I admit it (though this will come as no surprise to my friends). Grammatical errors in signs and advertisements and labels irk me to no end. My rants on the topic have even caused me to put foot in mouth (like the time I told someone that I couldn’t stand City Mill’s slogan “Price Right Everyday” because of the misuse/misspelling of ‘everyday’, not realizing they were intimately connected with the company) or simply talk too much about it.
So it was with some delight that I read this article in the Guardian UK, which was at one point my hometown paper, about how:
“Britain’s baffling collection of ungrammatical, misspelt, out of date and plain wrong public signs is to have a national audit, with the public recruited as error spotters.”
Here’s one piece of accompanying photographic evidence:
And why is it that here in Hawai’i, Ka Lei Eggs must assert “”Ka Lei Eggs, country fresh, everyday”?
Is the only reason I care because it affects me personally, as when editors refuse to keep my spelling of “Thomas’s” in phrases such as “Read more of Christine Thomas’s writing here”?
Futurist Jim Dator might think I am being oppressive; after all, as he told me during our interview last year, he views reading as a form of mind control:
“For many years I’ve had a fight against teaching English. We are, as far as I know, the only society that teaches its native language at the University level and teaches it over and over and over. I think that’s absolutely ridiculous. … My criteria is: Can other people understand what you’re writing? If so, then you’re communicating and that’s all you need. The rest is style. … The emphasis on proper speaking and writing is really political oppression. … It’s a way to make thought conform to what somebody thinks is acceptable. It’s a way of intimidation.”
As someone who uses words as my toolbox, and who tries to communicate clearly and lucidly with these tools, perhaps I end up caring about them more than others do, just as the painter has a higher respect for treatment of brushes, the financial analyst for exacting percentages, and Cheney for ultimate secrecy, than do I.
But for once and for all: ‘everyday’ is an adjective only. ‘every day’ is an adverb.
Ka Lei Eggs are fresh every day.
City Mill is priced right every day.
My blog is available at an everyday low price.
All right (note the spelling).
I’m done now.