Grammar Giggle – Specfic Stats?

This was an ad I recently received in the mail. It looks to me like this is an example of your brain knowing what it is supposed to say and tricking your eyes into seeing it that way. It might be better to have someone else look at it before it goes to press. If the three people mentioned in the ad all looked at it and didn’t see it, they need to slow down and really read it. Avoiding errors takes a little bit of extra time, but it is time well spent.

Grammar Giggle – My Kind of Wine Glass!

I saw this in a catalog I received. While I would definitely use the second one for wine, since the page before uses the same description on a typical wine glass, I’m just saying that someone missed this in the review. When you’re proofreading, you need to read everything in that document (or catalog) as a whole paying attention to whether the photos go with the words, whether all the words are spelled correctly, and whether it all makes sense. I’m bringing it up today just to make you laugh. I know mistakes happen (goodness knows I’ve made more than my fair share), but sometimes all we can do is laugh and learn. And perhaps we’ll start a new trend with a new kind of wine glass!

Grammar Giggle – Obvious Phishing Emails

I received this email recently. Obviously, when the header has multiple errors, it is not from Chase bank. Also obviously, the link in the email is NOT to Chase.com. I know that because I hovered over the link to see where the link went and it was a string of letters and numbers. I guess I should be grateful that the mistakes saved me time in reading the entire email.

Grammar Giggle – Complimentary Complements

A friend recently rode in an Uber that had this on the back of the seat in front of him for his use. While I appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into making your passengers comfortable during their ride, the wrong word was used. They are confusing, so we’re going to explore the differences:

  • Complement:  something that fills up, completes, or makes better or perfect.
    • Her shoes were the perfect complement to her dress.
  • Compliment: an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration
    • He appreciated the compliment on his new haircut.
  • Complementary: serving to fill out or complete
    • The pink shoes were complementary to her whole outfit.
  • Complimentary: given free as a courtesy or favor.
    • The wine was complimentary with a spa service.

In this example, the use of the charger was free and while I suppose it could complete or make better a day going bad because your phone was dead, I think the intent was that charging was free while you were in the Uber vehicle.

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.