I remember that night after my Freshman year when I told my parents I was changing majors from Computer Science to English. After they came to, they expressed their concerns – they thought I’d never find a job. But I proved them wrong; I’ve been through plenty of jobs since then.
Ironically, my previous Computer Science classmates are looking for jobs now, having had theirs outsourced. And because they’ve never learned to communicate with anything human, they constantly create ridiculous grammatical errors, along with a demand for us English majors.
It’s as if we’ve become a world without a proofreader. Most of the errors are found in signs at businesses, who should really consider hiring us to review everything they hang on their walls. A fellow writer recently saw this sign at an establishment in a nearby mall: Dog’s Welcome.
If they meant to imply that all dogs are welcome, they need to erase the apostrophe. That’s used for possessives and contractions, not plurals. Leaving it in creates numerous other interpretations.
Could be there’s only one dog welcome, and they were trying to say, “Dog is welcome.” Sounds rather Slavic, da? “Dog is welcome, but Moose and Squirrel must die, Boris.”
Then again, maybe they like that bounty hunter from TV.
The apostrophe might be possessive, and a “Dog’s Welcome” is what you will receive if you go into that store. In which case, I’d walk on, not really wanting a salesclerk to wag his tail, drool on me, and sniff me in inappropriate places.
Lastly, it could just mean that a dyslexic was preparing for the Second Coming.
Another friend shared this beauty from a counter at the food court Chick-fil-A: It’s “our pleasure” to refill your drink.
Quotation marks are meant to enclose either direct quotes or figurative language. Since there was no source cited for the insightful quote of “our pleasure,” it’s to be assumed the phrase is figurative. In which case, I’d be pretty skeptical of their intentions, and probably eschew the refill.
But what else can we expect, grammatically, from the franchise that purports a single letter “A” makes the long “ey” sound? No, you cows! That’s nothing more than a schwa; it would be pronounced, “Chick-fil-uh.”
And we’re not even going to talk about the people who misuse … the ellipse … on their … signs … to the point where you could swear William Shatner must have been dictating the words to them.
Last fall, my favorite McDonald’s posted its employment needs and seasonal menu offerings on the same sign without any punctuation, resulting in this gem: “NOW HIRING MANAGERS & CREW PUMPKIN PIE.” Can you imagine how the job interview for a pumpkin pie might go? “Well, we need someone with a crusty personality, but who’s not afraid to be sweet inside. Your function fits within a typical box.”
Another sign near me has no grammatical errors; it’s simply unnecessary. The cheapest gas in town is just down the street, and the pump traffic is maddening. So they put up signs at either end of the rows of pumps, reading, “Exit only” and “Enter only.” The second one is a waste of posterboard; can anyone tell me when you will read an “Enter only” sign from your car and actually be in danger of breaking that rule?
I’ve noticed other unnecessary notifications from my car. Whenever I request a withdrawal from my ATM, it returns my card prior to dispensing the money and receipt. Just in case I’m an idiot, it flashes this reminder: “Please wait for cash.” Not only is that insulting, it’s social Darwinism – if the driver in front of me is stupid enough to leave his money hanging from the ATM, please don’t remind him and deprive me of the windfall!
Speaking of money, I also love this one from our local newspaper dispenser boxes: “Use any combination of coins. Do not insert pennies.” Yep, and feel free to take as many papers out of the box as you want. As long as you only want one.
I see my word limit is rapidly approaching. This is a sign I should…obey…and bring my word’s to an “end.”