Those of you who have been here long enough know that while I may not have that great a grasp on the English language, I shore do enjoy it! And while I’m not a grammar or punctuation Nazi, I do expect the simpler constructions to be correct. But sometimes it isn’t a misplaced comma like “let’s eat grandma” that does it. Or not even something like “Eats shoots and leaves” (which is the title of a book I have yet to read). I get a mad case of the gigglies when I see stuff like:
“Free with paid admission.” Really? Who do they think they’re fooling? I mean, they must fool somebody, or else they wouldn’t continue to use it. But who?
Speaking of “free,” I saw this on a website the other day: “Purchase this free download.” It made me feel like asking how much they’d like me to pay for the free download, because I’m certain I could easily afford…F-R-E-E! But you know as well as I do, that’s not what they meant. I can often excuse website gaffs thinking maybe a non-native English speaker penned it.
But I’m pretty sure a native English speaker penned what I saw on the window of our local Burger King: “We use counterfeit pens on all bills.” The first time I saw this, I was tempted to call the counterfeit pen police immediately. I could not believe they were confessing to so heinous a crime to the public. And in writing! I didn’t realize there was such a big market for counterfeit pens.
As many of you know, I’ve been a frequent flyer here lately. I heard the following at one of the airports: “Please maintain control of your bags at all times and report any suspicious activity to the nearest law enforcement officer.” I don’t know about you, but my bags are often unruly when we travel. I often resort to threats of checking them with the other freight, but I’ve never considered turning them over to the law…not even when they try to sneak off.
Also heard at an airport (and no, I don’t remember which ones): “If someone has added something to your bag without your knowledge, please report it to the nearest airport official immediately.” Uh…really? So, if it happened without my knowledge then…oh nevermind.
One of my favorites is a line I saw at the end of a contract: “You must read, comprehend and agree to all the terms.” I don’t remember which contract it was (but I imagine it was my Marvel-termination letter, the one that I was forced to sign before I left the room, under threat of zero severance). I mean, what would they do to you if you lied? Who comprehends legalese anyway?
See, I love the English language. It’s so much fun!