Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nobody Rights Good No More

I was tempted to keep score on the number of TV ads I've seen in the past week hawking a sale for Presidents' Day, President's Day, or Presidents Day. For those who are punctuation impaired, Presidents' Day is correct. Plural possessive. I recall Macy's getting it correct in their print advertising, but wrong on their TV advertising. How does THAT happen? On Madison TV, the Ashley Furniture folks spent a small fortune on TV ads, hawking their Presidents Day (sic) sale.
OK, I'm a stickler. Within arm's reach of my keyboard is Warriner's Sixth Grammar and Composition, a book stolen from Hortonville High decades ago. To me, it beats the tar out of stuff like the grammar-checker in Word 2007, which I've caught several times trying to "correct" what's already correct in my writing. At least, correct according to Warriner.
My kids, products of the Madison Metropolitan School District and the University of Wisconsin, drive me nuts with stuff like "me and her are going to the mall" and their constant confusion of the correct useage of bring and take. (Which usually results in a bellow of "BRING Me Out To The Ball Game" from the old man.) They're getting better at it though, probably no thanks to my snide comments. My son just wrote a really good op-ed piece that would have passed any grammar check, and a while back my daughter pointed out an incorrect sign at a supermarket lane which said "15 items or less". (Again, for the non-sticklers among is, it should be "15 items or fewer".)
Which brings me to the promo I saw on Fox TV's "House" last night, which said "Fox: Less Commercials, More TV". If you're paying attention, you know it should be FEWER commercials, more TV. Anything you can count, ya know. I've always wondered about the premise of those "fewer ads" announcements. Apparently ads, the biggest source of TV revenue, are bad.
This morning, on a local TV news show, they mentioned (I can't remember in what context) Tom Daschle, who "withdrew his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services". Daschle withdrew his NAME from nomination, but he can't withdraw a nomination he didn't make, a subtlety lost, I'm sure, on the young TV folks. Reminds me of the late William F. Buckley's retort to a letter to the editor of National Review, wherein the writer said "please cancel my subscription". Buckley's retort: "Cancel your own damned subscription".

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