Saturday, 28 June 2008

A Hole New World

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Sometimes spelling errors can initiate fairly sinister thoughts. I don't think I want to know who the 'Hole Family' are, but clearly they'd enjoy themselves at Cha Cha's.

Thanks to Noah Tarnow, who saw this on the Coney Island boardwalk.

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Friday, 20 June 2008

See what you say: premisis

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I came across this in the car park of a public house on the picturesque A57 'Snake Pass' route, which crosses the Peak District and connects the cities of Manchester and Sheffield.

It always amusis me when someone abusis spelling in such an obvious way, and yet the error still makes it onto public signs before anyone noticis. Needless to say, drinks were spilled here.

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Monday, 16 June 2008

Electronic'S - R - US

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This is a horror show of a sign.

It always irks me how "toysRus" turned a repugnantly illiterate phrase into a brand name, so I obviously hate to see it copied. When combined with apostrophe abuse, this causes my eyelid to twitch à la the captain from Police Academy.

I post this in the knowledge that fellow GrammarBlogger Tom (should we begin to employ GrammarBlog as a surname when referring to a member of our fraternity?) will be horrified at yet another unwise application of the Bank Gothic typeface.

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'Do you want salt and crazy grammar on the chips?'

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This magnificently insane comma usage was discovered upon my most recent trip to Windy Harbour, my local chippy in south Manchester.

I can't fault their heavenly chips or their wonderfully crisp battered cod, but what possessed them here? As if this scatterbrain punctuation wasn't enough, when I then slumped against the counter to recover my breath I was faced with this on the menu board:

The spelling. Why not just copy the word 'sausage' from the entry above? And yes, those really are "unnecessary quotation marks" encompassing the word 'batterd'. Perhaps my chipmonger was batterd on booze when he did it. It's the only rational explanation.

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Grammar Abuse in Signage: Part 18

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I was out for a quiet coffee with my wife over the weekend and, as I headed to the counter to pay for our drinks, I was met with this egregious pair of notices.

Once again, for the pathologically illiterate, pluralisation does not require an apostrophe.

As you cast your eye casually northwards, you notice that they are no longer accepting £50 notes, for which they 'appologies' for any 'inconveinience' caused. You have no idea what kind of so-called 'inconveinience', nay grief, you have caused.

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Sunday, 15 June 2008

Grammar Abuse in Signage: Part 17

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A couple of lovely signage atrocities to brighten up your Sunday drudge.

I'm a huge fan of this mess – sent to us by Martin Greenberger of Westchester, California. Aside from the moronic spelling, I really like the ignorant (but wonderfully earnest) attempts at Emphasis.

This, sent in by Simon Pittock, is a splendid example of what can happen when inbred fayre-goers get access to the magic of Microsoft Publisher. Typographically, it's a real stinker. The spacing, size and placement of the characters seems to have been deliberately randomised; it's as if the designer, in a fit of politically-inspired pique, has decided to reject uniformity and smash the system. Excellent.

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Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Bog basics

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Public toilets may well be the sordid stomping ground of sexual predators, but that's no excuse for bad grammar.

Brian De Groodt, who found us via our mention in the Wall Street Journal, explains:

I make an annual trip up to Laguna Seca in Monterey, California to join about 150,000 other motorcyclists for a big race. As you might imagine, some motorcyclists are smarter than many others. One apparently was staying at the same campsite as me and was clearly offended by the poor grammar this considerate citizen used in trying to encourage some civility in the camp. Anyone that's ever visited a men's restroom knows the need for this message and clearly the "proofreader" in this restroom wanted to make sure the message was not left to misinterpretation. I'd argue there's a lot more to be done here (caps and punctuation) but it's a good start.

Keep up the good work Brian.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Reuters says employs bad internet freelance journalists

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There's a peculiar, mangled use of the present tense in journalism, apparently for the purpose of conveying immediacy. It also seems to go hand-in-hand with an aversion to pronouns. When used cleverly it can often make for snappy, memorable headlines; when deployed by a moron, it boggles brains.

Thanks to new GrammarBlog reader Michelle Stephens, who apparently felt an 'overwhelming urge' to share this with us. Good to know we're having that sort of effect on people.

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Thursday, 5 June 2008


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When people speak of unelectable leaders or political parties, many refer to Michael Foot’s Labour Party and its relatively sensible manifesto for the 1983 UK general election. But from now on, whenever I think about what might make someone unelectable, I will think of this monstrosity:

Thank you to Scott Bryant for sharing the pain. Having been handed this flyer by the candidate, he presumably made his way straight to the polling station to spoil his ballot paper. He has seen fit to preserve the anonymity of the culprit, though, and has therefore seen off the prospect of a spate of vigilante attacks on the candidate’s home. Well done, Scott. Lesser men would have just thrown them at the feet of the pack of grammatical wolves.

Successfully running for any level of office should require thoroughness and a keen eye for detail. But this is the electioneering equivalent of one of those ‘spot the hazard’ diagrams I was often given at school, which saw me circling any number of clear dangers such as unstable ladders, loose electrical plugs and knives resting on chairs.

This person’s errors are glaring and numerous, rendering them unforgivable, never mind unelectable. A typical Republican, you might say.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008


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Sign of failure, originally uploaded by emmastory.

Here we have another missing accent combined with a superfluous apostrophe.

What is a 'Delicattesen'? Why are there companies that don't know how to spell their own services?

Like the corners of my mind.

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Thanks go to Gary Pettecrew for sending us this photo, taken in Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Cotswolds.



Cotswolds_enlargedGary says, "I saw this and thought of you, GrammarBlog."


How sweet.


Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Caf'e Rio

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I'm not sure what to make of this. Haven't the proprietors done their market research?

Thanks to Andrew Green

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