Thursday, May 30, 2013

Corporate grammar follies

It's always interesting to get on the road and see how corporate America can mangle punctuation, usage and grammar in its signs.

A recent road trip to Arkansas to see the grandkids produced its usual bumper crop of grocer's apostrophes, misspellings and funky usage.

But one that especially struck me was at a McDonald's in Olive Branch, Miss.. On both the door and the large sign out front, the signs loudly proclaimed:

We accept competitor's coupons
Uh, can we get a bit more specific there, Mickey D's? What competitor would it be - the Burger King next door? The Zaxby's across the street? The Wendy's down the road?

What the restaurant more likely meant to say was that it accepted competitors' coupons.

Then I got back here and while waiting at the DMV today was watching the ads roll by on the DMV TV network (who knew - you can't get away from it anywhere). One helpfully noted that a local body shop was "besides" a local auto dealer.

Now, you might want to go to the body shop instead of the auto dealer for your repair, but I suspect the shop wanted to say it was beside that auto dealer.

Beside = next to
Besides = in addition to or apart from
Sigh. And a pox on the next business person who, when I say I teach in a journalism school, starts going on about how "kids" can't spell, etc., these days.

(Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera handy for either one.)

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