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?

Sign-Error-Attitudes

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

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

  • Linda Johns

    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?

  • Lee

    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.

  • Johns

    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?

    • Jane Watson

      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.

  • Hilary Barton

    Should “yours” have an apostrophe since it’s possessive (the attitudes belong to you)?

    • Jane Watson

      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.