Grammar Giggles – Grammar Check?

I found this on Twitter and it really highlights why you shouldn’t exclusively rely on word processing program spell check and grammar check to proofread your work.

grammar check fail

Grammar Giggles – Boneless What?

I wasn’t aware that bananas had bones (or maybe I don’t shop at the right place–we don’t have Piggly Wiggly’s in Arizona) but actually reading the signs might help sell the correct product.

20140406-233656.jpg

Grammar Giggles – Teachers, Teacher’s, Teachers’

Apparently, according to this news story, only one teacher across the nation is striking. That is because they made the singular word teacher possessive by adding apostrophe “s” rather than making the plural word teachers possessive by just adding an apostrophe. It seems that a strike would be so much more effective if multiple teachers across this great nation were involved.

Teacher's Strike

Is Good Grammar Old-Fashion or Old-Fashioned?

Due to technical difficulties when I was on vacation, my friend Kerie was not able to post this article about good old-fashioned grammar, but we will include it this week. Many thanks to Kerie!

Recently, while traveling with two friends in the back seat of a taxicab in Tulsa, Oklahoma following the 2014 NALS Professional Development and Education Conference, Kathy spotted a sign advertising “old fashion” root beer floats. The sign not only spoke to our ice cream cravings, but also sparked a grammar debate about the terms “old fashion” and “old-fashioned.” After some discussion, we decided we needed to do some research on the terms to clarify the appropriate usage.

As it turns out, our friends at the ice cream shop were wrong. “Old-fashioned” is a compound adjective meaning not in accord with or not following current fashion; or fashioned in a manner of old. When used as an adjective, it describes a noun, for example;

  • old-fashioned root beer float;
  • old-fashioned candy;
  • old-fashioned Christmas;
  • old-fashioned costumes.

“Old fashioned” can also be used as a noun, meaning a cocktail made of whiskey, bitters, sugar, and fruit. Notice that “old-fashioned” when used as a compound adjective has a hyphen because we link two adjectives by a hyphen when we use them to describe a noun. When used as a noun, “old fashioned” has no hyphen. My guess, though, is that the ice cream shop was advertising root beer floats and not liquor.

“Old fashion” is used colloquially (read incorrectly) and often in advertising, but it is simply incorrect.

GRAMMAR GIGGLE – Barcelona

I wasn’t going to use pictures of English Grammar Giggles from vacation, but can’t resist. In one picture, they had “peppers” right everywhere else on the menu and in the other, a misplaced comma makes the dish more than a little scary. Happy Monday!

20140317-094646.jpg

20140317-094659.jpg

We Appreciate Proofreading Tips Each and Everyday.

Use of the phrase each and every is really duplicative. Each really means the same thing as every. They both mean “a single thing.” You should use either one of those words but not both of them together:

  • Jeff brings his lunch every day.
  • They clocked in each day at 8:00 a.m.
  • Each worker worked 50 hours last week.
  • Every car in the lot was stuck in the snow.

Another issue people seem to have is every day and everyday. Everyday means commonplace or ordinary as in an everyday occurrence.

  • Cooking dinner is an everyday occurrence in my house.

Every day means something that happens every single day or each day. In fact, if you can add the word single between every and day or replace every day with each day, then every day should be two words. If not, then you use everyday.

  • She stopped at Starbucks every [single] day.
  • The chaos of getting ready for school with five siblings was an everyday occurrence. [you cannot replace everyday with each day so it is one word]
  • Her Starbucks stop was an everyday habit.
  • Someone was crying every [single] day while getting ready for school.

So here’s hoping writers will stop using “each and every” and practice adding single or replacing with each day to determine the proper usage of every day v. everyday. One can hope!

I am preparing every day for a two week vacation. In my absence, a fellow proofreading “nerd” (and I use that term lovingly) will guest blog. Kerie is amazing and brilliant and I’m sure will post great content. Please be gentle and supportive and I will pick up when I return. Ciao!

Grammar Giggles – It Is Baseball Tonight’s Celebration of It Is Anniversary!

Once again, an apostrophe refresher: it’s is a contraction and means IT IS and its is the possessive form of it so means belonging to it (or in this case belonging to Baseball Tonight) . . . which is what this advertisement is REALLY trying to say.

Bus

Grammar Giggle – Which Left?

One of my bosses shared this picture with me. They tell you the accident is in the left lane and then give you instructions to keep left, which common sense would tell you would make you go even slower. To make matters worse, the accident was actually in the RIGHT lane. Oh, ADOT, please try harder to get it right!

Crash