Friday, 26 May 2017

Grammar vigilante is not graffiti

I noticed an interesting thing on social media a while ago. Apparently - and there was a video to back up the story - there's some bloke getting around the U.K. under cover of darkness, correcting grammar mistakes on signs.

I love it!

Kudos to this guy. There was footage of him, disguised in a hoodie of course, up a ladder, covering a redundant apostrophe.

That accursed redundant apostrophe! That's the apostrophe people seem to insert these days to form a plural word.

For example: writing cat's when referring to more than one cat.

You should NEVER pluralise a word by using an apostrophe! To me, it's ignorant and a failing of our education system.

Agreed, some English words are difficult and stray from the usual grammar rule of simply applying an S to the end. But all languages have their little quirks, irregularities and exceptions.

Can you pluralise these English words? I'll put the answers on the bottom of the page.

  • sandwich
  • tomato
  • berry
  • sheep
  • hoof
Now, back to our grammar vigilante. I think there should be more like him.

I find it astounding that organisations pay a fortune to marketing people to put together wonderfully colourful and memorable ads, send the ads to the printer to have them printed on glossy brochures, flyers or fancy, illuminated signs, only to not have the wording checked for spelling and/or grammatical mistakes.

Restaurant menus, advertising brochures, catalogues and all manner of things that end up in your letter box are invariably written incorrectly.

I once received a brochure advertising a popular brand of body lotions. The brochure was so badly written; the language, grammar, spelling and even the structure of the sentences were so poor that I'm sure the owner's six year old must have written it.

If not, there's no excuse!

I couldn't resist taking out my red pen and getting stuck in. I then sent it back to them with a friendly suggestion that they have their written material checked before being printed.

I also mentioned that if their standards, and attention to detail were so low, as their brochure seemed to indicate, that it caused me to question the quality of their product. Therefore, their expensive advertising convinced me that I would never do business with them.

It is a personal rule of mine, that if I receive advertising material in my letter box, that is badly written with poor attention to spelling and/or grammar, I will never use the services of that business.

If I were a little more gutsy, I'd be out there, right beside our grammar vigilante, holding his ladder and passing him his tools.

There should be more of it.

There's a little video I found of him on the SBS site. Click here to view the article.

For now, I make it my mission to point out mistakes on menus to restaurant staff - most of whom gaze at me through glazed eyes because they don't understand.

Yep, it's right there on the list of first world problems.

See you in 14!

Bye the way, those plural words you need are:

  • sandwich - sandwiches
  • tomato - tomatoes
  • berry - berries
  • sheep - sheep
  • hoof - hooves

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