Grammar Giggle – Interesting Entree Choice

A friend sent this one to me and it recently appeared on Reddit, but I thought it was interesting to show that even if everything is spelled correctly, sometimes placement is an issue. You need to try to look at your writing as a whole to make sure that all the parts of it are correct.

Grammar Giggle – Visor Issues

A friend sent me a part of this description she saw while looking for a sun visor. I checked and was able to find the full ad and there were so many errors. I assume English is not the ad writer’s first language, but you can see how important clear writing is to understanding what it is they are trying to say. It is the same for your writing. And at least the seller has a good legal team!

Grammar Giggle – Get Ever Other Item For Half Price!

A reader sent this to me. It was a sponsored ad on Facebook. I have removed identifying information. It was correct in the headline, but incorrect in the actual body of the ad.

This looks like it was one of those “I know what it is supposed to say” problems–where you skip over words that are misspelled because your brain knows that it is supposed to be even though your eyes could see something different. That can happen when you’ve read it too many times, you are going too fast, or you didn’t proofread it at all because the spell checker didn’t show any mistakes. Slow down and actually read the email, the letter, the pleading, or the ad before it is published or sent off.

Grammar Giggle – Can I Get Criminalized Onions With That?

My daughter sent this to me from her local grocery store. It just makes me laugh–especially working in the legal field. I’m sure they mean “caramelized” onion relish since that’s what it says in the description of the sandwich, but I’m not sure how it got to be “criminalized” onion relish in the name of the sandwich. Perhaps they were listening to a true crime podcast or streaming episodes of Snapped while they were working and got distracted.

Grammar Giggle – I’ll Explain This Best To My Ability!

This was in a local breaking news post I received. I initially caught the “best to their ability” error–which should be “to the best of their ability”–and noticed that the last part of the last sentence could be rewritten to make much more sense. Something like “It is unclear if there were any other injuries to occupants in the area.” When you are proofreading for someone, don’t be afraid to change the language to make what they’re trying to say more clear. But please don’t just change it without letting them know what you changed. There are two reasons for this: (1) it could be a little learning lesson for them on how to word something so others will understand and (2) your edit may not be right and there may be a reason it was worded that way. Particularly in the legal field, I always redline my suggested changes to the documents I proofread. I know they are tired of seeing me delete commas, but there could be a method behind their madness and I could screw the whole thing up if I just made the changes without letting them know they are my suggestions. Happy proofing!

Grammar Giggle – Less or Fewer?

This was a picture in a Facebook group I’m in that made me stop and look again. It gives me the opportunity to discuss the difference between less and fewer. Less is something that can’t necessarily be counted such as “Jane wished there was less hate in the world.” Fewer, on the other hand, is typically something you can count, such as calories and the number of items you are putting on the grocery belt. Check out a helpful blog post here. For now, at least this company is consistent in their error, but it really should be “fewer” in both instances.

Grammar Giggle – Slow Down And Get It Right

I think news outlets are the worst at trying to get news headlines out quickly so they can beat their competition to it, but that sometimes leads to mistakes that shouldn’t be made. In this case, it looks to me like the headline was edited, but they didn’t edit the entire headline–just replaced one phrase with another, but didn’t remove all of the pieces of the replaced phrase. You will be amazed at how much the quality of your writing will improve if you will just slow down and actually read what you are writing.

Grammar Giggle – Envelop/Envelope

A reader sent this one to me. It took some researching for me to confirm that the warm water would “envelop” your body. Here is the Merriam Webster online dictionary definition of “envelop” and “envelope”

  • Envelop – transitive verb
    • 1: to enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering
  • Envelope – noun
    • 2: something that envelops: WRAPPER
      • the envelope of air around the earth

A transitive verb is defined as “a verb that requires a direct object, which is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that follows the verb and completes the sentence’s meaning by indicating the person or thing that receives the action of the verb.”

In this example, you are talking about the action the water takes on your body (direct object, which is a noun). Envelop is the correct word here because it will “enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering.”

Grammar Giggle – Apostrophes and Plurals

This example illustrates my pet peeve–using apostrophes to make a word plural. This was in our local Motor Vehicle Division office where I was renewing my driver’s license. They used the apostrophe incorrectly not once, but twice! Let me say this again, louder for the people in the back: You do not use an apostrophe to make a word plural. You only need the letters “s” or “es” for that depending on the word. You use an apostrophe only for showing possession or in a contraction to show where a letter or letters have been left out. If you have questions about that, check out Astrophail!

Grammar Giggle – Happy Monther’s Day!

A friend sent this to me and then I saw it over and over again in Facebook ads–always spelled this way. My friend wondered if the editor of the ad had trouble with their own mother and wasn’t sure if it should be “Monster” or “Mother,” so they combined it.