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Friday, August 8, 2008

Criminal Sentence 72: Teacher's, Please Pay Attention

From a sign in my child's second-grade classroom:

"Parent's don't forget to let me know how your child is getting home."

We just had Meet the Teacher night last night, and this does not bode well. My son's teacher has been at this school for 18 years and looks like she's been teaching for longer. I'm sure these mistakes were just careless. Nevertheless, how can kids learn the right way if the teacher doesn't do it right?

Now, this sentence has two punctuation errors.
1. This is obvious, and I can't believe a teacher would make this mistake:
"parent's." No possessive here. Just a plural noun: "parents."
2. This error is less obvious. When you address someone, you put a comma after the name or title: Bonnie, please check my apostrophe's. (ha ha) So this should be "Parents, don't forget..." Without the comma, it is just a statement: "Parents don't forget" but maybe teachers forget how to use punctuation.

So, teacher's, parent's and childre'n, please pay attention!


Anonymous said...

From time to time something will come home with my son from school or I'll see a sign up in his school with anything from a misspelling to poor grammar.

One year during a winter carnival they had a booth for "tatoo's". I pointed out to the teacher whose classroom it was that it should "tattoos". However the next year she had the same sign up.

The Sentence Sleuth said...

I would find that very hard to hear!
I wonder what the rule is: should we complain nicely or let errors slip by? I don't want to get on the teacher's bad side by pointing out flaws, but I think we should hold teachers to a higher standard than people in other professions. Or is that profession's?!

Anonymous said...

In this case I knew the teacher fairly well. If I hadn't known her I probably would've let it slide. :-)