The card rack I had been searching through, took up most of the length of the shop. There I was looking through cards at dark end of the rack where the more subdued message cards were displayed, when I noticed under the section titled ‘Get Well”, a white card with lots of fine silver design on the front. In the relative gloom, the sparkle of silver had caught my eye. Honestly, I could not believe what I was seeing.

First, why send or take a card to someone in hospital, which in bold silvery lettering tells the patient where s/he is, ‘You Are In Hospital’.

But in fact what it actually proclaimed on this card and every card like it, very loudly and in very thick silver letters, was:


My coughing fit drew out signs of life in the shop. The shop owner came out of a room, apologising for not noticing me. More like, she hadn’t seen me in the gloom. I showed her one of the offending cards at the same time opining on the state of affairs on the written standards of the English language.

“What…..” she looked really puzzled. It was obvious she could not see what I did.

I spoke the written words…shopkeeper was still no wiser.

Spelling, “Y-O-U-R in hospital”, is wrong. I explained how it should have been written and printed. In shopkeeper’s eyes a realisation visibly dawned. “It’s just awful”, I added.

There are a lot of awful things in the world“, shopkeeper said. I agreed, differentiating however, that linguistically, in my own language, this was another one of them.

I very much doubt I was her favourite customer of the day; not that I was much bothered,



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