Grammar Errors in Our Nation’s Capital

My trip to DC was great — I had so much fun with my friends. We were insanely close in high school (only ate lunch with each other, spent one if not both weekend nights together, and, of course, won “Best Nickname” in the yearbook — The Brood!) I just wish we could spend more time together.

In the meantime, traveling to our nation’s capital is a wonderful opportunity to spot grammar errors.
Location: Manchester Airport, Manchester, NH

Quiznos Sub? This may require a bit of research. If it’s a guy named Quiznos who put the business together, then this sign is correct (and our pronunciation is wrong). Keez-noass.

Otherwise, put in the apostrophe, for the love of God!

And I’m pretty sure that Mr./Ms. Quizno/Quiznos is selling more than one sub.

Location: Southwest Magazine, In Transit, Manchester to Baltimore

How nice of Southwest Magazine to put together an entire page for a kid. Not for kids as a whole, or even for the kids that would be taking this flight — just a kid. One kid. Again, how very kind of you.

Put the apostrophe after the S.

Location: Southwest Magazine, In Transit, Manchester to Baltimore

Oh God, this is bad. Someone’s been doing a little too much gambling and imbibing in Vegas, because there is no way that a completely sober editor went over this card. This is the MGM Grand! You are RICH! Hire a copyeditor!

And please put an apostrophe after the S. After all, this is the club of the players, remember.

Location: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

This is a more of a stylistic issue, as well as more of an ambiguous error. I take offense at, “The answers of course lie in fossils and in scientific research.” First of all, I commend the Smithsonian for using the word “lie” correctly and not its evil half-sibling, “lay.” However, I believe that commas are needed after “answers” and “course.”

I’ve found that commas are being used less and less often in America. The British are always generous with their commas, and I overall prefer them placed wherever a breath should be taken. The commas are necessary here.

I truly hope this isn’t the evolution of language.

Location: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

“By their weight in carats.”

Not a complete sentence.

A nitpicky thing, but when I’m at the Smithsonian, I think I have a right to be nitpicky!

“They are measured by their weight in carats,” would have been a much more appropriate sentence.

Location: Alexa’s gargantuan television, her apartment, Arlington, VA

“Danny’s new romance is a slob.”

My friends argued with me over this one, saying that they believed it to be correct. I strongly disagree. I believe that the word romance, when used as a noun, is synonymous to relationship or affair. It is not synomymous to romantic partner or girlfriend, which is what was intended.

Danny’s new relationship is a slob. That doesn’t make any sense.

Danny’s new romantic partner is a slob. It doesn’t sound great, but that, my fellow grammarians, is what we’re looking for.

Now, I just beg you not to ask why we were watching Full House while on vacation.

Location: Dollar Store, Crystal City Shops, Arlington, VA

CAM SODA.

Enough said.

Location: Nathans, M Street, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

It’s a bit tough to see, but Nathans is lacking an apostrophe. God, I hate that. It makes my stomach turn (and not only because my stomach is anticipating a hearty bowl of Total with Cranberries and soy milk as soon as I’m done writing this entry).

It’s so simple to put an apostrophe in! Why do so many people choose not to do so?

Don’t even get me started on Barneys New York!

Location: Club Heaven & Hell, Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.

Whip cream?

Yes, it gets the point across, and perhaps that’s what’s most important, but I believe that the correct term is whipped cream. This is, after all, cream that has been whipped, not cream served alongside a whip. Hmm — maybe that would make a great idea for a fetish bar.

Any thoughts? Shouldn’t the Smithsonian know better? How about the MGM Grand? With all the money the casino pulls in each year, shouldn’t they hire someone to spot these errors?

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One response to “Grammar Errors in Our Nation’s Capital

  1. Kate, I agree with you for all of these. However, I think for some of these issues, it’s the aesthetic look of the product (sign, card, “kid’s page” or what have you) that is more important to those producing the product. Let’s face it, a comma, or in many of these cases, an apostrophe, breaks up the simplistic flow of the line. The card, for example, reading “PLAYERS CLUB” would not look the same if the apostrophe was included. “PLAYERS’ CLUB” puts a visible mark between the two words that, while correct, is not as pleasing to the general public without grammatical pet-peeves. It might leave the carriers of the card wondering if they should pronounce it “players” or “playerses” as many un-informed folk might think the apostrophe to imply. However, in the good grace of putting forth a product without errors, I still agree, it should be fixed, or the name changed to something that can be expressed without errors.

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