GrammarBlog

Monday, 16 June 2008

'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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10 Comments:
Anonymous mighty red pen said...

So I'm not going out on a limb, I don't think, to guess that a "chippy" is a place where fish & chips are obtained? I had to giggle because, being from the US, the only association I have for that word is for a lady with promiscuous ways . . .

17 June 2008 at 01:30  
Anonymous Gez said...

MRP, Miss Harbour has quite the reputation. The reason behind her nickname 'Windy' can be discovered (and is likely to be received with shock and awe) by reading the comments scrawled on numerous toilet walls in the pubs of South Manchester.

I'm only mucking about; yes a chippy is a chip shop. That is to say chips meaning fat fries and a shop meaning store and not a place to get your car fixed.

Right, I'm going to put my trainers (sneakers) on and jog along the pavement (sidewalk) to the chippy (fries store).

17 June 2008 at 06:44  
Anonymous Andrew said...

What in God's name is a "chip barm" ..?

17 June 2008 at 09:04  
Anonymous Simon said...

The guy who wrote that has since been arrested ... for battering his wife!

My apologies.

17 June 2008 at 09:57  
Blogger Gez said...

Andrew,

Your ignorance about barms tells me little about your location, only that you are not based in the Lancashire area of England.

A barm or barm cake is a bread roll cooked on the oven bottom. (Bottom, bo'm, barm.)

You probably know it as a cob, bun, roll, stottie or muffin depending on your location.

It's just a hunk of bread really.

17 June 2008 at 14:22  
Blogger Paddy said...

I know them best as baps. Weeyyy. Top! Boys!

17 June 2008 at 15:24  
Blogger TootsNYC said...

Those quotes may be there bcs our spelling-challenged menu modifier may have too strong a memory of phrases like "assault and battery."

17 June 2008 at 18:05  
Blogger Mary E said...

Are they saying that in each box, you only get a 'few' chips or peas? Not much of a marketing tool, if you ask me. Very confusing!

17 June 2008 at 23:41  
Blogger JD said...

Ignoring the line breaks, you could read this as 'fish few, chips few, peas' – not bad to get a *few* fish and an indeterminate number of peas for only £3.30...

19 June 2008 at 13:40  
Blogger JD said...

Although having said that, I would have preferred it punctuated thusly: 'fish, few; chips, few; peas'

19 June 2008 at 13:42  

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