Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gratuitous Displays of Poor Grammar

So to continue with my prolific blogging I shall today be posting pictures of examples of public displays of poor grammar. I'm not sure if terrible grammar was as ubiquitous 10 years ago or if it's just that these days any moron with a computer and the Internet can write any thing they want any way they want.

To kick it off is an example that was actually discovered in person when Ank and I were in Tasmania. We stayed at a caravan park in Port Arthur and were shocked to see this abomination of grammatical evil:

Yes, I have joined countless Facebook groups about how I think less of you if you have poor grammar and that correct grammar is sexy but it just doesn't seem to convey my Grammar Rage at seeing simple things written so wrong. None more so than on signs. It's almost as if there should be a social responsibility for anyone requiring a sign to make sure everything is spelled correctly and that the grammar is correct. There should be fines or something.

In my research I have found that the apostrophe is the bane of many a sign writer. So many just don't seem to know how to use them. As The Oatmeal suggests in "How To Use An Apostrophe": When in doubt don't use an apostrophe. And I agree. So many examples I found were people just going crazy with them. It is better to see a word without one when needed than just put in willy nilly

I really hope this place is going out of business due to a lack of grammatically outraged patrons boycotting the place:

Both Ank and I actually do consciously avoid businesses that have misspelled signs or poor grammar. I for one would not go to this place to get a sign done:

Here we have an example of two outrageous things in one: Poor public grammar AND religion! I don't want to suggest too much by the next few examples but seriously: religion probably means you're stupid:

^ Nothing except maybe spelling

^ Seriously: these guys are trying to tell you that creationism is how we got here. Maybe if they were actually educated they would get it.

If there's one thing that turns me off going to a particular business it would be the incorrect use of the letter 'Z'. There is nothing 'cute' or 'cool' about misspelling things. It's just irritating. This business below goes the extra mile by adding in the infamous unnecessary apostrophe:

One of the most infuriating errors is the constant mix up with 'they', 'their' and 'they're'. The apostrophe errors can usually be excused. Sure, they can be tricky sometimes, but this is not rocket surgery.

I would never try those cookies or rice crispy treats on principle:

Worse yet is the your/you're problem. Once again, see above-mentioned rocket surgery comment.

This bus is just a grammatical train wreck - or bus wreck as the case may be. It has the correct intention of "you're" but the apostrophe has (yet again) let it down. I'm not sure if my boycott would extend to not getting on a bus with an advertisement with poor grammar. It certainly wouldn't bode well for the impending trip. I guess it would depend on if I was running late or not and if there was a later bus I could catch to get to my destination on time.

Now, if I had a child at Highland Park Junior High I would pull them out as soon as I saw this one. They claim "Knowledge is Power" on their crest, obviously this school wouldn't be much of a match for Gandalf

Speaking of schools: I would not be too sure about enrolling in these night classes:

There are actually many more but I am starting to think this might be something for a part II some other time. I may even take some pictures (now that Ank and I actually own a camera!) and show you some local examples.

I shall leave you with an example of grammatical justice. I would love to carry around a red marker so I can act on my Grammar Rage like this person has:


  1. lol I really liked this ! Very fun :) Bridie

  2. So funny. Here in Abu Dhabi everyone seems to be 'defiantly' doing something. I have seen it written in the local paper far too often. Such defiance! Aura


    Sorry Cam, but I'm with Stephen on this one! Being in love, as I am, with a very poor speller and misuser of grammar, I've realised how unimportant it all is when it comes to expressing yourself. I believe that language belongs to everyone, not just the educated. Having said all that though, it was a cracker of a read, tres funny! :)

  4. Excellent. I have my own war of boycotting poor grammar. Unfortunately, this one is proving quite a task to fight. Avoiding places and people that practice poor grammar is simple enough. However, when the boycott expands and encompasses your English teacher - you know you have a problem.

  5. oooh, we share the same pet peeve! i've posted a few entries about this exact problem! and why can't the sign makers write correctly either???

  6. this is like my dream blog post.
    i used to pop into this one supermarket on my way to/from uni practically every day of the week and there was a sign near the checkout advertising chewing gum that said "GET'S FRUITY!"
    every second day there'd be a new sign, because on alternate days someone would have scribbled out the apostrophe. it's gone now.

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  8. I know this is quite an old blog entry but I've just read it and I was wondering what you see wrong with the "30% off" sign. It's grammatically correct with respect to the apostrophes. The only thing I can see wrong is the ampersand which really shouldn't be used as an abbreviation for "and" except in special cases, although its misuse is very common. Apart from that I share your irritation with poor grammar in signage.

    1. "...with respect to the apostrophes." I'd call that a TRIPLE FAIL! Wake up, coconut head.

    2. Sorry, but Paul is right.

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