editing

Can You Fix These Grammar Problems?

grammar errorsA dear efriend–Ankur Mithal over at Dark Office Humour–posted a list of funny signs found around the area. I got a good laugh over them and then my muse pointed out they were a great opportunity for grammar lessons.

After all, we are grammaraticians, neologists, and writing experts. Who better than us to fix these signs in need of a comma, word rearrangement, or toss in the trash.

Read the list below and add a comment about how you would correct the errant grammar that led to the misunderstood message:

  • In an office:
    TOILET OUT OF ORDER……. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW
  • In a Laundromat:
    AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT
  • In a London department store:
    BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS

  • In an office:
    WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN
  • In an office:
    AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD
  • Outside a second-hand shop:
    WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING – BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?
  • Notice in health food shop window:
    CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS
  • Spotted in a safari park:
    ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR
  • Seen during a conference:
    FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN’T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR
  • Notice in a farmer’s field:
    THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.
  • On a repair shop door:
    WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR – THE BELL DOESN’T WORK).

How many could you fix?

More on grammar:

Writer’s Tip #29: No Exclamation Points! Please!

Do You Make These Writing Blunders?

Writer’s Tip #23: The Use of ‘Lay’


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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. 

 

46 thoughts on “Can You Fix These Grammar Problems?

  1. Pingback: 21 Tips from Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style” | WordDreams...

  2. 1. Toilet out of order. Please use the toilets on the 10/F (if you’re on the 11th etc)

    2. Automatic washing machines: Once the light is off, please remove all of your clothes.

    3. Bargain area / section upstairs

    4. Please return the step ladder that was taken yesterday or penalties will be issued to the culprit

    5. Please empty the teapot and stand it upside down on the draining board after the tea break

    6. (The “exchange wife one” is pretty much grammatically correct if you’re going with satire)

    7. Closed due to outbreak of (flu / cold / chickenpox etc)

    8. For safety reasons, please stay in your car.
    Alternatively, “Elephants at large. Please stay in your car – although, if it’s a safari, I’d generally use “Wild animals at large” but “Elephants at large” has a better pun 😛

    9. Day care provided on the 1st floor for children

    10. (I think this was meant as a pun too). For literal warning, I’d go with “Crossing the field is free – but beware of charging bull”

    11. We can repair anything except broken doorbells. Please knock hard on the door. 😛

    Like

  3. So funny Jacqui. I love them.

    Another one my DH has on a T-Shirt
    I GOT A FISHING ROD FOR THE WIFE – I THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD TRADE

    In an office:
    TOILET OUT OF ORDER……. PLEASE *Go To* FLOOR BELOW

    In a Laundromat:
    AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES *From Machine,* WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT

    Spotted in a safari park:
    ELEPHANTS *Are About*, PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR

    Like

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