Bad grammar can be found everywhere, but it’s always surprising when it shows up in unexpected places. Grammar and spelling mistakes can be glaringly obvious for some readers; but perhaps not for the people who made the mistakes spotlighted in Sharon Eliza Nichols’s second book featuring grammar goof-ups.
The 150 colour photographs in this nonfiction book are divided into ten chapters. Business As Usual highlights incorrect signs seen in storefront windows, on advertisements, and merchandise. Skooled contains mistakes found on outdoor and indoor signs found on school grounds. Talking Objects shows signs which warn or direct; but they all have a little something wrong with their wording or punctuation. The High Tech section revolves around computer sign mistakes. Questionable Intentions includes signs which can be interpreted in more than one way. It’s up to the reader to decide if the mistake was made on purpose or not.
Transportation, Travel & Leisure is one of the longer chapters. This chapter compiles the signs found along highways or along city streets and inside parks. On one vehicle, there is a decal that reads, For Offishal Use Only, and above a door in an arena there is a sign with the words, Sports and Recreatoin. Really? Really. contains photographed signs missing adverbs, and examples of words with one too few or one too many letters (potatoe). In Other News, the author includes grammar mistakes captured on television screens during live broadcasts (Are their more victims?). The Word of Mouth entry shows food and drink wording mistakes (jalopino peppers), and Dire Warnings contain the photographs captured in government offices, labs and places were people are advised to use extra care (Testing: Do Not Distrurb). The book ends by acknowledging the names of the people who submitted photographs for the book.
This sandwich-sized book will make you want to shake your head. But it could be used for entertainment or as a teaching tool where students could re-write the signs to make them accurate. One to three photographs appear per page, and each are labelled with a comment by the author. The comments (which are error-free) are humourous, but also practical because they hint at the location of the mistake, which is useful for some of the less obvious or more commonly made mistakes (apostrophe “s” examples).
If you would like to win this book, please email me ([email protected]) and tell me about a grammar or spelling mistake you have struggled with in the past.