Posted by: Jodi | August 9, 2010

Another Reason Grammar is Important

Take a look at this picture and see if you can tell me what’s wrong.

Catch it?  Yes, this carpeting store has made one of the lethal writing mistakes – confusing ‘to’ and ‘too.’  Many out there think writing rules are only to obeyed at the writer’s leisure, this is not one of them.  Instead of telling the world that they can handle any size job, they are sending a different message altogether.  If taken literally the sign now tells the world, “We can’t deal with small jobs or large jobs”  or  “Midgets and giants look elsewhere.”  They are also advertising that they don’t pay attention to details.  Who know what little things they might overlook when installing your carpet!

I guess what bothers me most is that no one at the carpet store OR the sign shop bothered to check and double-check if the sign was correct.   The “to vs. too” error is one of the holy trinity of errors that must be avoided at all costs.  The other two are confusing “your vs you’re” and “there, they’re, and their.”

What is this world coming to?

If you are going to make a sign, have someone with a brain read it first!

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Responses

  1. Erm… but how can they read it first, if you’re only GOING to make it? Sigh.
    Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
    Of course I agree.

    • Blah! Thanks Mr. Logic.

  2. Your write.

    Their is truth too you’re post.

    People which doesn’t pay attention too detales . . . there apt too make other mistakes in they’re lives to.

    *wink*

    • That is downright painful to read! You had fun writing it, I can tell.

    • It’s hard to write that way. I should have written it “right” and then switched things around.

  3. While I agree that grammar is important, I don’t really agree with the seniment that the most important aspect of this sign is its grammar.

    In an ideal world, literacy education would be such that nobody would make grammar errors, but in the scope of grammar mistakes, this one sign in a carpenter’s is pretty irrelevant. If he’s a wonderful tradesmen and carpente,r, then I couldn’t care less about his grammar – and I don’t think that anybody who reads the sign would take the grammatically correct interpretation as a literal statement on the business, to do so would be facile.

    • All I’m saying is that with a first impression you better come out looking good. I’m sure that they are professionals and are very good with carpet, but with the sign I have a reason to doubt that I wouldn’t have had before.

  4. How funny, my eyes at first, saw nothing wrong, then I saw it…oops

    Yeah, that would bug me, their lack of attention to detail, it would make me think twice about using them.

    • I’m sure it was one of those honest mistakes, with the new opening of the store there was probably thousands of things that needed to get done and this one sign got overlooked. But still…

  5. Well…I know you read my blog, so you know I love intricacies of spelling and usage and the many clever jokes they let you play, but I do have to play the devil’s advocate and point out that fully standardized spelling is only a couple centuries old in English literature. Milton, Pope, Shakespeare, and many other top-shelf authors of the Dead White Males canon were famously bad spellers, and their point did still get across.

    Depending on what you believe about their personal lives, of course, I probably wouldn’t hire any of them to install my carpet.

    • And here I thought for all these years the bad spelling was actually the use of an antiquated English, goes to show that I’m not a literature major.

  6. another pet peeve of mine is the misuse of further and farther. lay and lie.

    • I get confused between passed and past, or spilled and split, or learned and learnt. I know there’re rules, but hey, language is nothing if not fluid, so I just use whichever sounds right to me!

      • I think that comes down to cultural preferences. If it sounds right then no one will call you on it.

  7. lol – very cute! thanks.

  8. Whilst/while is another pair that often confuses me

    • Does anyone still use whilst?

  9. Man, I just spent 8 hours dealing with crap like that.

    In the words of the legendary Bruce Campbell, playing Ashley in the first Evil Dead movie, “Why are you torturing me like this? Why?”

    • Because secretly deep down you like it. [Evil laugh]

  10. I absolutely agree that grammar is important in all forms of writing. What really irks me is to see errors in newspapers and magazines.


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