt"

Fluffy Cow said...

Dang, I always thought Wisites were one-eyed Ugandan yak pups... they're endangered you know.

Catanea said...

Look, I just want to point out...of course, I am not a professional cake decorator...but as a young teenager I once wanted to congratulate my sister and her husband on their wedding anniversary and I STAMPED OUT IN A SNOWY FIELD "Happy Anniversity". God, how embarrassing. But I can understand it. Sort of.

Suzanne Dargie said...

These spelling mistakes make me think the wreckorators are people for whom English is not their first language.

Up until now, I hadn't seen any wrecks here in Toronto (Canada), but recently, since another company took over our local grocery stores, I've started to see some! This other company is based in Montreal (where they speak French). Is there a connection?

VeggieT said...

Comgratiations john, for your wondrefal pst. I llo'd

Anonymous said...

Oh my sister is so getting a Best Wisites cake for her birthday. And Jamie if your reading this I'm putting myself as anonymous just to keep you guessing if it's you or not!

Terry Lee said...

as i've said before, mithspellings are my very favorite kind of wreck.

love. them!! and these are friggin' hilarious. especially the 1 frs.

however, i'm thinking best wisites may be future cakewreck folklore.

it's rather sad for jamie, though, because the roses are lovely.

Lisa said...

Was I the only one that thought of Chekov when I read 'visites?' xD

Nitrocat said...

I asked for a wisites for Christmas, but they were all sold out.

S

Elizabeth said...

@girlfmkitty: Just out of curiosity--why does "Ternifer" sound like a Mormon name? Do you know a lot of Mormons with weird names or something? I don't think our names are any weirder than those in the general population--and I see a lot of weird names (I work in a hospital). I'm from a family of 8, and all of us have perfectly normal, spelled correctly, names. In fact, all of my 54 Mormon cousins have normal names. Who do you hang out with?? :)

lisadh said...

That's the USA for you: excess flotsam and made up grammar.

I'm so proud.


wv: bertsche
I need the name of these wreckerators so that I can order my bertsche cake!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the probably lies with the ESL (English as a second language) decorators or people with no work ethic or maybe it's an homage to our failing school systems where standards are lowered and spelling skills have become "irrelevant" in the age of computer spell check. The problem is, there's no spell check with icing!

What will happen when this generation of texters who abbreviate everything and spell nothing must graduate to cake decorating?

Shake-N-Bake said...

All I have to say is . . . Thanks for making me laugh!! Love it!

Tiffany

hmmm... said...

The real wreck may be that the chocolate cake is toxic--if the seeds haven't been removed from those things that look suspiciously like the fruit of a yew!

AnnMarie said...

You didn't even mention the "a ... seasons" (that is, the plural seasons) How many ternifer seasons were there to be congratulated on? (oops, I mean congradutated)

Noni Mausa said...

Diana said: "...copy-cat murders...."

That would be "copy-cake murders..." I presume. [wields knife of red frostinged doom]

And Anonymous? You wondered "..what will happen when this generation of texters who abbreviate everything and spell nothing must graduate to cake decorating?"

We all b ded x thn, i hope.

Noni

WV olect.

(I really enjoy these WV words. I intend to collect and save them for when I write my next SciFi novel.)

Rebecca said...

I think on the last cake, the fact that the message is printed but the name is in cursive means that the cake decorators name is Jamie.

Anonymous said...

After hoping upon hope to find a CW-worthy wreck, I came across a dandy at my local grocery store yesterday. But I was too chicken to take a picture of it with the bakery staff standing right there behind the counter! Oh why am I so lame? Also, I did not have a camera. That would help next time. Anyone have tips for how to get a good shot of a wreck without offending the wreckerators? Without buying the horrible thing, I mean. And presuming you have a camera.
Liz in Seattle

VW: Debri
Oh come on--too easy! All these bad cake are covered in debri.

julie said...

So I read a story on MSN about how many adult Americans can't do basic math like making change, figuring sales tax and tip, interest payments, etc.....

Then I wandered over here.....

I'm starting to believe that reverse evolution is taking over the human race. It's not the meek that shall inherit the earth, it's those that can spell and add that will.

roger said...

They spelled Hylton correctly.


-roger hylton

Erica said...

I think Ternifer was supposed to be 10-4. Tenandfour season? Sounds possible, no?

Julia said...

I like Witines. It's like Resetti from Animal Crossing + Witness. Or whiteness? Someone learning English could go insane trying to figure out what these cakes say.

wv: suchor - There's a suchor born every minute.

marcel said...

@ Kirri,

I am not familiar with UK cakes, but I can say that highly decorated cakes with texts etc. are called American cakes in Holland, because traditionally this is not done here.

(Which does not mean that CW hasn't managed to find some Dutch wrecks)

Anonymous said...

Honestly the last one looks either photo shopped, or messed with. As others have pointed out, it almost looks like a capital H, and scraping some of the icing off with a toothpick would be easy enough to do.

Jackie Blue said...

Hey ...Hey...Hey..you better not pick on us cake decorators...lol..do you want to know how many times I have spelled Congratulations right..only to have customers argue with me that it is wrong...and that it should be a d instead of a t ...please save us ....

Anonymous said...

@Liz in Seattle--

I would pick up the cake as if I intended to buy it, but then take it to another part of the store, snap the photo with my camera, and then either return it to the counter or give it to the cashier as if I had changed my mind. I used to work in retail, so I wouldn't just leave it elsewhere, because it's a real pain to hunt down all the misplaced stuff in a store, even if it's in your job description. Plus, I'd feel like a double jerk otherwise.

I know it seems silly to go through all this Secret Squirrel maneuvering, but this way, no one gets offended (well, yet). :P

--CC in KC

Jillian said...

Never trust a tattoo artist or cake decorator that can't spell. Never.

Anonymous said...

I have an answer for the cakes that are "nicely decorated with horrible writing". I work in a grocery store, and in the bakery department they sell cakes that are shipped in already decorated. All they have to do is write on the cake when the customer places an order. Most of the time it is done by someone with no training or past experience writing on a cake.

WomanUncensored said...

Wow, I really needed a laugh today! I can always count on you for one :-)

Linda said...

OH Jackie Blue, I totally am on your side..I once had a lady customer on the phone ordering her graduation cake and insisted that I spell congratulations with a D instead of a T. I insisted that was wrong. She argued with me, and angrily told me to "hang on a minute!", and she went and got a dictionary. I waited patiently and then when she returned to the phone..guess who was eating crow...er I mean CAKE..with congraTulations spelled correctly on it! LOL

WV: I want to herta her she made me so mad!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a cake inscribed with some of these word verifications.

"Hapy Mantnes"
"Congradlation Mike & Debri"
and, of course,
"Marry Dumphypo!"

Perhaps on your next book tour...

Angeliqua said...

Love your blog Jen.
I have a feeling that you may have been taken for a ride on this one.Try blowing up the picture and look at the pixels around the t and i in wisties. I have a strong feeling (not 100% sure though) it may be photoshopped into saying wisties

Noel said...

My sister waited to have her baby shower until after her son was born, so out of town friends and relatives could see him. Therefore, we had a cake that said "Welcome, Henry."
Well, it was supposed to say that.
It said, "Welome, Henry."

FlyingGargoyle said...

Oh, Jackie Blue & Linda, your tales of argumentative, misspelling customers only reinforces Southern Gal's contention that dictionaries should be required in every bakery. Of course, that would make wreckspotting ever so much more difficult!

Just be sure to put those cakes in the "refridgerator" (I've had that argument, too!)

Jerry said...

The second cake has me baffled. Was it a terrific season, a terrifying season or tenacious season? Because otherwise I'm going to assume ternifers are like deer and ducks and have their own hunting seasons. Perhaps this person bagged more ternifers than anyone else.

WriteCards said...

The "T" vs "D" argument reminds of when I was temping as a word processor at an insurance agency. I am a word fanatic (which makes it only fitting that I am now an English teacher in China!) and I changed the word "irregardless" to "regardless" on an adjuster's form. He came and royally chewed me out in front of everyone. I calmly told him that "irregardless" wasn't a word. He INSISTED that it was even when I supported my claim with a dictionary. He said that everyone "knew what it meant" so that meant it was a word! He tried to get me fired from the job, but the supervisor stepped in and told him if he wanted to use a word that didn't exist then that was his problem, but that she wasn't going to get rid of me!

Harumph! CongraTulations to me!

Weaselbaby said...

Am I the only one who read #2 as "Congratulations on a Jennifer seasons"?

Maybe the bakery was congratulating themselves on how often their work had appeared in the blog of Jennifer Yates...

5feet9 said...

Hilarious, as always :). I'm still struggling to wrap my brain around the "Frs" cake....wha...how...?

One digression though: what's with some commenters saying that it must be second-language speakers who wreck the inscriptions (and there are always a few!)?? Mithpellings such as we see here are more a symptoms of the awful educational system that gets away with imparting less-than-basic literacy skills, not ESL / native language issues. Random punctuation and phonetic (!!) (mis)spellings in a non-phonetic language like English are NOT the same as grammar problems, which WOULD be the result of English being a second language.

Sorry about the rant... but I teach at a research-1 university, and kids here no less than wreckerators don't know the difference between "you're" and "your"! And not one among them has been a non-native-speaker.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Anonymous... the last one looks like it has been messed after the original decorating. You can see the smudged white icing underneath the "i" and it is thicker than the letters on either side. I truly believe it was a capital "H" also...

Karin F. said...

I am in constant awe with each new post! Guess I'll have to take a closer look in our local bakery aisle.

denestria said...

Ternifer is the new Hollywood "it" couple like Bennifer and Brangelina.

Anonymous said...

"Best Wisites Jamie"
That photo begs to be on a T shirt!

Lisa P said...

I love all the wrecks, but I have to say, I laugh the hardest on the misspellings! So classic!

Caravelle said...

The anniversary one isn't a mistake : obviously it involves some pre-2002 Frenchpeople who are having a really, really cheap anniversary.
(At least I think Frs is the abbreviation for Francs, it might be Frc. 2002 is soooo long ago...)

Sexy Sadie said...

I thought the second one said "Jennifer Seasons".

CleverGirlinSF said...

After reading some of the comments posted,I thought I would help shed some light on what may be going on with a few of these cakes.

Some of the writing is done after the decorator has gone home for the day. Usually it is a cake that is bought out of the case. If writing is requested,the responsibility falls on the person waiting on you.

Any decorator who gave a cr*p would try to prevent mishaps by making sure her coworkers had fresh writing bags available,show them how its done and encourage them to practice,and as a last resort,leave marzipan cut outs with "Happy Birthday" already written on them.

As for the rest of these cakes,I can only speculate that it has something to do with a serious flaw in employee drug screening procedures.

Hope this helps,
Shannon