7 Product Grammar Fails: The Tip of the Iceberg

who rescued who whom

“Whom.” You were trying to say, “Who rescued whom?” It’s a direct object, not a subject.

Maybe, it was the 200th time I saw the pet adoption sticker above and wanted a red marker. Or it could’ve been all the advertising I see that ignores direct address rules. Like every sports ad ever. Whatever the reason, I found myself particularly aware of products with bad grammar this holiday season. Here are 7  product grammar fails that I saw and thought to document from 3 shopping trips (that’s right – 3 trips):

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No wonder people don’t know how to use commas correctly! They see bad grammar everywhere.

It’s bad enough looking at internet posts where anyone can upload anything. There’s no one checking the posts, no quality control. But these are products sold by big companies! They have copyeditors – they should, anyway. I know that the actual manufacturing is usually outsourced as cheaply as possible (often to countries where English grammar is not a common skill), but the designs are still made in-house and should be checked in-house.

In other words, there’s no excuse for this. Either the company was too cheap to hire a copyeditor and trusted their target audience not to care (a probable yet frustrating option), or the copyeditor didn’t know grammar that well (grumble). Neither option is pleasing, and there’s only one thing we can do to fight it: spread the awareness.

Post products with *grammar fails. Correct them so that people learn. So that they are too ashamed to show off products that are missing commas. Better yet, teach them the right way so that they will never buy them. At least, teach them the top grammar rules not to break!

I know. I’m an optimist.

Look at it this way: even if it doesn’t teach everyone, you still get to correct the error virtually. That’s a lot better than getting arrested for vandalism when you paint the comma onto the expensive-yet-grammatically-incorrect billboard, right? It’s definitely less expensive than the hospital bills from the fall when the police bullhorn startles you into falling off (or am I the only klutzy grammar Nazi?).

Think about it. Better yet, start posting photos of products with horrible grammar in the comments! Satisfy your inner grammar Nazi and show the world the right way to write.

*Yes, I know that “grammar fail” is technically a grammar fail – I appease my inner grammar Nazi by considering it slang.


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