Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Fricassee

It's been a busy week around here! Thanks, everyone, for your participation in our first logline critique session (and another huzzah for Holly Bodger, who is not only the icing on the cake, but also the meat in the stew!).

In the spirit of all-things-wordy, I bring you this tale of my knee-jerk response to a grammatical error.  In an email.  From a local business.  In a large font.  It said:


(I made that bigger to give you the full effect of the HORROR AND SHAME.)

It was an invitation to an open house with drawings and sale prices and all sorts of local goodness.  But I couldn't get past the error.

So I snapped.  I hit "reply" and said:

Sounds lovely!

At the risk of being "that" person -- it's YOU'RE INVITED.  Not "your invited".  YOU'RE = contraction for "you are".  (Yes, I'm a writer and editor.)


Then I brushed imaginary dust from my hands and figured I'd be de-listed at best, eternally hated at worst.  Because, yanno, who likes a grammar know-it-all?

Imagine my surprise when, the next morning, I received the following:

We could use a good writer.... What are you doing in your spare time? 

I wish I had gotten your correction before I sent this out to all our customers.
I bet they will get the meaning and hopefully look past my mistake.

Maybe you will get to come by sometime in October! Thanks for keeping us on our toes.

There you have it: THERE IS HOPE FOR HUMANITY.  (Well, that, or I was lucky to come across one extremely tolerant and diplomatic person who may have had experience with apostrophe vigilantes in the past.)

At any rate, I feel like maybe this was a teachable moment.  As in, next time she wants to invite the masses to her store, she will remember our conversation and avoid the grammatical error.  Who knows?  She may go on to TELL OTHERS.

I may have started a local YOUR/YOU'RE revolution!

Well.  Probably not.  But it surely does feel good to not be hated.

Happy weekend!


  1. Authoress, these Friday posts are the best! YOUR AWESOME!

    lol...couldn't resist

  2. You just made my stomach drop. LOL!

  3. Good for you, Authoress! I believe that as long as one approaches something like this in a polite and friendly manner as you did, there should never be anything wrong with trying to educate the world. ;)

    You're just trying to help, after all -- and, as it turned out in this situation, in my experience folks are often aware that writing and grammar is not their strong suit and that they could use the help of a skilled writer/editor, so they actually appreciate it when someone points out an error. Of course, I'm a grammar and punctuation Nazi myself, so I'm a little biased...

    And this post made me laugh because the first thing I thought of when I read it was the cartoon by Kathryn LeMieux titled 'When English Teachers Snap'. You may have seen it -- it shows the police arresting a little old lady for vandalism because she's just corrected a billboard that says 'Got Milk?' to make it say 'Do you have any milk?'!!!

  4. My friends and family all roll their eyes when I say there is no "pre!" as in "preboard" a plane, or "preheat" an oven or "preregister." So I'm proud of you, dear Authoress, for addressing a grammatical error and I'm also proud of the person who responded with such grace. Sarah

  5. I once sent a short, polite email to a business advertising "Dinning Tables". I should know better- 75% of the posters on craigslist seem to think that dinning tables go in dinning rooms, but I thought this business might have better luck if they added a correct spelling of their merchandise. Incorrect grammar and spelling in an advertisement reflects poorly on a business (I know I wouldn't shop there).

    No thanks from them- just a mean, snotty reply. Guess they don't care about attracting clientele who are able to spell.

  6. DJ! I seriously just laughed out loud at this: "75% of the posters on craigslist seem to think that dinning tables go in dinning rooms."

    It was almost an all-out guffaw. LOL

  7. Good for you! I once had to tell a company that they had misspelled a word on ALL of their signage...the word garment was spelled GARMET. This was on their building, their business vehicle, in their advertising...oh, it was awful. AND IT WAS A PRINTING AND SIGNAGE COMPANY.

    I didn't get a thank you for that one. Oh well.

  8. Oh man, that's like an almost-offer for a job right there. That's kind of sweet!

  9. That's awesome! Lol! That first comment up there really made me laugh. ^_^

  10. That's quite a response. Glad to see they reacted positively and even better invited you to write for them.

  11. I hope you visit her store. What a gracious response! She's a model for all of us.

  12. The poor handyman around the corner has a sign on his truck that says, "No job to small!"

  13. Love this! (And the gracious response.)

  14. In the midst of winetasting during the Sonoma Valley Crush weekend here in lovely Sonoma Valley, CA, I noticed a misspelling at one of the wineries. 2008 Syarh. I suggested to the woman pouring the Syrah wine that perhaps someone had made a mistake since it seemed they were offering pirate wine at $40 a bottle. She thanked me for pointing out the mistake since no one else had caught it.
    So yes, pointing out errors sometimes yields another glass of great wine or in your case, a polite response from a local business.

  15. I'm so glad it ended well! I hate confrontation about as much as I hate poor spelling though, so...

  16. The 'dinning' tables reminded me of a friend of mine. I used to do a lot of work for him, and he always had creative misspellings in his paperwork (I think he may be a bit dyslexic) and one thing he always did was to spell 'dinner' as 'diner'.

    I have a hilarious story that relates to that and one of his other curious spellings, but I'm afraid it's too long to post here. But I think it's pretty funny that we have 'dining' vs. 'dinning' and 'dinner' vs. 'diner' -- it's either too many 'N's or not enough! :D

  17. This is exciting! Good grammar may spread!!! And you could have another job if you ever need one....