Grammar Giggle – Statues

i was looking up information about payroll reports when I came across this error which jumped out at me. It is proof that you can’t trust spell check. Both words are spelled correctly. I have trouble with “statues” instead of “statutes” sometimes too, but I check to make sure I have them right. And I’m not a government entity directing the public to the actual statute!


Why, Yes, It Is Ironic!



With many thanks to a reader who emailed that she disagreed with my article Isn’t It Ironic because I said that by saying you “couldn’t care less,” you actually cared a little bit. The reader sent me a post by my hero Grammar Girl and an entry from straightening me out. I have since changed the original article, but here is what convinced me I was wrong:

According to Grammar Girl, the phrase “I couldn’t care less” was originally from Britain and came to the US in the 1950s. It means you could not care any less than you do, so you do not care. In the 60s, the phrase “I could care less” appeared in the US. Some would say it was because sloppy or slurring speakers left off the “n’t” part of “couldn’t.” The whole phrase is ironic. If you say you “could care less,” it means you have a little bit of caring left, which is probably not what you mean. If you really REALLY don’t care, you “couldn’t care less.”

I’ve mentioned more than once that I am not an expert and I truly do appreciate when I am corrected (especially with proof of my error) so that I can fix my mistake. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen with every blog post, but it has happened a time or two.

Is there something that you are wondering about or have a burning question you would like an answer to? Email me at [email protected] and I’ll do what I can to get an answer for you. In the meantime, I will work to find topics of interest to share and hopefully will be correct in my analysis of research to help others learn. As always, thank you for your support!

Grammar Giggle – Restaurant Menu And Its Own Kind of English

I captured these photos during a recent trip to Las Vegas. The “tomato’s” is what caught my eye, but as I and my friends started looking at it, the errors just kept coming. Some tips–commas are good, singulars and plurals are important, and it is “mixed” lettuce (but at least they were consistently wrong). I should disclose that I don’t think English was their first language, but when you have your business in America, it is good business sense to have someone familiar with the local language check your work.

Las Vegas 1 Las Vegas 2

Grammar Giggle – News Is Hard

My favorite source of Grammar Giggles (my local news station) had a pretty difficult time of it the other night. Three Grammar Giggles in one news story!

The first picture had me looking twice. I didn’t think her name was Steven, but the banner covered her actual nameplate and I just wasn’t sure:


Then they went to the next person:

IMG_2719-1This still could be a name issue, except now I can see the nameplate. OK, so they got the names mixed up. But then


It was a story about the Litchfield Park School District, which they got right in one place, but one would think that the name of the street in LITCHFIELD Park would be LITCHFIELD (which it is).

Three strikes, you’re out!

Grammar Giggle – What Belongs To The Harrisons?

This was a Facebook ad to entice me to order a personalized welcome mat.

Harrisons original

Unfortunately, the only thing this picture made me do was keep waiting for the rest of the statement. The Harrison’s . . . WHAT? What belongs to the Harrison? What belongs to ONE of the Harrisons? The Single Harrison’s House? The Single Harrison’s Stoop? The Single Harrison’s Porch? Get Off The Single Harrison’s Lawn? Once I clicked on the picture to save it and it took me to the actual website, this is the picture that was showing up there:Harrisons

This one is correct and renewed a little bit of my faith in the fact that someone at this retailer or the marketing company for the retailer actually knows what is correct. More discussion on this topic is at Plurals, Possessives, and Surnames Oh My!

Grammar Giggle – A Title Is Just A Title

This was a “breaking news” flash on my phone this week. The first one that came through was:

Gov Stanton

The “correction” appearing within moments was:

Mayor Stanton

As a bit of background, Greg Stanton is the Mayor of the City of Phoenix and Doug Ducey is the Governor of the State of Arizona–two very different people with two very different jobs. While Mayor Stanton may well be Governor Stanton one day, on the day the “breaking news” appeared, he was still Mayor Stanton. There are lots of facts that need to be checked in proofreading–not just spelling and punctuation. In this case, I’m most interested in who caught the mistake because the correction was made more quickly than most news story corrections are made.