This past Saturday, I went to Six Flags New England with some friends. This was my first time there, though I had been to three of the others (Over Georgia in 1996, Magic Mountain in 2002, Great Adventure/New Jersey in 2003). I was hoping for a day of lighthearted fun and some crazy rides. I didn’t expect to feel a dagger turning in my heart at the sight of so many grammatical errors on official theme park displays! Here are a few:
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. “Everytime” is not a word! For that matter, “everyday” is only used when meaning “typical” or “usual.” In all other cases, the words “every” and “day” must be separated. And, again, “everytime” is NOT a word.
Some recording artists have made this difficult to enforce. It’s bad enough that so many of them change “you” to “U” in song titles. Britney Spears had a song called “Everytime” and even though I liked the song, that bothered me SO MUCH! (It’s not like she was Musiq Soulchild, who squishes all his song titles together, like “HalfCrazy” and “Don’tChange.”) And then Dave Matthews, that godawful Dave Matthews that seems to be worshipped by everyone at Reading High and Fairfield U, goes and titles a song and an album “Everyday.” And he did not mean the context of “typical” or “usual.”
Again, aren’t there editors who proofread these albums and song titles?
My friend Andy and I had a bit of a disagreement over this. He thought that hyphens should never be used. I thought that there should have been hyphens between all three words.
Using no hyphens whatsoever is acceptable when speaking to someone.
I think that in this case, you need to do it yourself.
But “Do-It-Yourself” is in a category of its own, which has grown into a brand, even spurning off an abbreviation (DIY). It should be used only as a label, which is why I think that would be the best way to use it here.
“The One and Only Do-It-Yourself Coed Naked Lawn Bowling Kit”
Labels and signs. That’s it.
But it’s all good with Andy, because he’s now taking pictures of grammatical errors for his own blog.
Yep, this is where the mens come in.
I saw that sign and told Andy that it looked like it belonged in an Alice Walker novel. (“Mens all look the same to me.”)
I didn’t get a picture of the women’s restroom on the other side, but it was labeled “Women’s.” In this case, for purposes of grammatical symmetry, the men’s room should be labeled “Men’s,” meaning that it belonged to the men, as the women’s room belonged to the women. Another acceptable form would be for the restrooms to be labled “Men” and “Women.”
“Mens” is never acceptable.
In spite of everything, we went on to have a lovely day at the theme park.