Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Another Grammar Post?

Yes, I know, two grammar posts in a row. While you might not think of this as entirely a grammar issue, I just had to share it somehow. Nothing irks me more than finding grammar or spelling errors in publications or advertisements like the one I saw at the gas station today. Picture this mild-mannered grammar teacher standing there, pumping my gasoline (I'm still trying not to think about how much that cost me), when my eye is caught by the sign above the pumps. I read it and reread it a few times before my mind actually acknowledged, "Holy cow! There's a big glaring typo on this sign!" And it wasn't on just that one pump. No, it was on each of the six pumps, one sign on each side, twelve signs in all.

At first I was shocked, then amused, and then teacher mode kicked in. Frantically I searched the gas station for someone with a cellphone who could take a picture for me. No such luck. I even waited for a few minutes to see if someone would pull up who could help me with my future grammar lesson. The only people who pulled up were the landscaping crew from up the street. No cellphones.

What's a grammar teacher to do? Well, drive home, get her camera, and drive back to take the picture, of course! At this point you're either shaking your head or, like my mother, just outright laughing at me. That's fine. I can take it. I've got big shoulders. And somehow I will work this photo into my curriculum next year. In fact, I'd like to ask for your help. If you find an advertisement or billboard or street sign with an error, please take a picture of it for me. You can either email it to me at ctkmcmillan@gmail.com or add it to the group I've created on Flickr. Follow this link to the group's page, Stop the Grammar Madness. How's that for a catchy title?

But on to this morning's find.



I'm hoping that any one of my seventh graders could tell you what's wrong with sentence number one. That's right, even a seventh grader can tell you how to spell "available." Perhaps I should suggest to Chevron that they hire a few of my students as proofreaders. Just a thought.

On to error number 2. Now, unless they are actually planning on adding armor to your tires, I would suggest that they make "ArmorAll" one word and, to be completely accurate, they should also add the "registered trademark" after ArmorAll (you know, the little circle with the "R" in it). I'm sure the ArmorAll folks would appreciate it.

So, in your travels this summer, if you happen to spot an errant apostrophe, a glaring misspelling, or, heaven forbid, poor grammar, please take a picture of it and send it to me. Let us band together and say "Stop the Grammar Madness!"

8 comments:

Corwin said...

I would LOVE to find a gas station that would add armor plating to all of my tires!

Kim Siever said...

I don't think the first is a grammar mistake.

C.Fred said...

Actually, it appears that "ArmorAll" is the stylistic appearance rather than the spelling. The products page at their website has a title of "Armor All® - Exterior Products" and the company in the copyright notice is "The Armor All/STP Products Company" (http://www.armorall.com/products/exterior/).

samccoy said...

I love it! I have a copy ofEats Shoots and Leaves.

Bookjewel said...

Seriously, if I took photographs every time I found a mistake 'out there' I'd never be able to do anything else...they're everywhere! Apostrophes are the worst.

Grace Kat said...

This is a great idea to collect errors in advertisements to use in teaching. I'll keep a lookout. Could we also link to examples others have found already and collected on Web sites? I've saved a couple on diigo. I'll have to search diigo and share with you.

Kate Olson said...

This is great :-) I'll try to keep my camera close by to get pics for you - how about screenshots of websites, do those count too? I'll send them your way!

loonyhiker said...

I probably see misspellings and grammar errors on a daily basis and my husband just rolls his eyes when I point them out. He can't believe how I find them all of the time but I try to tell him that they really find me because they jump out at me! Thanks for sharing this!