Why Grammar Is Important
Posted on April 2, 2014
Typically, I have to turn off my inner English teacher and grammar nerd when browsing the internet. It is rife with grammar mistakes to the point where I question whether anyone truly edits their work anymore? Today’s example was funny enough that I responded to it, and wanted to share with you my amusement to a Zulily ad for a t-shirt they are advertising for Father’s Day.
I could set the challenge for people to look at Zulily’s t-shirt page to find the biggest mistake in their “Dude I am Nuturing as HELL“, but there are actually two grammar mistakes in the one t-shirt. Unable to just shake my head and brush off what has become commonly accepted practice of not caring about such things as correct spelling or punctuation, I decided to let Zulily know about it so that they could correct it!
Here’s what I wrote in my email to Zulily:
“Dear Team Zulily –
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw a Zulily ad for a blue t-shirt that says, “Dude I am nurturing as hell.” Normally, I ignore when there’s a grammar mistake, like leaving off the comma after “Dude”. It’s an example of a comma being needed with the vocative case since “Dude” is being addressed. Grammar mistakes are becoming pretty common to the point where they are acceptable, although as a former high school English teacher I wish that products like this would use the right rules to help shore up our language skills. But seriously, most people won’t notice.
However, in looking at the t-shirt as closely as possible on Facebook, I see that “nurturing” is spelled incorrectly. Even with the cursive script, it is clear that it spells “nuturing”, omitting the “r” for “nurturing”. I think that as the product is aimed at dads, most men would rather be thought of as nurturing, meaning one who cares and encourages growth, rather than nuturing, which could be mistaken for “neutering” (if spelled correctly), connecting it to the suggestion of missing parts. If you can correct the true missing part to the word, a whole lot of misunderstandings can be avoided.
Thought I would let you know. Don’t be afraid of the virtual “red pen” of the English teacher. I only hope to help you sell a better product!
ETA: I just checked my links and realized I had misspelled their company name wrong, having added an extra “l” to Zulily in my original email to them, which I corrected here. Oh well, I submit that we ALL need editing – even those who edit others!
Tagged: Editing, Grammar, Red Pen, Zulily, Zulily T-shirt
I love this piece. I too, become enraged by people’s grammatical inaccuracies – wonderful email! I think there should be a body of grammar nazi’s, funded, that go through the internet correcting various mistakes!
Thanks! I don’t want to correct everyone, and I sometimes am a bit relaxed in my own editing for casual things like emails or texts (not often, but sometimes). But when it’s out there for public consumption, and it’s an easy mistake to catch in the early stages – come on!! This t-shirt was just too much fun in its mistakes!