Archives for December 2016

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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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Christmas Is Not a Date: A Mary Ellen Chase Quote

Christmas children is not a date Mary Ellen ChaseWhether Christmas is the highlight of your year or a torment you simply attempt to survive, may kindness, generosity, and caring live in your hearts and minds the whole year round.

Happy holidays, everyone!
Em

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4 Christmas Stories You’ve Probably Never Heard of

Christmas stories silly cat with a Christmas tree

It was kind of hard to find a picture that meshes the story types, but I think this works.

Bloggers who emphasize writing and reading have a tendency to write about good holiday books (A.K.A. Christmas stories) when it gets close to December 25th. I can’t blame them (I’m just as guilty); however, I’ve noticed that lists like “The Twelve Books of Christmas” often overlook stories that I, personally, consider to be holiday gems. Don’t get me wrong: I like A Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas as well as the next person. But here are 4 Christmas stories you’ve probably never heard of – at least not from the traditional book lists.

My 4 Favorite Christmas Stories You’ve Probably Never Heard of

Sweet Christmas Stories

If you’re observant (and I like to think that you are), you’ll notice that these two stories have a couple of things in common. Let’s just say that I liked cats and happy endings as a child (Ok. I’m still a child.).

 1. The Christmas Cat by Efner Tudor Holmes

A poor cat is struggling through the snow even as a young boy worries that Santa won’t make it through the snow storm. If you think Santa arranges a happy ending for both, you’re right, which is, honestly, exactly what most children want in a story. Especially a Christmas story. The lovely drawings and interesting portrayal of Santa Claus make this book stand out and make the story extra enthralling and heart-warming.

2. “The Christmas Day Kitten” from James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

A wonderfully unique title, I know; however, this compilation of short stories was one of my favorites growing up, and while this particular story is extra appropriate to Christmas time, the rest are just as touching, amusing, and inspiring.

Each story features the vet (James Herriot) and his experience with a special animal. Dogs, cats, horses, and even cows share the spotlight in delightful stories full of each animal’s individual character (not to mention their owners!). The rich paintings bring the stories to life in ways no child (and few adults) can resist. It’s a charming book for any time of the year, but the hope and kindness that binds the stories together is especially appropriate at Christmas.

Silly Christmas Stories

So… apparently, I have two sides: sweet with happy endings for animals or silly with plenty of plays on words, especially with parodies. These two books fall in the latter category (but you knew that).

3. Cajun Night Before Christmas by Trosclair

Technically, our copy of this book belongs to my parents (Hmm… I need to get one…), but not only are the drawings fun and interesting to a child, the dialect of the writing is absolutely irresistible! I remember reading it aloud to myself, trying to get the accent right from the writing. I doubt I ever did (even today), but, oh, did I have fun trying!

Besides, a tattered St. Nick with gators instead of reindeer? Who could resist that?

4. Da Night Before Kris-Moose by Terry Foy

Speaking of accents, have you ever been to Minnesota? No? What about a theatrical viking accent? Ever heard one? You know the one I mean – at least, I hope so because you’ll need it for this book.

This parody of the traditional poem relies heavily on the accent and homophones to change the meaning of the poem, creating a combination parody and caricature that’s well worth a giggle or two. And, as stories go, this one has some points that are definitely more applicable to today than the historic version!

Oh, and if you get the chance to hear this Christmas story performed by the author, take it. Your abs might hate you afterwards, but, remember, laughing burns calories!

Sweetly Sappy or Superbly Silly?

Which will it be? Whichever you pick, these Christmas stories (you know, the ones you’ve probably never heard of) are great for children and adults. In fact, they’re great for children who are adults (Hi!). So pick a flavor and dive in!

What about you? Got any favorite Christmas stories that I’ve probably never heard of?

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Today’s Post Delayed Further Due to Ow

So… this evening, I kind of closed a garage door on 3 fingers of my right hand (my write hand… get it? [Sorry]). Nothing’s majorly damaged, but I haven’t felt like typing too much since then (Sorry?). I’ll try to catch up tomorrow.

-Em