Monday, April 09, 2012

Punishable writing felonies

Ignorant redundancies
$25 dollars • ATM machine • 6:00 p.m. at night

Meaningless quotation marks
“The kitchen experts!” • Our “famous” apple pie

Punctuation gluttony
Important!!!!! • Why pay more than you have to?!?

Pointless capitalization
Call your Mom • I love Spring • Our Company is hiring

Dangling modifiers
As our best customer, we want to thank you

Toddler typing
Where RU? • Gr8 job last nite • cn I c yr pix?

Imaginary that
Take that vacation you’ve always dreamed of

Unparallel lists
I dumped him because he’s dumb, bad breath and died on Thursday


Mrs. Chili said...

HEY! Welcome back! I've missed you!

Kirbles said...

While I am often guilty of pointless capitalization and will with great infrequency use the imaginary that in a sermon context (not in something to be read), many on this list drive me to distraction, particularly redundancies, toddler typing and unparallel lists.

The last of these will usually cause me to stop reading that particular publication/post/feature altogether. I know that I don't need to suggest that you offer a seminar to those who write in your profession on these crimes, as they are the most flagrant sources of violation.

OBS said...

Why don't you resurrect The Grammar Guy??? Dad and I have been waiting for you to do just that. I still have some copies of some of the best ones.....surprise, surprise!

Ha! As if I was going to tell you! said...

Grammar snob!!

TED said...

Dangling participles
As our best customer, we want to thank you

That is a good example of either a dangling modifier or a misplaced modifier, but it is not a dangling participle. There is no participle in "as our best customer."

Jake said...

I actually googled it to check and found more sources calling it a participle than a modifier.

TED said...

If you google, you will also find many people committing each and every one of the sins you mention. You should google the definition of participle.

A participle is a verb form that is used as another part of speech, typically an adjective or a noun. If your example had started with "Being our best customer," you would have a dangling/misplaced participle. But you cannot have a dangling participle without a participle.

Jake said...

True this. My stupid. I will fix my post post-haste.

Kevin in Maryland said...

You're back! Hooray!

I love it when a restaurant menu declares Try our "homemade" soups. Or Desserts just like "mom" used to make!

And the other day I saw a truck, and on the back was painted "Ask us for a moving quote" and I was puzzled until I asked my husband if he thought the truck drivers were MFAs who couldn't get tenure and he (an engineer) pointed out the obvious, that it's a moving company, not a couple of Yeats scholars.

2PAX said...

oh Jake - missed you so much.

As a graphic designer who has to layout such hideous crimes against the writers craft. I feel your pain.

Hope you and all close to you are well, and I can see you are still grammar grumpy!

Dirk said...

There is actually a site for the second felony:

Paul Brownsey said...

My mother used to ask me if I'd like an egg omelette, a phrase I used to be exasperated about, until I remembered that she had lived through WW2 in the UK when there had been omelettes made of egg-substitute...