22 February 2014

 

Over the last two weeks I have brought you part one and part two on proper nouns.  This is the third and last in the series.  [Yay, something a bit different next Saturday!]

 If nothing else I am sure it has opened your eyes to capitalisation errors being everywhere.  How many have you noticed as you're out and about?

 

Super Liquor give us two further examples of the 'trend' (it hurts to call it that) of randomly using capital letters on signs.

'To' in the first sign should have a lower case 't'.  

The second sign is curious in that it looks like a cookie cutter sign that has the business name stencilled in before sale, as it is not on the same line as the words 'car park'.  I still advocate that 'car park' requires lower case beginning letters, and the last phrase should read "Vehicles will be towed at owner's expense".  Not only using the lower case form for all but the first word, but the apostrophe instead of the plural for owner's.  Now it is totally possible that a vehicle will have more than one owner and the plural, in a minority number of cases, will apply but then that would be 'owners' ' as the expense would be on all the people who owned the vehicle.  It could also imply that as their are multiple vehicles that could be towed away that the vehicles would have a group of individual owners, but again it would be 'owners' '.  So I can't see how 'owners' is correct.   Can you explain it?

 

 

Ekkk!  Bayleys, I know you are not the only real estate company to do this, but it is "For lease".  Harcourts: "Talk to Harcourts now".  

Hopefully the osteopath won't get all bent out of joint if I suggest that his tagline should be "Professional treatment for muscle & joint pain".  He did get the small print right under his name though.  Well done!

 

 

The last in this tyrad upon the gratuitous use of capitals you could probably see in your sleep.

"The world's no. 1 selling bed" on the left and "We've moved" on the right.

 

Phew, made it!    Next week, we have McDonald's and KFC on our menu.

 

Syntax Schmintax is an attempt to document, and make myself more aware of, the grammatical errors being made in advertising and marketing by organisations who in the main employ professional sign-writers and printers.  It is by no means an authoritative reference, and is only my personal opinion.  Feel free to chime in and comment, especially if you are one who has an English honours degree (which I don't)!

 

Hawke's Bay
15 February 2014

 

If you read part one you will know that these signs are capitalising common nouns.  

So on the left it ought to be "ANZ customer parking only" and under that "(Tow away area)".  The ANZ sign only has a closing bracket and not an opening one.  It is however one of the rare examples of the use of a full-stop on a sign.  In this instance it seems unnecessary.

The HDC sign on the right needs changing to "3 hour limit" and "Please purchase ticket from ticket machine".  'A' or 'your' is conspicuous by it's absence between purchase and ticket but it is implied therefore omitted.  It is not particularly likely that you would be purchasing a ticket for someone else; nor would you need more than one.

 

 

The next duo is from the side of the Danske Møbler building.  They have gone for that all lower-case look on the sale sign; and a capitalised noun on the excellence and open signs.  How would you re-write them?

 

 

ABC is part of the Kidicorp group of centres, and looking at the sign suggests that the full name is really Kidicorp Education and Care Centre.  This idea does seem to carry over to their website, but the Companies office record tells another story.  The owner has recently (2012) amalgamated and changed the name of the main company and could have formalised this change to include 'Education and Care Centre' but didn't.  It is still just Kidicorp Ltd.  Therefore I am inclined to think that only Kidicorp is to be capitalised as it is a proper noun.  'Sessions' also needs to be lower case.  The changes to this sign are somewhat more important than a lot of others, as their key industry is education.  Having a sign that doesn't follow the English syntax does bring the ability of the centre to teach English (or anything) into question.

 

While the Medical & Injury Centre have taken liberty with their typography, I would still conclude that 'under' , 'patients' and 'days' are lower case. 

 

Syntax Schmintax is an attempt to document, and make myself more aware of, the grammatical errors being made in advertising and marketing by organisations who in the main employ professional sign-writers and printers.  It is by no means an authoritative reference, and is only my personal opinion.  Feel free to chime in and comment, especially if you are one who has an English honours degree (which I don't)!

 

Hawke's Bay
08 February 2014

 

On a drive one night there appeared to be a litany of examples capitalising common nouns (as opposed to proper nouns).  

While we may have come to accept the creative use of all lower case letters in uses like Twitter handles, or even all capitals [though they do tend to have the effect of being 'loud' and are not universally tolerated in on-line forums), we don't capitalise common nouns in our English language. 

Other languages do, but not ours.   We capitalise the beginning of sentences, the items in a list, people's names, brand names, company names but not regular words.  PLEASE!

 

This means that in the above example, it would read "The pizza delivery experts".  [Domino's in this context refers to 'Domino's Pizza Enterprises Ltd' and therefore the apostrophe is used to imply the rest of the company name.]

 

 

Here we would have "Whole dried apricots", "From Bin Inn's self selection bin" and "Red & green cherries"; as well as 'per' and 'kg in lower case (like the second poster).

 

 

Starting with the Briscoes' sign on the left, we would need to break it up into three parts - this is where capitalisation is useful in designating the start of each phrase; and in particular where on signage we don't expect to see full-stops.

The first is the 'CUSTOMER CAR PARK' which uses all capitals but in light of discussion above we accept without change that this is a warning or advice.  The second idea is that there is a "Maximum 2 hours" allowed for parking your car there.  Then finally "Towing conditions apply".

The way in which the most important idea is presented first and the the subsequent ideas define / limit that is a great example of effective communication.

 

What do you think about the Repco sign.  Better as "The auto store of ...." ?

 

 

By now you know what I will say about these!

 

Syntax Schmintax is an attempt to document, and make myself more aware of, the grammatical errors being made in advertising and marketing by organisations who in the main employ professional sign-writers and printers.  It is by no means an authoritative reference, and is only my personal opinion.  Feel free to chime in and comment, especially if you are one who has an English honours degree (which I don't)!

 

Hawke's Bay

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