Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Grammar Tips, Part 6: About Due

I was walking into JC Penny today and there was a sign on the door informing patrons to use the other door as those were locked due to construction. This sign was obviously created by someone higher up the corporate eschelon than your average retail clerk, because it was designed on and printed from an actual computer, not just something scribbled hastily onto a sheet of paper by hand with a Sharpie. Although the average retail clerk at a place like JC Penny very likely possesses more common sense than their corporate staff, the corporate staff still wouldn't let them near a computer for fear that they would defecate on the keyboard and try to beat it to death with a live cat while masturbating furiously.

So here was the message, verbatim, that was printed on the sign that was most likely created by someone who went to college long enough to achieve a bachelor's degree:

PLEASE USE
OTHER DOOR
DO TO REMODEL

Aside from the fact that "remodel" is a verb and what either needs to be there is the gerund "remodeling" or, better yet, the noun "construction," can anyone else in the class tell me what's wrong with that "sentence"?

Yeah, it hit my eyes like a freight train. It is so grammatically inconsistent that it makes my head want to explode like Naveen Andrews in the Planet Terror half of Grindhouse. It was so grammatically appalling it actually offended me, as if I was a devout Christian and the sign said simply "FUCK". I actually strongly considered, to the point of narrowly fighting the almost overwhelming urge, going up to the customer service desk and asking them if they could relay a message to whomever created the sign on the doors at that side of the building. When they would graciously accept my proposal, I would then say: "D-U-E!! It's a three-letter word!!" Or something to that effect. Luckily, I'm above such public outbursts these days.

Seriously, though, still: How does someone get to graduate college, high school, elementary school, third grade without knowing the difference between "do" and "due," and how to correctly spell "due"? It's highly likely this was created by someone who at least got through high school, if not having some college behind them. It's not that these people have such a poor grasp on basic communication skills that bothers me, it's the fact that these people have such a poor grasp on basic communication skills and are hired for a job that depends heavily on the communication skills that they are so severely lacking, and they're getting paid more money than I am to utterly fail at their job. What the fuck am I doing wrong?

The worst part is that thousands of customers see that sign every day, many of the employees see the sign every day, and yet no one has had the mental aptitude to suggest that they need to correct the glaring error. It's an embarrassment to the store and everyone who works there. What is wrong with our society that such ignorance of elementary grammar can be so flagrantly ignored? Of course, I could have said something about it myself, and I probably should have, but you want to know the real reason I stopped myself short? I assumed, probably quite rightly, that no one would care, and they would probably revile me for daring to bring it up.


np: Nine Inch Nails - "The Good Soldier"

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