In terms of my grammar vandalism, I mostly go after businesses, news organizations and institutions of higher education. In my mind, these are the people who can afford to hire a copy editor. If you can hire a graphic designer, an advertising consultant or a spokesperson, then you can afford to pay an editor a one-time fee to glance over your work and add an apostrophe or two.
I could do that! If you have a business and are wondering if you’re using correct grammar, email me!
Once again, I digress.
These pictures were sent to me by Donna, an NPR fan who heard my broadcast. Take a close look at this cereal box:
Look at the green writing. Babies Perfect First Solid Food.
I’m imagining a cheerleader reciting the line. “BABIES! PERFECT! FIRST SOLID FOOD!”
I wasn’t sure if the original intent was to make it say Baby’s Perfect First Solid Food or Babies’ Perfect First Solid Food.
Before long, however, Earth’s Best changed the cereal box:
Technically, that’s grammatically correct, if a bit awkward-sounding and ancient.
I’m not a fan of that kind of phrasing: Baby’s First Bite. Baby’s Favorite Toy. And Baby Makes Three. To me, it sounds like it’s straight out of the 1950s, where you would see Baby’s Best Shampoo next to Rover’s Favorite Dish. Still, you see it a lot, even today.
Now it’s time for a question for you. What is the worst error you’ve seen on packaging?