Saturday, May 28, 2011

On the Importance of Grammar and Punctuation

With email and twitter, I see a lot of people not using capitals, periods, commas, etc. For email, this bothers me. Okay, for anything, this bothers me. Too much of a former English teacher, I guess. But I understand the reasoning behind it. However...when you are sending home a flyer about your business, you really do want to use proper English.

My first grade daughter attended Career Day at her school on Friday. The first grade class got to hear from three speakers. One was from Bush's Chicken, which is sort of like Kentucky Fried Chicken, but not as tasty. The Bush's Chicken mascot was even there. I find this to be suspiciously like advertising, but okay. Then came a representative from our local big grocery store chain. Again, this seemed suspiciously like free advertising for them, but I hadn't signed up to present, so I couldn't really gripe. Then came the dentist. The dentist sent home a free toothpaste/toothbrush kit, a flyer about eating fruits and veggies (cool) and a half-page flyer advertising their business. It is mostly an ad for "Fast Braces." Here's the problem. I found at least 8 different errors in this thing that was given away at a SCHOOL function by a professional person. It seriously disturbed me. Here's what it said, without any changes to it, other than the original came home on pretty pink paper:

Name of dentist, deleted to keep me from being too catty

Our office performs general and pediatric dentistry and orthodontic
Our office also offers sealants, night guard, flouride and many more services

We offer Fast Braces (Patients only wear the braces for 12 to 15 months it correct teeth faster than traditional brace. Our office can also offer you care credit if needed.

We accept Medicaid, Tx chip and most insurance. Our office can also offer you care credit if needed.

Specials: Whitening $100($350 value)

Can you find all the errors? It's like one of those Daily Oral Language exercises from English class, only a REAL person sent this home to over 100 parents. It makes me cringe.

Kids, this is why you need to pay attention in English class. I would never take my kids to a dentist who didn't bother to spellcheck an advertisement. So much for "Career Day"-- it's more like "Free Advertising Day." But it only works if your advertisement doesn't make you look ignorant.


  1. I'll play!!
    You didn't tell us how many errors! (DOL did. :)
    I found 8. Are there more?

    orthodontic what? Period.
    many other. Period.
    Period. Remove (. change it to to. braces.

    When I was applying to be a teacher Judson ISD sent me an application with grammatical errors in the instructions. Really. I decided I didn't want to work for them and sent a scathing note.

    The secretary at our school when I was a teacher was an ANGEL. She was really wonderful and super organized, but the notes she sent home were AWFUL. I used them as DOLs before I let the kids put them in their folders!!

  2. I found 8, too, but there might actually be 9. I will post a corrected version later today. Elaine, that is both hilarious and sad that you could use your school's notes as DOL!! Thanks for posting!

  3. This sentence hurts me. Physically.

    "Patients only wear the braces for 12 to 15 months it correct teeth faster than traditional brace."

  4. I KNOW! LOL I think that was the one that broke me, too. That's when I knew, "I've GOT to post about this one." This REALLY was sent home to all the parents!

  5. It looks like this document has been saved and reused year after year. It looks like someone revised it by quickly inserting the names of the new products and services. Maybe English is not their preferred language.

    Free advertising day!? I need to get in on this. Can I do career day if I don't have kids? I wonder if "The Little Gym" coach would be endorsed by schools as a career. Would it be ranked alongside ski instructors and/or animal trainers? - Gillian

  6. Gillian-- Yes, I later wondered if English was not their preferred language, too, though the dentist herself seemed to speak English perfectly fluently. Maybe someone else wrote the flyer? But you'd think...maybe get someone else to proofread if you know your English isn't very strong? As far as Career Day, I wish I had thought to ask if you would volunteer to present! They would have loved to have you, I bet! And the kids would have adored you. :) The presenters don't necessarily have kids-- seriously, Little Gym could totally be represented at a school's Career Day, I bet! Maybe do a few back-walkover demos, really make them ooh and aah!

  7. NEXT YEAR! oooh I am THERE! -Gillian

  8. Thanks for sharing this nice post. When you are planning to write some thing in English Language, it is very important to follow the Grammar and Punctuation tips to express your idea concisely.


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