Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Grammatical grumbles

While idly glancing over the notice board in a village hall yesterday evening I spotted this notice:

Monthly services
9.30 every Sunday

OK, I don't need you to tell me that there is no grammatical error in there but it gave me a chuckle and I hope it did you as well.  And I swear it is the absolute truth.  Of course, I do appreciate that I may well be guilty of having made similar faux pas in various places in this blog.  I just wish people would point them out to me so that I can join in the general laughter.

What has caused me a little irritation of late is an invitation which is even now propped up in a prominent place.  I will make alterations to the wording to protect the guilty party or parties but it reads something like this:

John and Jane
Invite you to join us
In a
Celebration of Our Marriage
On
[Whatever date they chose]
At
[A venue of their choice]

And what is so heinous about that? you ask.  Two things, I reply.  First, every line starts with a capital letter.  Granted, the only other place where a capital letter appears when not required is in the words "our marriage" but just picture that invitation as ordinary prose.  It is, after all, just one sentence long so could be written:

John and Jane Invite you to join us In a Celebration of Our Marriage On [date] At [venue]

So many people do produce invitations and notices like this.  Why?  (That's a rhetorical question so you don't need to reply.)

And the second niggle?  "John and Jane invite you to join US"  -  it should be "them" as the invitation is written in the third person.

So you think I am being over-picky.  Maybe I am, after all, the invitation is easy to understand and it will all be the same ina hundred years from now, as my old granny used to say.  But there are rules of both spelling and grammar and I am willing to bet that many of the people who accuse me of being over-picky would complain about teachers failing to correct errors of spelling on the grounds that pupils need to be encouraged to express themselves.  It is all a matter of where the line should be drawn.  I say to those who accuse me of being pernickety, w8 a minit, r u happy to reed proes like this?  If the rules of spelling and grammar are cast aside, that is a logical result.  The problem that I see is possible misunderstandings that could have disastrous results.  There are rules.  Let's stick to the important ones ourselves and encourage others to do so as well.

Meantime, I must check with the pharmacist.  I have a spray to relieve my chest condition.  The dosage instructions read, "two to four puffs up to four times a day".  So the maximum dose is 16 puffs.  But why can I not spread those puffs over more than four uses?  Say, two puffs eight times in a day?  As I say, I must check.

~~~~~

I did mutter about taking a photograph every morning and then joining them in a slide show as a way of producing a type of time lapse photography.  I have abandoned the idea as there have been just two occasions during the last three weeks when the sky at 7.30 has not been overcast or - as this morning - completely missing due to very low cloud cover.

Nor did I get down the garden on Monday when I said it was calling.  By the time I got there it had started to rain again!

~~~~~

This picture is looking across the centre of the Roman Camp - a flattish expanse with a wide variety of wild flowers now the brambles have been cut back.


4 comments:

Uncle Skip, said...

I was going to gripe about programs that automatically capitalize the first word of each line following the clicking of the return key.

Buck said...

I'm SO with ya on grammar and usage. I'm not perfect but I DO try (my colloquialisms aside).

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