Grammar Crime: Teacher’s Plant

121104_1445I was out shopping today with Katherine and Quinn, and I spotted the following sign, which was proofread neither for grammar nor for irony. Perhaps Mrs. Miller (neé Noland), my high school English teacher, had too much influence over me in my formative years, but I’ve got a nearly reflexive compulsion to proofread everything I see, particularly signage. For some reason, sign makers in particular seem afflicted with two grammatical maladies: the “gratuitous” use of quotation marks and the tendency to use the apostrophe when there is no possessive in sight.

  • Sweet Fancy Moses! It’s not Mrs. Miller’s fault! There is something coded into our genetic structure that makes us do this. It is borderline compulsive behavior for me (though I suspect that friends of mine would not use the soft-sell ‘borderline’ distinction). I see Q-Dog’s future and it is chock-full o’ OCD! This is why I probably won’t spawn.
    Glad to hear that it is not just me, though. I wonder if young Reid has the same issues. (I have often noted that I don’t have issues, I have tendencies…or subscriptions, perhaps.)
    Oh, and you should go see “The Aviator” because I think that you will find something frighteningly sympathetic about Hughes.

  • Another relevant post Ryan!
    I’m the same way. I once took a personality test online when I was in 7th grade I think and one question was, “If you were in the midst of a bitter breakup with your girlfriend, and she uttered a grammar error during the fight, would you notice it?” Of course I would.
    It’s pretty scary the number of business people whose writing flat out stinks. There was a Page 1 article in the NYT about this recently and all the money that’s going into remedial writing skills by companies.
    See my post:

  • Sam

    I’d have sympathy for all of you, were it not for the fact that I’m in the midst of grading a huge stack of final essays. You can NOT imagine the lack of knowledge of basic grammer. And keep in mind, these are essays in an advanced, senior-level, essay-driven course, from students at one of the better public universities in the country.
    Having taught a variety of college populations, I usually spend 80% of my time working on writing skills. High school simply does not give students even rudimentary abilities.
    Oh, and we may just have to eliminate the possessive in the English language: the current generation of college-age students simply don’t understand it.

  • Kristin

    I don’t understand what’s “the problem” with you guys. Its not like their is any thing wrong with grammar or spelling, or writing nowadays. The reason your upset is because Mrs. Miller isn’t their to correct the reporters and news journalist. Besides, I think most people know alot about writing good.

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