Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Grammar and Old Navy

Old Navy has temporarily withdrawn a line of tee-shirts purportedly to correct the grammatical error of "Lets Go" with "Let's Go". The Old Navy website posts the following statement:

SORRY! THIS TEE HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY TAKEN INTO CUSTODY. Thanks to the Grammar Police for catching it. LOOK FOR A CORRECTED TEE SOON!

Simon Glickman and Julia Rubiner (reference) offer three alternatives why the person responsible for approving the tee-shirts for production allowed the grammatically incorrect graphic to be released:

a. just didn't notice the apostrophe was missing.
b. didn't know it was supposed to be there in the first place.
c. didn't care and would never have dreamed that not caring would cost his employer a pretty penny.

I offer a fourth alternative:
d. excluding the apostrophe was intentional.

Old Navy wants to project an image of being popular and trendy. Texting, with an emphasis on speed and concept over accuracy and detail, is a popular aspect of our modern life. My wife testifies to the frustration of having to go through multiple steps on her allegedly smart cellular telephone to input an apostrophe. To rapidly get an idea across to a targeted audience, cellular telephone manufacturers - and seemingly many of their customers - consider the apostrophe superfluous.

If I am correct, I suspect Old Navy was shocked representatives of Syracuse University held the company accountable. Give Old Navy credit for making the most of a situation that could have been far more awkward. I, for one, normally would not give Old Navy free advertising by talking and posting about the matter.

Kudos to the Grammar Police!


Reference:
Glickman, Simon, and Julia Rubiner. "Score One for the Apostrophe." Visual Thesaurus. Thinkmap, Inc., 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2011.
http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/candlepwr/3007/

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