Grammar Giggle – Easy To Assemble, But Difficult To Read

A friend sent me these assembly instructions for a desk she purchased. I assume the manufacturer’s first language is not English, but instructions on something you are selling in the United States are kind of important and they should take more care with translations. I am really impressed, however, with the proper use of “It’s” in the last sentence.

Grammar Giggle – Pease Pay More Attention!

I snapped this picture over the holidays at a local drive-through restaurant. The first, “day,” is singular yet they list several days. The second, “pease,” is obviously meant to be “please.” I realize “Drive Thru” is also incorrect as it should be hyphenated, but the spelling is listed in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as a variant or less common spelling. It is fine for this casual use, but I would not use it in legal documents.

Grammar Giggle – He Was Throwing What?

This popped up on a local news program on my phone. I’m still not sure what was thrown at the employees. Was it mice or was it knives? Proofreading involves reading ALL of the writing and making sure it all makes sense together. I’ve learned that people are typically bad at proofreading titles (and if you have your Word settings set to ignore words in all caps, turn that off!), so make sure you read the title and then make sure what follows matches the intent of the title.

Grammar Giggle – Alcohol Consumption May Make You Use The Wrong “You’re”

A friend sent this to me. They got it correct in one place, but not in another on the same sign. Perhaps they were out of the letter “e” or perhaps they just weren’t paying attention. In this sign, both should be “you’re,” the contraction for “you are.”

Grammar Giggle – Back Legs Only

This picture is an example of too much information. It seems that since chickens only have back legs–I think the front “legs” are called “wings”–this language is unnecessary and confusing. But in today’s litigious society, sometimes manufacturers do put what looks like ridiculous information on packaging to cover all of their bases.

Grammar Giggle – Hot Mess Memories – Part 2

After I posted the original Grammar Giggle on this photo, I had several people comment that I had missed some errors. I don’t always point out all of the errors–both to give the author some credit and so it doesn’t overwhelm the reader and make it seem worse than it really is. However, you’ve asked, so here is Hot Mess Memories – Part 2!

  • “Drive In” related to a theatre should be hypenated as “drive-in.”
  • There is a comma after “Street,” so either the next word should not be capitalized or, probably more appropriately, it should just start a new sentence so that the comma after “Street” should be a period and the next sentence should be reworked.
  • An ellipsis is three periods–not just two
  • How can “demolished apartments” be built in place of a drive-in? To be fair, apartments did replace the drive-in and they have since been demolished, but demolished apartments were not built in place of the drive-in.

I hope you have learned at least one thing from this Grammar Giggle. That is always my intent. I try hard not to humiliate any author and I use errors we see in public every day as a way to teach you correct grammar and proofreading issues–not to poke fun of anyone who just doesn’t know better. Once we know better, we can all do better!

Grammar Giggle – Hot Mess Memories

My brother sent this to me from a local newspaper remembering a drive-in theatre in Mesa. “It’s” is one of those words that does not follow the normal possession rules. The only time to use “it’s” is as a contraction of “it is.” If “it” owns something, it is simply “its.”

Plus, if you are talking about decades, they got it right the second time–the last two numerals of the decade, no apostrophe, and “s.” You wouldn’t spell it out once and then use numerals once.

Finally, “til” isn’t a word. It should be “until.” However, Merriam Webster and the Urban Dictionary disagree and say that “’til” is a contraction for “until,” but not in formal writing. That means that even though this wouldn’t be considered “formal” writing, this example is still incorrect since there is no apostrophe to indicate the “un” is missing.