Wednesday, October 24, 2007

English errors spotted in the wild

This week I thought I'd refer back to those photos I posted earlier of English blunders.

Picture #1: Las Palmas restaurant sign

"Mexican Cousine." I did a quick google search for "cousine," and nothing about food came up, so I'm ruling out the possibility of it being an alternate spelling or foreign spelling of "cuisine."

"Catering for all occasion's." "Occasions" here is plural and not possessive, so there shouldn't be an apostrophe.

Picture #2: Dorm shuttle sign

"If you would like to get off at the next stop ,please inform me the driver or stand up when approaching the stop that you would like to get off"

First of all, there are punctuation problems: the space and the first comma should be switched, and the "sentence" should end with a period. "Me, the driver" is an appositive, so I'm pretty sure it needs a comma.

Second of all, I think the meaning of the sentence gets lost somewhere along the way, particularly at the end. Here is my revised version:

"Please inform the driver or stand up when the shuttle is approaching the stop you would like to get off at."

Although I don't think it's usually a good idea to end a sentence with a preposition. But this site says you should only drop the preposition at the end of a sentence if the meaning isn't changed. And in this case, I think the "at" is very necessary, since "get off" can have an entirely different meaning. :o

I'm thinking that in order to avoid the awkward construction, it might be better to rephrase it like this:

"Please inform the driver or stand up when the shuttle is approaching your stop."

Suggestions? Ideas? Rotten Tomatoes? :D

1 comment:

Pat said...

Picture #1
The incorrect use of apostrophes is not as prevalent as the incorrect use of quotation marks. However, I am guessing that such errors will become more common (see the Born Again ad, for example) and that people will become more ignorant about the correct use of punctuation.

Picture #2
Good analysis and solution; I can't improve on what you did.