A Bit of Vandalism

I went up to Reading, my hometown, to see my Mom tonight, and we stopped at Linens-N-Things and Staples. I (finally) had a pen in my purse, so I corrected a few grammatical errors:

Location: Linens-N-Things, Reading, MA

These everyday signs were all over the store. It hurts. It really hurts.

Location: Staples, Reading, MA

You could make an argument for this one, saying that the sign was telling you to picture perfect holidays. I don’t think that was the intention of the Staples marketing team — I think they wanted you to have picture-perfect holidays.

Come on! You are both obviously big chains — get an editor who didn’t go to gym teachers’ college!

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12 responses to “A Bit of Vandalism

  1. One of these days you’re going to get arrested for your grammar vandalism. You know where they send grammar vandals, don’t you? The Department of Corrections.

  2. Badum-ching!

  3. I usually agree with your corrections on street signs, article text, headlines, and the like. However, I think you’ve got it all wrong when it comes to pieces like this. I’ve got several friends (and two immediate family members) who work in advertising and marketing. Most of them went to well-respected universities, and several hold degrees in both fine arts and business.

    According to the two I spoke with about this entry, using words outside of their grammatically correct context is part of their art form. They each showed me examples from their own portfolios, pointing out words or punctuation that would have been different if they were writing a letter or article. In each case, there was an explanation of how the “incorrect” usage fit the project at hand.

    They suspected whoever designed the LNT sign knows the grammatical difference between “every day” and “everyday,” and made the choice to use the “wrong” word in an effort to utilize both meanings in just 3 words: (1) You can find low prices here every day. (2) At LNT, low prices are an everyday occurrence.

    They also both interpreted the Staples piece to be an imperative first, and a clever play on the phrase “picture perfect” second.

    One suggested that your remark about “gym teachers college” was tantamount to suggesting that impressionist artists must have gone to “finger painting college,” and insulting to physical education teachers, to boot.

  4. the comma splice also looks intentional

  5. I TOTALLY disagree with Eric Jay, I’m afraid! Further, even if the marketing team at LNT and Staples did do those things on purpose (which I highly, highly, highly doubt), I wish they wouldn’t because they are only contributing to the ignorance of the masses, i.e., people who do not, in fact, know the difference between “every day” and “everyday.”

  6. Christina Loesch

    It would even be nicer with an apostrophe: low prices’ everyday

  7. Advertisers break, bend and murder grammar rules and pretend that it’s “art.” BULL!! I TOTALLY agree with Kate and Grammargirl- if they went to such great colleges, they should write like they did.

  8. What bugs me is the N.

    Linens N Things.

    They have a right to call their store anything they choose. But an “N” where the word “and” or an ampersand belongs looks to me like baby talk and a mistake.

  9. Why do you always have to insult people in order to make your point? Gym teachers’ college? That’s lame.

  10. As a professional editor, I have to say that I do symmpathize with your quest to improve the way in which the English language is written. I do have one gentle suggestion, however. Your efforts to correct errors will carry more weight among those who care about such things if you use the proper proofreader’s marks. When indicating that “everyday” should be written “every day,” a vertical line or a carat should be inserted at the point where the line should be, and a pound sign should be placed in the margin to indicate the insertion of a space. The mark you used is not standard, but is the reverse of the mark used to indicate a line break. See http://www.swdocs.com/proof.htm , http://www.utexas.edu/visualguidelines/proofreaders.html or http://www.prenhall.com/author_guide/proofing.html for a few examples.

  11. Help! I’m not a grammarian. Just someone in search of further education — be gentle. Why is there not an apostrophe with Staples marketing team? Also, why is there not a hyphen in your heading: TAKING IT TO THE STREETS AND CORRECTING AMERICA, ONE WELL PLACED COMMA AT A TIME? I would have written WELL-PLACED COMMA. Thank you!

  12. Pingback: untoldentertainment.com » Blog Archive » Everyday Product

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