Saturday, July 09, 2011

Sign of the Times: Drive ... Nice?

Bless Miriam K's heart. She took this photo while running a half-marathon in Seattle.

This is one of those tweener grammar issues. You no doubt remember the "Think Different" campaign for Apple. That was legitimate--they were not telling us to think in another way, but rather, to think about what it means to be different. It's a slight difference in construction, but a big difference in meaning. It's much better to be encouraged to think about the world-changing outliers than it is to be told the way you're currently thinking is faulty.

On this one, though, we wish the makers of the sign hadn't flattened the adverb. "Drive nicely" is admittedly stodgy, but "drive nice" doesn't, to us, convey any extra meaning.

We do wish they'd had a typo and written "DRIVE MICE." We've always wanted to saddle up one of those bad boys.

Oh, and if you are interested in learning more about linking verbs, which are legitimately followed by adjectives and not adverbs, click here for some helpful information.

3 comments:

GenKnit said...

In Texas, we have signs that say "Drive Friendly!" This is supposed to help us contain our road rage. I remain unconvinced of the signs' efficacy.

andygirl said...

This is a constant sore point for me, especially since I find my own language conforming to the norm. Why does no one use proper adverbs anymore?

Martha Brockenbrough said...

It's called "flattening" adverbs when you leave the -ly off. Isn't that perfectly apt?