Category Archives: Grammar Errors

THE GREATEST GRAMMAR ERROR OF ALL TIME

This needs no introduction.

Well, maybe a bit.

My dear friend Ryan was perusing JohnMcCain.com, for some odd reason, and came across the most delicious grammar error I’ve ever seen.

Oh, my God…

This is fantastic on SO many levels.

What’s most hilarious is that this is on McCain’s official Web site.  This isn’t a souvenir put together by an enthusiastic member of the GOP to make some extra cash.  This is official stuff.

I must ask…is our children learning yet?

Since Ryan sent this to me on Friday, McCain’s site has changed the pen to the proper grammar.  But if you don’t believe me, you can still see documentation of this hilarity here and here.

EPIC FAIL.

I’ve been getting into the Fail Blog lately.  There’s so much stuff on there that you guys would love, I had to post some of the more spelling- and grammar-oriented pictures submitted to the site.

Check it out:

Is that a question, Jessica?

This is the cover of Jessica Simpson’s new country album.  I could say something, but I’ll leave it to my favorite blogger: Michael K of Dlisted.

Doesn’t the title need a question mark? Wait, I get it. Jessica’s dumb face is the question mark.

LOVE IT!  Here’s the rest of what Michael K wrote.  It’s hilarious, but it’s a tad off-color for this blog.

This is a perfect example of the kind of stuff that irks me.  What does the record company gain from leaving off the question mark? What does Jessica Simpson gain?  Does leaving the question mark off really make the cover better?

I don’t think that it does.  If there are any graphic designers or marketing professionals out there (hell, I’m a marketing professional!) who disagree, please let me know.  I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Useage in Maine

I often say that I’ve hit a new low.  Here’s a new kind of low:

I took a picture in a bathroom stall.

On an impromptu trip to the fantastic Maine Diner in Wells, Maine (home to the world’s best seafood chowder), I found a major spelling error.

Wow.

It is never useage – it’s always spelled usage.

There’s also no period after sparingly – and the fact that there’s a period after toilet makes it all the more obvious.

This is the kind of sign that is sold in stores.  I wonder how many people have bought a sign like this!

Also, I hate to do it on so weird a post, but I’d love to wish a happy birthday to faithful reader dlipkin!  I hope you have an awesome day!

Please tell me this is some kind of sick joke.

I’ve become a big fan of the Bumper Sticker application on Facebook.  With this application, you can send “stickers” to your friends, and they end up displayed on their profiles.  (And thanks to those of you who have already sent me grammar-oriented stickers!)

Of course, since most of them are homemade, they’re often filled with errors.  I’ve come to expect that.

And then I saw this one:

Oh, sweet Jesus.

Are we serious here?  Are we really, truly serious?

Or is this some kind of elaborate joke?  Is the joke that there are so many errors in it, on purpose, that this is the ultimate “gotcha” by the creator?

If it were a joke to those of us in the know, then I would gladly add this sticker to my profile.

For now, though, it’s staying far, far away.

Tell me — do you think that this was done on purpose to joke about people with bad spelling and grammar?

Or do you think that the creator was serious and just made the mistakes without thinking?

I can’t even tell!

The Worst Text Message of All Time

Last November, we had a discussion on text messaging and how grammar plays into what you do.  Everyone seems to have a decisive opinion on just how much of a role grammar should play in texting.

For me, personally, I try to be as correct as possible, including capitalization, but I’ll occasionally use an abbreviation like BRB or LOL, and I hate to say this, but when I want to appear “breezy” (as in when I’m talking to a guy I like or something equally pathetic), I’ll leave punctuation off the end.

While I was in Vegas, I twittered everything I did, and since I didn’t have computer access, I did it by texting.

On Sunday night, I sent the worst text message of all time.  It had been a long and crazy night, seeing Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE, dinner at the Grand Lux at the Venetian, checking out the Palazzo and the Wynn, dancing at Tryst at the Wynn, going to the after-hours club Drai’s at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall, and then walking all the way back to T.I., where we stayed, and playing blackjack unil 7:30 AM.

I can’t believe I actually wrote this message.

Here it is, and I am not exaggerating it in any way:

Wait — oh, no!  It deleted a lot of my old ones.  Anyway, the tweets were along the lines of TRYST IS THE BEST MOTHERF—— CLUB TO WHICH I HAVE EVER BEEN, MOTHAF—-!, perfect in their grammar (if using a slang form of spelling!), and then I texted this gem at 4:32 AM:

At local after club Drai’s and nmt paying for a cent because i am the motherfucking afterrclub of vegas

And then this beauty at 5:37 AM:

Dudd. we are sthll up and it is f——  awake.  me officially have left the aeater party at the ip.

I still can’t believe I considered that to be verbally coherent.  We have reached a new low.  There is literally nowhere lower to go.

Also — I would like to wish a very happy birthday to faithful reader furrperson.  I hope your day is fantastic!

Unnecessary Commas

I hate unnecessary commas.  It seems like they’re used all the time, often after a name.  Take this example that I just read on People.com:

For years, Christie Brinkley has thrown a big bash for daughter Sailor’s, summertime birthday – and this year was no different, even with her legal showdown with soon-to-be ex-hubby Peter Cook looming next week.

Yech.

Just take it out.  It never should have been there.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  I’m going to look for more…

Lay vs. Lie and the Hanes Lie Flat Collar

I received quite the loaded question from reader Sara.

It turns out that Hanes is now selling a T-shirt with the brand name LAY FLAT COLLAR.

Well, now.

Does the collar lie? Or do we lay it down?

I think we’ve had this discussion on here before.

You use the word lay when someone places an object or puts it down.

Before you go to bed, please lay out your clothes for the next day.

You use the word lie when the subject reclines…

I lie in bed for a long time on Saturday mornings.

However, it starts getting complicated when you get into the past tense.

Here’s a brief overview:

If we’re talking about placing:

I lay my clothes out the night before.

I laid my clothes out last night.

I’ve laid my clothes out every night since I was eight years old.

If we’re talking about reclining:

I lie in bed for a long time on Saturday mornings.

I lay in bed for a long time last Saturday.

I’ve lain for 30 minutes so far.

Good times.

Anyway, Sara told me that Hanes shirt features a LAY FLAT COLLAR.

So, who lays the collar?  Does the collar lay itself?  In that case, it would lie, not lay.

I think that Hanes means that the shirt

I can see why Hanes wouldn’t be thrilled with the word lie.  In addition to most of the population confusing these two words, the word lie has a negative connotation.  That probably wouldn’t be the best way to sell undergarments.

Hanes, if you come across this entry, I hope you change your ways.  I doubt it, but I hope that you do.

I’m not counting on it.

Thanks, Sara.

One of these days….

When I originally switched to WordPress, one of my goals was to start blogging ahead of time, so I could write a post on Tuesday night and have it posted on Thursday at around 10:30 PM, around the time when I usually post.  That’s because I usually go out on Thursdays.

I don’t think there will be too much of value in terms of posts tonight.  The photo uploader is giving me problems today, and we all know that photos are the cornerstone of this blog.

At any rate, I think it’s worth telling a story from my friend, Beth, who currently lives in Texas but is a Massachusetts native, like me, and recently spent time at home.

She stopped by the Linens-N-Things in our hometown, Reading.  She then spotted an egregious error on an advertisement.

She took a few pictures for me with her cell phone.  (Thought I’ve had my cell phone for well over two years — I’m thinking of getting an iPhone this summer once the new model comes out — I still haven’t figured out how to send picture messages to my email.)

On the advertisements for Linens-N-Things, they listed a word of which I had never heard.

Afterall.

As in, “It’s time for you to buy some dishes, afterall.”

Or, “We need to buy a rice cooker and an omelette cooker to fool all of our houseguests, afterall.”

AFTERALL is not a word, last time I checked, Linens-N-Things.

How could you be so ignorant?

Is nobody checking your work?

Come on, now.  It’s not that hard to run spellcheck.  Hell, if you ran this advertisement in Microsoft Word, originally, you would have the telltale squiggly red line underneath the word!  There is no excuse for spelling the word like that.

I keep worrying…I keep thinking that my efforts are futile…

Annoyances of Lately

My power cord died last week and it has been hellish trying to do anything on my computer with a universal cord (it once took me five minutes to type out a one-paragraph message on Facebook!).  I ordered a new one.

And this is what Dell had to say:

Not totally egregious…

Not the worst thing I’ve seen in the last few days…

But…it wouldn’t kill Dell to invest in a big of punctuation.

Also, I headed to Whole Foods after work yesterday (I absolutely LOVE that it’s so easy that Whole Foods in Charles River Plaza is a short walk from my new office and right on the way home!), not expecting anything but a few bagfuls of organic fruit and some of that FANTASTIC fresh mozzarella that they have on display in the produce section.

And there came the grammar.

I saw a sign near the register that mentioned how Whole Foods does work EACH DAY to help people living with HIV/AIDS.  The sign, however, said EVERY DAY.

I was so surprised and happy.  It seems like everyone just says EVERYDAY lately.  It’s gotten to the point that when I see EVERY DAY instead of EVERYDAY, when meaning EACH DAY, I become giddy.

That shouldn’t happen!  I shouldn’t be expecting the worst!!

It was correct.  After all, it was Whole Foods.  This is the grocery store featuring more expensive and healthful food, and therefore likely attracts a highly educated clientele.

It made me happy.

And then I saw the sign on the back of the register, facing the customer:

MAY WE VALIDATE YOUR PARKING TICKET

No question mark.

Aw, and to think it was so good…

I would love to see a business free of grammatical errors.  It would be even better if it were a chain.  And who knows?  Maybe that’s one of Whole Foods’s goals.  These signs were handmade and exclusive to the Charles River Plaza store.

I’ll let you know if I find anything else.

Nice editing.

Every year, there is a page in my high school’s yearbook depicting fake or joke clubs.  During my senior year, my three best friends — Lisa, Alexa and Beth — and I, better known to the school and our town as The Brood, decided that we needed to be one of the fake clubs.

We got our picture taken and we were one of the three fake clubs featured on the page (along with the Breakfast Club and the Santarpio’s Club).  We needed a club description, so I volunteered to write it up.

The first two sentences:

“THE BROOD…scared yet?  Consisting of Lisa ‘I’m high on life’ L., Alexa ‘That’s crazy!’ M., Kate ‘Didn’t I meet you at the coed naked lawn-bowling party?’ McCulley and Beth ‘Don’t mess with Texas’ G., the Brood remains the most formidable foursome of fun fearless females in all of Reading High.”

It was perfect.

Was is the key word.  It was perfect until the editors massacred it.

Aside from changing remains to remians and changing individually to indivisually, each an egregious spelling error, they also changed my sentence structure.  The removed the comma after Beth’s last name and considered that to be a full sentence.

Yes, it’s a long sentence — but it’s not a run-on and it’s not grammatically incorrect.  Why change it?

This was probably one of the first times that I felt passionate about grammar.

I was the performing arts editor of my yearbook, a position given to me on a whim by the advisor, one of my all-time favorite teachers.  Although I had a LOT of fun adding pictures of the Brood to the drama club section wherever possible, after seeing the finished product, my heart ached.

I wistfully wished that I had been a copyeditor instead.  Oh, God, if only.

(Another thing they messed up: my family’s message to me became, “Kate, the years have flown by watching you blossom into a scintillating you woman.”  Young.)

I understand that responsibility of the yearbook falls on high school students.

But…not even a spell-check?

1 Sauce, 2 Sauce, 3 Sauce, FAIL

The following picture was snapped by reader Lindsey of Just Browsering:

Location: McDonald’s, somewhere in California (I believe)

You know, this makes me think about the effect that McDonald’s could have.  If a company as large as McDonald’s (or Starbucks — though Starbucks is losing the golden touch) made an effort to use perfect grammar on all signs, we might notice eventual long-term effects.

Of course, they’re supposed to be doing that anyway.

Hmmm.  There’s a bit of a hole in the logic…

Passive-Aggressive Notes

I just discovered a delicious new Web site: passiveaggressivenotes.com.  There is so much great material there!

Check this one out:

Ordinarily, I dislike personification of inanimate objects, especially man-made objects like kitchen appliances.

Throw the grammatical errors into the mix and I just want to leave that refrigerator and freezer door wide open until the ice starts melting and dripping down onto the milk cartons!

Noisebot — Cheers and Boos

I am a fan of funny T-shirts (I wore my “Without Me, It’s Just Aweso” shirt when I did my Boston Globe interview, and I recently bought SILF from Busted Tees – that one was a hit at work!), and when I saw the ad for NoiseBot, I clicked on it.

Most of these shirts aren’t very funny, but I did like the one that said, “Make awkward sexual advances, not war.”

As I looked them over, I found two in particular that I thought would be of interest to you readers.  There is an awesome one and an awful one.  Check them out:

Awesome:

 

Awful:

We know why.