Some discussion was had over the response Eric Jay posted on my last entry:
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.
This blows my mind.
I’m not mad at Eric Jay — he’s one of my favorite readers. My beef, as usual, is with the marketing people. If this is true, what gives them the right to change the rules of grammar, to fill their signs with errors for the sake of subliminal advertising?
It would be different if it were a homophone with two very different meanings. If an ad for a fragrance said, “Good knight,” and had a sexy knight in shining armor (preferably shirtless and glistening with sweat, and curly hair, kind of wild, and just a bit of stubble, and amazing, well-developed arms….I’m sorry….grammar?), that would be more than okay.
We, grammarians of the world, have too much trying to drag us down — apathy toward the English language, internet-speak, poor grammar education, a quickly evolving language that works against us more often than for us. Now we have something else: marketing executives trying to play educator.
STOP IT NOW.
Thanks, Eric Jay, for bringing my attention to this lunacy. (As for the gym teachers’ college comment….yeah, not the best taste. It was a line from Salute Your Shorts. I guess the humor didn’t quite transfer.)