Subject-Verb Agreement: Get With the Program, Folks!

Ok, this is a rant. I can’t stand it anymore. If there are any more “polished” marketing pieces that float across my desk (either my physical “inbox” or the one on my computer) with basic grammar errors, I’m going to whoop out an amazingly loud screech! (Please notice that I said “if there are any more” not “if there IS any more.”)

My rant topic today? Subject Verb Agreement.

Subjects and verbs should work together. Period. And the biggest offender I’ve seen lately isn’t the occasional twisty little sentence that you have to read twice to figure out exactly what the subject is and whether or not it’s a plural. Nope, the most infuriating thing I see lately… and repeatedly is this…

Misuse of contractions.

Here’s a hint… (please note that it’s a singular hint, thus the contraction works).

The word “here’s” means “here is” — not “here are.”

So sending me information on “Here’s the top five” or “Here’s 3 reasons to” or any use of “Here’s” to give me a laundry list of a particular number of anything other than ONE… well it makes me nuts.

Now, maybe my English degree is showing. I prefer to think it’s my common sense. But, to realize that some marketing company has been paid big bucks to come up with the direct mail piece that I recently received from Dragon Naturally Speaking that said “Here’s 5…” makes me angry. Angry that someone in the business could be so …. bumbling…and angry that the company paid such a high price to be made to look so low class.

Yes, I realize that I’ve published grammatical and even spelling errors (especially in my blog, which I type on the fly, when I really should spellcheck first) — but for a client’s final product? Ohhhh noooo. I’d be humiliated!

And today, I was referred to another copywriter’s site. On this “recommended” site, I see the following tip leader for how to improve your blogs:

“here’s 5 ways to open your post”

ARRUUGGHH!

I have to go beat my head against a wall now. Suddenly everyone is an expert on blogging to boost marketing — whether they can write or not.

My father (who laughs at my rants) and my mother (who apologizes for making me so anal about such things from the moment of my conception) both believe that this “new speak” will soon be accepted as “correct” and my father even taunts me with “soon it will be in the dictionary and everyone will point to it to prove that it’s ok.” Sure, maybe I’ll be the oddball, the old-fashioned curmudgeon who still believes in something as “yesterday” as subject-verb agreement. So be it.

But until that time, could those “professionals” out there please pay particular attention to the words “Here’s” and “There’s” for awhile longer? Please? With sugar on top?

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