Wake Up Man!

Okay, people – look at the title of this post. If you’re a stickler like me, you’ll see what’s wrong with it immediately. This sentence appeared in a Nescafé advertisement that was hung on numerous billboards around my area a few years ago. My mother, who taught me all I know about the proper use of English, and I sighed loudly each and every time we passed one of these advertisements. I know I make occasional grammatical mistakes. I know I make more than a few mistakes regarding the proper use of punctuation marks – but then again, I believe many people ignore the finer print of the rules of punctuation and that this is okay for most writers.

Then again, there is a limit. For those who haven’t realized it, the mistake in the title is the lack of a comma between the phrase “wake up” and the person it’s addressing: “man.” This mistake, to any English sticklers, or sticklers-in-training like me, is glaring.

Here’s another one. Remember that movie with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant? The title is this: Two Weeks Notice. This is another example where the mistake is glaringly obnoxious – two weeks notice doesn’t mean anything! It SHOULD be Two Weeks Notice – notice that little apostrophe there? Quite important, in terms of meaning.

I love language and I adore words – I’ve said as much before. I’m willing to accept proofreading slipups in books or mistakes caused by simply not knowing the language. I do NOT, however, have to accept mistakes made knowingly and purposefully in order to make a poster look less “cluttered” or “complicated.” How can we strive to educate the masses if we’re willing to drop punctuation marks to make things easier? How is this okay?!


5 thoughts on “Wake Up Man!

  1. I agree totally with you when it’s “for profit” and mistakes are made. I have many readers who I know didn’t have a very good education and it’s hard enough to get them to comment so I’d never bring it to their attention if they make mistakes. I’m sure you know the people I’m talking about it. You read my blog enough. They are embarrassed but yet they comment and it’s done out of the goodness of their hearts so I would never say anything nor do I fix them for them. I want it in their words. I also am not keen on others “fixing” them either. I’ve had people come on and make fun of others grammar and I find that just plain mean. I feel if you only come to correct others, stay home. But you’re right. When it’s supposed to profit a company, I wish they’d get it right.

  2. thelittleredwriter says:

    * Snort! * Oh, I adore you! I am also glad that I am not the only who noticed the problem with the title before I even started reading your post. I am a stickler with certain things. It mostly depends on what I am writing. If I am writing a business letter, you better believe I reread and reread to make sure it’s perfect. Now, if it is my regular writing, I am a little more lax, because – – let’s be honest (and you even mentioned it) – – writers take some liberty when it comes to punctuation. Some of my favorite books, in fact, have had the worst punctuation ever, but it was for effect.


  3. Sarah says:

    Haha, I know I make a lot of mistakes while typing but as far as major advertisements go you would think that they would try a little harder. You also made me feel a little smarter because the lack of the comma on the post title bugged me too.

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