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In honor of Earth Day, here’s a green grammar gaffe for you.

We contend that one of two alternatives is preferable …

1. “RESERVED PARKING FOR HIGH EFFICIENCY VEHICLE, or

2. “RESERVED PARKING FOR HIGHLY-EFFICIENT VEHICLE”

Your thoughts? Please comment.

(click on photo to enlarge)

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… not always perfect grammar. As we found in these hilarious examples of signs around the world. Enjoy!

In a washroom:
TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW

In a Launderette:
AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT

In a London department store:
BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS

In an office:
WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN

In an office:
AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD

Outside a secondhand shop:
WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING – BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?

Notice in health food shop window:
CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS

Spotted in a safari park:
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR

Sign on a wall at a conference:
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN’T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR

Notice in a farmer’s field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.

Message on a leaflet:
IF YOU CANNOT READ THEN THIS LEAFLET WILL TELL YOU HOW TO GET READING LESSONS

On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR – THE BELL DOESN’T WORK)

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Several years ago, an article in an airline magazine, “Nouns Gone Bad,” really hit home with us.

It discussed the phenomenon of using nouns as verbs, and the growing prevalence of this practice.

A recent tweet (on Twitter) reminded us of this ever-growing trend …

“There is a poor grammar jesus bumper sticker collection on a van. I want to at least ‘Sharpie‘ it so it makes sense.”

You may know that a Sharpie® is a marker made by Sanford. Many professional athletes (and other celebs) use these markers for signing autographs. The pens have many other uses, and we confess to having what must be one of the largest collections of Sharpie® pens around (all colors, widths, point-types, and styles – literally, in buckets in the office). But we digress …

There is an interesting paper called “THE ENVIRONMENTAL STYLE” that was written in 2005 by R.P. Detwiler, NASA Office of General Counsel, in which this trend is addressed. Detwiler uses the examples: partner, team, dialogue, and task.

Have you heard (or used) these nouns as verbs? Maybe, in instances like (yes, we mean “like,” not “such as,” here):

  • Let’s partner on this venture.
  • How about we team up to find the solution?
  • We can dialogue about that topic.
  • My boss likes to task us with many jobs.

There are many other examples. There are even uses that are not primarily business-related:

  • Do you know anyone who likes to go antiquing?
  • The cops Tasered a stuffed animal the other day. (see the story)
  • That recent study really impacted our lives.
  • Did he transition from runner to cyclist?
  • Will picnicked during the soccer game.

These days, use of the Internet provides us with the opportunity to perpetuate this bent:

  • Ooh, let’s Google that …

So, now we add “Sharpie” to our list of nouns gone bad.

What are your offenders?

Be sure to see our related posts:

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We have always loved this sign! It is posted at the Hotel Coral & Marina in Ensenada, Mexico. Take a look and enjoy the grammar and the sentiments:

marina rules sign

(click here to see a larger image of the sign)

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We love this … obviously translated into English from some other language … enjoy!

Seen on a Health and Beauty Web site:

“You have to be on fire 3500 MORE calories than you eat, to lose 1 pound of fat. Consequently how a lot of total calories you would require to burn would depend on your caloric eating. Characteristically though, an important person eating correct and exercising frequently can lose 1 – 2 lbs a week with refusal difficulty. I weighed in my opinion before I leaved into a sauna and evaluated 148.8. I went into the sauna for concerning 10 minutes, and weighed for my part behind, I after that weighed 147.6. There single pound, other than if you desire to lose a few weight do a lot of cardio action, somewhat than exciting weights. Losing 1-2 pounds shouldn’t be that tough. I would create yourself off simple though and occupation your weigh up so your body is second-hand to it and you won’t totally tire out yourself and weak. To misplace 1 pound per week you require taking in 500 calories a smaller amount, whether by dropping your food, picking enhanced choices or in grouping with exercise. To mislay 2 pounds per week you require doing the similar, but 1000 calorie decrease per day. Unless you go after a thermo genie diet similar to Kinkiness and then you drop much earlier than the 3500 calorie regulation allows.”

Then, a Twitter follower sent us a twitpic that we just had to include in this post:

lost in translation

Thanks to @albertart who says: “I saw this outside a ramen restaurant when I was in LA.”

Gotta love it!

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We saw this post on the ONION, and it sparked a reaction, so here we go, blogging again …

Road-Sign

(click here to see the post)

First, we would likely run off the road trying to read this entire sign … seems that might pose more danger than would the characteristics warned of in the sign.

Second, we see inconsistent and questionable grammar in a couple of places:

“… next 22 miles include a variety …”

At first glance, this may seem fine … miles can be counted, and they are talking about more than one mile, so it could be correct to use “22 miles” as plural. However, it could also be considered a “22-mile stretch of road coming up,” in which case, it would be treated as singular, and could read, “… the next 22 miles includes a variety …”

The main reason we even question this first point is because of this next point:

“… plus there’s a few blind corners …”

Now, the grammarian in us says that since corners is plural, the usage should be “there are,” or “there’re.” However, using the same type of reasoning we applied in the previous instance about the 22 miles, we could say that since “a few” is singular, the use of “there’s” (for there is) is acceptable.

 

It’s likely that the sign writer thought of neither of these issues, and, we’re just spending a Thursday evening picking at some rather obscure matters. But, isn’t that what this blogging business is all about? Plus, we’re having fun with our wonderfully-complex English language. Just be thankful that we’re not even going to mention the split infinitive, or the run-on nature of the entire sign (one sentence) because we love to use these types of items frequently …

How are you passing your time? Are you reading this and asking, “Who cares?”? At least you’re reading it! Thanks.

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For years now, we have been fretting, along with a lot of you, over grocery stores’ blatant grammar goof in their express lane signs.

You know …

“15 Items or Less” instead of

“15 Items or Fewer”

Well, we are pleased to say that our local Randalls has solved this dilemma once and for all … and simply.

Here’s their solution:

“express  15 item limit”

express lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU!

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