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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Criminal Sentence 239: A Plethora of Errors

The text of a notice stuck to my door yesterday:

"Hi, allow Me to introduce Myself. My name is XYZ, I painted the outside of a house in Your neighborhood. If You would like to stop by and take a look at it You can pass by XYZ address. Also if You want a free estimate please call Me at either one of the numbers above and You can verify that I Am indeed the CHEAPEST yet PROFESSIONAL Painter in the Valley."

Definitely not as professional as I would like. The list of errors is quite long here:

1) You don't need to capitalize pronouns other than I. Nor do you need to capitalize the words "Am" or "Painter."
2) There are two comma splices here: "Hi, allow me..." and "My name is XYZ, I painted..." Periods would be better than commas.
3) You don't need all caps to make something stand out.
4) "cheapest yet professional" makes no sense. "Cheapest and most professional" would sound more professional.


Anonymous said...

I read your blog every day, and I usually appreciate it. This clearly is the writing of someone who is not a native English speaker. I'm sure all of your readers can quickly identify the errors so this post is not helpful and seems to just make fun of the writer.

The Sentence Sleuth said...

Perhaps I was too mean...
But even if Spanish is his native language, he shouldn't have capitalized Me and other words. These are not capitalized in Spanish (and the word "yo," meaning "I," isn't either).
Native speakers capitalize unnecessarily all the time.
Thanks for your input.

Adam H said...

I found this post very helpful. The comma splices that you pointed out are used very commonly. In fact I use them all the time not realizing they are wrong.


Jesse said...

Grammar Girl said that the proper way to use the word 'hi' is to put a comma after it. why did you consider his use a comma splice?

The Sentence Sleuth said...

Jesse, you're right about adding a comma after "hi"--but only if you're using a name after, as in "Hi, Jesse." Otherwise, a period would be better: "Hi. I'm happy you read the blog."