Friday Follies #56 – 3 mistakes that make me go “Arghhh”

Happy Friday, dear readers! Today the Grammar Cop wishes to present a post which could also be called: Fear of Punctuation. Let us coin a word for this unfortunate affliction: punctuatophobia. The first gaffe is from the Montreal Gazette, which should know better. The last two are from our grammatically challenged local weekly, The Suburban.

  1. “New home sales jump in the U.S.” There should be a hyphen between new and home. Why? Because the headline refers to the sales of new homes. They are new-home sales. It is not discussing home sales that are new – as opposed to the old sales of last week! Do you see what I mean? Moreover, within the article itself there is the same sin of another missing hyphen: “…fuelling a real estate surge.” A hyphen is needed between real and estate. Why? Because it is not talking about an estate surge that is real. It is a real-estate surge.
  2. “…a high school degree might have been enough…” Here we have another mislaid hyphen. It should say high-school degree. All these hyphenated words have the same thing in common: they are adjectival phrases, which means that the two words together combine (joined by a hyphen) to act as one lovely adjective, describing the noun that follows. (And by the way, I love the irony in the fact that this mistake was in the paper’s “Back to School” supplement.)
  3. I must preface this boo-boo by pointing out that the writer has an extreme fear of punctuation and should seek immediate help. I hope he/she overcomes this ailment pronto! Get a load of this run-on mess in a pharmacy ad: “Many lice treatments exist and some may even be covered by your insurance so always ask a pharmacist to help you choose the best product and discuss with you non-pharmacological measures of destroying the lice that may be found on sheets, toys, etc.” Gasp! Must… take… huge… breath… before I… fall into… a comma!  😀

I need to lie down now. See you next week!


14 thoughts on “Friday Follies #56 – 3 mistakes that make me go “Arghhh”

  1. I wondered if texting made people comma-tose, since sometimes you have to go to a different screen to get punctuation. That should not have been the case for the person preparing the ad for a pharmacy. Surely it was done on a computer. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather see too many commas than too few. Thanks for the Friday amusement.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funnily enough, I wrote a comment on somebody’s blog quite recently and was horrified to discover 0.5 seconds after I’d sent it that it contained a run-on sentence. I was mortified! All I could do was make a joke about it, but I was genuinely embarrassed.

    Liked by 1 person

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