A Communicator’s Pastime: Bad Grammar Signspotting

One of the greatest professional communicator pastimes is proofreading signage, menus, the back of cereal boxes and almost anything with words written on it. We all have our pet peeves – possessives used inexplicably as “plural’s,” exclamation marks used to excess!!!!, quotation marks used for no “apparent” reason, “cannot” spelled “can not” and other linguistic lawlessness and morphology malfeasance. We can’t help it. We are, after all, members of the Proofreading Posse.

So, just for a little fun on a Friday, here are some store signage failures I captured on my iPhone over the past few years and a few of my all-time restaurant menu pet peeves.





My Menu Pet Peeves

  • “With au jus.” The French culinary phrase “au jus” means to have your meat with its own juices. We don’t say “café with au lait” (coffee with milk) so why do some insist on saying “with au jus” or worse yet “with au jus sauce.”
  • “Ala carte.” Nope. The Latin phrase is “a la carte” and means to purchase items separately from the menu as opposed to having them come with the meal.

So, what gets your eyes rolling and has you sighing in disbelief? Share your favorite signage and menu misfires in the comments section below.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, here are my 12 Tips to Boost Your Proofreading Prowess. And finally, be sure to check back on Monday for guest blogger Stephanie Conners 7 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer.1

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

1 Comment


about 5 years ago

I believe "a la carte" is French, not Latin. Otherwise, I'm with you!

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