I Must Digress for a Grammar Rant

G2 commercial, I hate you with the burning passion of a thousand suns.

G2 commercial, I hate you with the burning passion of a thousand suns.

Okay, I’ve tried to hold this in.  Partly because I don’t want all of you to leave here whispering “oooo, she’s Crazy” as you leave, and partly because if I post some random rant about a Thing that Makes Me Mad, I will have another Mrs. Paul’s Incident on my hands.  I post about that awful commercial, and all of a sudden, folks are finding me by searching for “you feed me minced?” “Mrs. Paul’s whole filet commercial” and “little girl minced fish.”  And guess who these people are?  They are people who like the commercial!  So then they want to yell at me because they just came to “ooh” and “ah” over Little Miss Minced Fish and somehow I forced them to read my post. Deep breaths.

Well, I cannot hold it in.  Before I Unleash my Wrath, I need to tell you two things about myself.  Thing One:  I ran for class secretary in the 5th grade.  I stayed up late making campaign buttons with the Catchy Campaign Slogan “Vote for me.  I can spell.”  Because, seriously, shouldn’t Good Spelling Skills be at the top of the list of Secretarial Job Requirements?  I lost.  My own campaign manager voted for Jennifer Jones.  Who, incidentally, is one of my facebook friends.  Thing Two:  I laughed out loud when I read Eats Shoots and Leaves.  I laughed A Very Lot.  I laughed until my face hurt.  (Yes, I know, it’s killing you.  You’re hilarious.  Can we move on, please)?  If you do not know of this book, it is a hilarious Treatise on Proper Grammar.  And in my world, those two things go together quite nicely.  If you want to fix Inappropriate Apostrophes wherever you see them, then this book is for you.  I read it in bed, and every 7 seconds, I would howl with laughter and force The Beloved to listen to me gasp my way through a hilarious passage.  He was underwhelmed.  He would say things like, “That’s amusing, but I’m trying to read.  It’s just not that funny.”  God love him, he means well.

Now that you know where I’m coming from, I can tell you of my outrage over the new G2 tagline.  Here’s a link to The Commercial In Question, kindly provided by groovyoldlady.  I saw the commercial twice during Bones (no apostrophe).  Some basketball guy and some regular guy in a pool, each striving to be the best that they can be in their own way.  Each one, apparently, drinking G2.  Even the swimmer who got the pink slip and can’t pay the mortgage.  You know, because G2 is free and all.  Anyway, the tagline is “Less Calories for More Athletes.”  I heard this, and my head snapped up like I’d been hooked on a line.  “Seriously?!”  I yelled (sort of) at the television.  “What’s the matter, oh Beloved” calls The Beloved.  “The G2 people suck!  They said less calories.  It’s fewer calories.  Fewer!”  He stopped listening at that point, because he knows How I Get.

If you don’t know the rule, here it is.  You’re welcome.  If you can count it, it’s fewer.  If you can’t, it’s less.  Some examples, students:  Fewer M&Ms.  Less candy.  Fewer pennies.  Less money.  Fewer IQ points.  Less intelligence.  Fewer calories.  Less sugar.  Great taste.  Less filling.  Oh, sorry…

And that’s really all I have to say.  I tried to find the Offending Commercial on YouTube so you could see and share in the Outrage, but it wasn’t there.  It probably will be there tomorrow.  But I won’t be.  The Beloved and I (and my Sharpie, for correcting comma and apostrophe errors on signs at gas stations and Local Eateries) are going away for the weekend, so my outrage will have to endure over the next few days.  Sunday Suppers will probably be Monday suppers, but it’s a good one.  We had it tonight, which makes it a Wednesday Supper.  Whatever.  You’ll like it.

Remember your grammatical rules, children.  And listen to me; I know what I’m talking about.  I can spell.

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Comments

  1. says

    I have been guilty of said grammatical offense on many occasions, but am earnestly attempting to change my vernacular to include this nuance. Okay, more of a rule than a nuance, but if ALL of Gatorade’s (paid!) advertisement staff didn’t catch it, then I think we can infer that the incorrect usage is rampant.

  2. says

    Blame it on the internet. I do! I’m being serious. In a former life I used to set type. Then along came computers, desktop publishing and the wretched foot-inch marks instead of a real typographer’s apostrophe-quote marks, hordes of ugly fonts and a shocking lack of typographical sense. Worst of all, the internet opened up this grammatical hell by baring the cruel, apparent fact that we are a nation of extremely poor spellers. The twits have been unleashed upon the minority of those who can spell. We have no chance.

    So whaddyagonnado. I quit being angry and learned to like Beavis & Butthead and LOLspeak.

  3. says

    I am a comma lover, but the constant use of apostrophes in this era makes irritates the heck out of me. When did society decide that they had to go in front of every S?

  4. says

    @Natashya The apostrophe before S to me seems to be a male thing to me. At one company I did some photo work for, the company prez did it almost every time, and I have lots of male friends who feel the insertion is always necessary. They also dangle their participles quite a bit.

    Jen – I saw the Minced Fish about 4 times today, and every time I think of you ;-) Have not seen the G2 yet.

  5. linda says

    OMG! I have always been a “less”/”fewer” stickler. I yell at the TV all the time. I’ve also been known to stop at convenience stores to demand that they remove the apostrophe from a sign stating “Hot dog’s – 3/99″. ALSO – how many times have you been to a convenience store where there’s a sign posted on some broken thing: “Sorry for the inconvence” or some other permutation of the word inconvenience. But maybe the larger issue is – there should be no inconveniences at a convenience store. I correct the grammar of perfect strangers. One day I will be found lying in a pool of my own blood because of this.My kids do the same thing. We can’t help it.

  6. says

    Have I told you lately that I love you?

    LOL, and all that other good stuff! You’re the best!

    Have fun getting away this weekend!

  7. says

    Amen sister. My husband (although not so often anymore) actually uses the word “funner”! I just chalked it up to being grammatically lazy, but then I cringed when I heard his mother (a retired elementary school principal by the way) use the word. I had to bite by tongue (hard) to prevent myself from chastising her.

  8. says

    We have grammar wars during dinner. My children can not stand it when people use improper grammar. My dh sits and shakes his head. No apostrophe! None needed as the ‘shakes’ does not own anything. How can people not understand something so simple? This confuses me.

  9. says

    You’re a woman after my own heart. I’m not familiar with the ad in question because I live in a land far, far away, but we have our own grammatical issues, I can assure you. I am familiar with Eats, Shoots and Leaves, though, and was also one of those laughing out loud at regular intervals.

    Perhaps UPMAT should branch out and create a grammar department? Lesson 101: Less, in this case, is not More, it’s Fewer.

  10. says

    i can spell. i (mentally) correct misspellings all the time. when i don’t know how to spell a word, i use the dictionary. when members of my family don’t know how to spell a word, they use me.

    i read dictionaries. i read thesauruses. one of the reasons i keep returning to your blog (besides the facts that you are a wealth of information and you are incredibly funny) is because you use big words. i love big words.

    misuse of your and you’re, there and their, its and it’s, us and we, me and i … drives me up the wall.

    i do not, however, like commas or periods. and i don’t like capital letters.

    i can produce a grammatically correct paper when the need arises, including commas, capitals, and sentences that do not end with prepositions (thank you, Colonel O’Neill). my children (two, by the way, have Masters degrees – but not in ENGLISH) cannot.

    and THANK YOU for writing “all of a sudden” and not “all of the sudden” … sheesh, what has happened to 7th grade English class??!!??

    poisonous and venomous … are my newest favorite aggravations … if YOU bite IT and it makes you sick, it is poisonous. if IT bites YOU and it makes you sick, it is venomous. take that, FOX news at 9!

  11. says

    You’re too funny! I do the same thing when reading the newspaper and Mr. Noodle just ignores me outright. He won’t let me help him with his business e-mails any longer because I nitpick the grammar, punctuation and syntax. But you’re giving me a complex: I must now be careful to make fewer errors (i.e. be less erroneous).

  12. says

    Wow my blog must drive you nuts. Grammar and spelling were never my strong suits. I’ve never been good at remembering, much less following, rules. I suppose I apply my “no recipes” philosophy to language as well.

    • says

      I love your blog, Marc–I think you’re a great writer. I find blogging kind of like talking; when I’m writing along, sometimes my punctuation slips. The rules, though, were pounded into me by Mean Miss Feaster in 8th grade English :lol:

  13. says

    Thank you for your mention of the Gatorade ad. I have seen it several times now and still wonder how it managed to make it onto tv without anyone correcting it. Ridiculous!

  14. says

    In real life I’m good with spelling and grammar. In blog life, I’m not a typist. I’ll read a post and drive myself crazy because of the errors I find. I proof my post before clicking “publish”, but a lot of errors get past me.

    I do feel your pain though.

  15. says

    Vote for Jen!!!!! Shes mi heroin!

    *snort*

    I am THE grammar police, thank-you-very-much. I have actually had to call businesses to ask them to fix their marquees so I could sleep at night.

    Oh yes, we are sisters in indignation!

  16. says

    Haha! I actually just read an article in Reader’s Digest about a group of guys who traipse about, stealthily correcting grammatical errors throughout the (printed) U.S. I told my husband I wanted that job. He just called me a nerd.

    (But what does he know? He was a high school jock.)

  17. says

    I am SO glad that I am not the only person who freaked out at that terrible, TERRIBLE grammar disaster of a slogan. Thank you for this post!!!

    I am going to buy Eats Shoots and Leaves. I had never heard of it before, but I suspect that I will find it just as humorous as you do.

  18. says

    YES! I have searched out all you others who have been upset by the recent ads. I must say there are so many more out currently, than in 2009 when this was written. Where does it go from here? Do children grow up learning these grammar rules, or just absorbing them from their erroneous environment? What can I do other than ensure my own children know the importance of correct grammar?

  19. says

    Oh, my goodness! I knew I loved you. Eats Shoots and Leaves is one of my favorite books ever. As a former editor, I still travel around with my marker. :) And my husband has the same response as the Beloved. What to do with an mechanical engineer?

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