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Alert the Grammar Police

As artless as the directions and legalese on gas pumps usually are, the language is usually grammatically correct. Not so at this truck stop somewhere in Lancaster County where we stopped Friday night:

I count two typos and a missing apostrophe. Everybody makes mistakes, and I don’t hold gas-station owners to a high standard. If this were a hand-lettered sign, I wouldn't even have mentioned it, but I assume this was created by “Corporate.” They should know better.

This reminds me of a common sight: signs with gratuitous quotation marks. The change in meaning is usually inadvertently humorous. Example: A roadside sign advertising “Fresh” Vegetables. Enjoy the many examples at the Gallery of “Misused” Quotation Marks. Even funnier (to me) than misheard lyrics.

Comments

now that's just plain wrong

Being an English teacher, this sort of thing really bugs me -- particularly the "loose/lose" distinction. This is what those keyring Sharpies are good for.

I remember being in the local Genuardi's when it first opened up. I was really impressed with the express checkout signs that read, "15 items or fewer." -not that I ever minded "15 items or less." I just thought it was interesting that they observed that particular grammar rule when no one else did.

@Howard - I've actually seen the "x items or fewer" at a couple places, shockingly. And it wasn't a Geunardi's either, never been in one. I can't remember where I saw them now...

I'm a little late to comment here, but I couldn't resist. Have you read Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation? God, I love that book.

Kate,
I have read Eats, Shoots & Leaves and loved it. It’s right up there with Strunk & White and Henry Fowler’s Modern English Usage.

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