Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Contraction Afflictions

From the SPOGG front lines in Burien, WA:


We have been celebrating your website for months now, appreciating a society as passionate about the correct execution of the English language as we are. However, the glaring grammatical offenses illustrated on advertisements and signs for various businesses in our small city of Burien, Washington, have called us from our passive enjoyment of SPOGG to the world of grammatical action as full-fledged SPOGG members.

The following grammatical errors must be reported:

1. A local toy store has a bold sign it its window proudly declaring, "Game Night Friday's 5-7 pm". You can imagine our horror that a possessive would be used in place of a plural. When we saw this sign, we wondered who would allow their children to attend a game night at a store that couldn't even figure out how to make a day of the week plural.

2. At a local elementary school's Ice Cream Social, a sign read, "Sundae's 50 Cents". Clearly, the misuse of possessive sundae disturbed us to no end.

3. Again, a misplaced apostrophe got the best of a local salon, whose sign reads, "Walk-In's Welcome". Kelly almost choked on her coffee when she first spotted the mistake.

3. (d'oh!) 4. Key Bank (which no doubt poured oodles of money into this advertising campaign) has a poster reading, "Where's that leave your 401K?"" If the writers of said advertisement were to write this without the contraction, they would say "Where is that leave your 401K?" This is obviously unintelligible. Clearly, the contraction "what's" is short for "what is", and the misguided writers used "where's" interchangeably with "where does." One wonders if there is a contraction for "what shame"... (SPOGG note: We're going to look into this where's issue; we think these contractions might be permissible. We do love the idea of a contraction for "what shame" -- wh'ame?)

We will make sure to keep you posted on any and all grammar errors we spot around town. Thanks for your hard work in the fight for proper grammar and usage.

Kelly and Sue
Burien, WA

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