Commas, Grammar, Punctuation

Commas 101

This mistake is not too bad in the grand scheme of grammatical life, but it provides a nice lesson for us about commas. Commas have about a bajillion rules, and I would say almost everyone I know admits to having a hard time remembering when to put them and when not to. My mom, for… Continue reading Commas 101

Grammar, Pronoun/Antecedent

Proper Pronouns, Please!

I found this error on a Sherman Alexie poster in the hallway of the English department at my alma mater. Ironic, I know. We have another case of pronoun/antecedent disagreement (on the text on the far right of the poster). The first word of the sentence is concealed, but the sentence reads, "Any man or… Continue reading Proper Pronouns, Please!

Comma Splice, Commas, Grammar, Poor Editing, Punctuation

Sugar and Splice

IHOP, IHOP, IHOP. I expected more from you since you're a huge chain and all; I really did. This is a problem -- a big problem. Here we have . . . (drumroll) . . . a comma splice (gasp!). It makes me sad when people try to give the job of a period (or… Continue reading Sugar and Splice

Apostrophes, Grammar, Plural, Poor Editing

Apostrophes Not Fit for Plurals

I know "CD GOODIE BOX" AND "$9.99!!" are the most important messages on this sign, but that's no reason to include errors in the small print. Again, I was at Tradesmart, and again, I found an error in its advertising strategies. This particular error happens frequently: using an apostrophe to form a plural. In this… Continue reading Apostrophes Not Fit for Plurals

Grammar, Poor Editing, Pronoun/Antecedent, Sexist Language

My Female Doctor in “His” Room

This is the second of three errors I found while waiting for my doctor, who, as I mentioned in my earlier post (click here for a reminder), was female. So you can see why I couldn't help snapping a picture of this sexist note. "Please ask your doctor while he is in the room." I… Continue reading My Female Doctor in “His” Room

Grammar, Poor Editing, Spelling

To Assure or Ensure? That Is the Question

I was visiting the doctor when I found this. (I actually snapped three pictures while waiting for her; I will talk about the others later.) The problem is the word assure. You see, assure can be used only with animate objects that are capable of having anxiety. You assure your grandmother her green chicken is… Continue reading To Assure or Ensure? That Is the Question

Capitalization, Grammar, Poor Editing, Titles

Capitalizing Titles Chick-Fil-A Style

Chick-Fil-A, you're next. I have just a tiny bone to pick with you. First, I don't like that you capitalized all the main words in a sentence, but I realize it is serving as a title, so I will let that slide. That being said, if you're going to go with the rules of capitalizing… Continue reading Capitalizing Titles Chick-Fil-A Style

Commas, Facebook Transgressions, Grammar, Punctuation

Commas Matter

I found this on the Facebook page of one of my favorite places to shop -- Tradesmart. It's like Hastings on steroids and has every possible type of entertainment imaginable. I love your merchandise, Tradesmart, but I need you to step up the punctuation. This isn't technically a mistake, but it can lead to misreading.… Continue reading Commas Matter