I’ve always been both fascinated and righteously indignant about grammatically incorrect advertising. I’m not a grammar fascist — frankly, my grammar’s just not good enough to qualify and I still have flashbacks to trying to learn how to diagram sentences in Mr. Grimes’ sixth grade English class at Gilman School in Baltimore. But overt linguistic fouls annoy me. Maybe it stems from having two English majors as parents who always insisted on speaking and writing correctly. It’s not like they slapped me with a ruler if I used “good” instead of “well,” but if I delved into the realm of lousy grammar at home I generally heard about it.
Now, I’m not as bad as my mother who would often call over a poor, unsuspecting waiter to complain about a typo or grammatical sin on the menu. It didn’t matter if it was a fancy French restaurant or a truck stop. This usually had to do with a missing or extraneous accent mark, though even I had to agree when “Chicken Franchise” showed up on a menu in the Poconos when what they meant was “Chicken Francaise.”
I also remember my dad talking about grammatically incorrect advertising slogans like the old cigarette tagline “Winstons taste good, like a cigarette should.” Of course it should have been “Winstons taste good, as a cigarette should.”
This got me thinking about current or recent advertising that plays fast and loose withe the rules of grammar. I’m sure you can think of others but here are a few along with how they should read.
Eggo Waffles: Leggo my Eggo — Let go of my Eggo
Milk: Got Milk? — Do you have milk?
Subway: Subway, eat fresh — Subway, eat freshly
Apple: Think Different — Think differently
McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it — I am loving it
Staples: We got that. — We have that.