Sign Errors – A Sign of Our Times

BizWritingTip wants to make a conscious effort this year to clean up the grammar on the signs we see around us. Help us out. Whenever you see an error on a sign or in an article or newspaper advertisement, send us a photo of it. We would also like to know where you saw the problem.

We’ll post the most interesting signs under the “sign errors” category above. There is no prize — just the knowledge you’re making a small difference in the improvement of the English language.

By pointing out the errors, hopefully, we will get them fixed. Additionally, we will put a stop to readers thinking that the error is correct just because they saw it in print.

Here’s an example of what we are looking for.

This is a sign I saw in an office building in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
There are three grammar errors. Can you spot them?

Correct: Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?

Please send your 1) photo and 2) where you saw it by email to jane@jwatsontraining.com

Please send  a photo of errors you spot on signs, packaging, and in newspapers or magazines.

6 replies
  1. Linda Johns
    Linda Johns says:

    I was taught in my days more than 50 years ago that “Attitude” is an abstract noun, and abstract noun should be used with singular verb. I assume in this case that adding “s” means different kinds of attitude. Has the singular rule been modified, depending on when and where the abstract noun is applied?

    Reply
  2. Lee
    Lee says:

    Thank you for continually sending me information on correct grammar usage.

    As English is my second language, I learned and benefited a lot from this.

    Thank you again for your valuable service to people whose mother tongue is not English.

    Reply
  3. Johns
    Johns says:

    I was taught in my days more than 50 years ago that “Attitude” is an abstract noun, and abstract noun should be used with singular verb. I assume in this case that adding “s” means different kinds of attitude. Has the singular rule been modified, depending on when and where the abstract noun is applied?

    Reply
    • Jane Watson
      Jane Watson says:

      Abstract nouns can take either a singular or plural verb. It is a collective noun that — for the most part — can only take a singular verb.

      I believe your assumption is correct: The sign writer must have been thinking about different kinds of attitudes and that is why he or she opted for the plural noun.

      By the way, I searched several lists of abstract nouns and did not find the word “attitude” listed as an abstract noun. But I agree with you. It certainly meets all the conditions for an abstract noun.

      Reply
    • Jane Watson
      Jane Watson says:

      Yours should not have an apostrophe. Yours falls into the category of personal possessive pronouns. This means it is already possessive – without the apostrophe. Other personal pronouns that are possessive without an apostrophe are his, hers, ours, yours, theirs, and its.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>