I thought for turkey week, I would write a blog with some real grammar turkeys! Hope you get a chuckle or two…
Some of My Favorite Goofs
Ambiguous modifier: Visiting relatives can be boring.
Misplaced modifier: For sale: Beautiful oak desk perfect for student with large drawers
Shouldn’t there be a comma somewhere? I just love to bake children.
Misplaced modifier: While still in diapers, my mother remarried.
Ambiguous modifier: He heard about the wedding in the men’s room.
Misplaced modifier: Wanted: A room by two gentlemen 30 feet long and 20 feet wide.
Some Real Newspaper Headlines
4-H Girls Win Prizes for Fat Calves
Big Ugly Woman Wins Beauty Pageant (Newspaper in town of Big Ugly, WV)
Body Search Reveals $4,000 in Crack (from the Jackson Citizen-Patriot, Michigan)
Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy (from the Louisville Courier Journal)
Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
Eye Drops off Shelf
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Include your Children When Baking Cookies
A Little More Humor…
Butcher’s sign: Try our sausages. None like them.
A tailor’s guarantee: If the smallest hole appears after six months’ wear, we will make another absolutely free.
Lost: A small pony belonging to a young lady with a silver mane and tail.
Barber’s sign: Hair cut while you wait.
Lost: Wallet belonging to a young man made of calf skin
How About These?
It takes many ingredients to make Burger King great, but the secret ingredient is our people. (Yuck)
Slow Children Crossing
Automatic washing machines. Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.
“Elephants Please Stay In Your Car.” (Warning at a safari park).
And Some Easy-to-Understand Jargon!
- These guidelines are written in a matter-of-fact style that eschews jargon, the obscure and the insular. They are intended for use by the novice and the experienced alike. [From the United Kingdom Evaluation Society ‘Guidelines for good practice in evaluation’]
- This is a genuine ground floor opportunity to shape a front line field force operating in a matrix structure. [As stated on the ‘Take a Fresh Look at Wales’ website]
- The cause of the fire was due to a malicious ignition incident that was fortunately contained to the function and meeting room area of the hotel. [News statement about a fire at a hotel]
- Its clear lines and minimalist design provide it with an unmistakable look. It is daring, and different. So that your writing instrument not only carries your message, but lives it. [Promotional literature for … pens]
- Where the policy is divided into a number of distinct arrangements (‘Arrangements’) where benefits are capable of being taken from on Arrangement or group of Arrangements separately from other Arrangements, then this policy amendment will not apply to any Arrangements in respect of which the relevant policy proceeds have already been applied to provide benefits. The policy amendment will apply to all other Arrangements under the policy. [Policy amendment, Norwich Union]
And here is one that truly appeared in the newspaper; it was intended as a brief description of a Peter Ustinov documentary:
“Highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector”. (This quote is obviously British, since the period is after the quotations! And look what can happen if you leave out the Oxford comma!)
I you haven’t had enough yet, please check out these websites for some funny bad grammar/spelling photos:
10 Unfortunate Grammar and Spelling Mistakes – http://www.buzzfeed.com/copyranter/10-more-unfortunate-grammar-and-spelling-mistakes
15 Hilarious Newspaper Errors – http://www.oddee.com/item_97261.aspx
Grammar Mistakes on Signs – http://www.bitrebels.com/lifestyle/grammar-mistakes-on-signs/
Punctuation Mistakes in Advertising – http://theadgrad.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/the-three-most-hideous-punctuation-errors-in-advertising/
Enjoy your turkey!