Monday, November 16, 2009

Grammar Enthusiasts VS. Dunkin' Donuts

When did society decide to stop following even the most basic rules of grammar and punctuation? Take this sign, for example. I passed two Dunkin' Donuts restaurants on the way home from work today and both had these taped to the windows. Presumably they were professionally made and distributed to the franchises by the corporation. How did the glaring grammatical error go unnoticed?

Maybe I'm being extreme, but this isn't the first time I've caught a problem with a sign at Dunkin' Donuts.

So I wrote a letter. You can read it in its entirely down below. Wouldn't it be cool if you wrote a similar letter to Dunkin' Donuts (or copied and pasted mine) stressing the importance of grammar in promotional documents? The corporation can be contacted here. If you do, leave me a note in the comments. You never know - maybe Dunkin' Donuts will be compelled to send monetary compensation!

I am writing to alert you of a serious problem that I noticed while visiting one of your Dunkin' Donuts locations. Taped to the front window of your restaurant was an advertisement for an upcoming promotional offer. It stated “Were opening at 3am on Black Friday.” From a marketing standpoint, this seems like a great idea, however it was not the strategy that alarmed me – it was the blatant grammatical error. The spelling difference between “were” and “we're” are subtle, but the meanings of these words are quite different. It is alarming to me that such a well-known restaurant chain would make such a silly error on a sign that is undoubtedly hanging in every franchise window. I am skeptical of ingesting food and drink from a restaurant that cannot catch simple mistakes that are easily detectable by the average 4th grade student.

UPDATE: (11/17/09) - Dunkin' Donuts contacted me about 12 hours after this was posted. Read about it here.

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4 Responses:

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you and your well-written letter to the company. How ARE OUR students to apply what they learn in the classroom to the real world if they encounter these types of mistakes?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Kind of like a high school digital sign that read congradtulations graduates.

Mrs. K said...

I run across errors like this all the time on what are supposed to be professional notices. These days, I just snap pictures of them and tweet them on my classroom twitter with the caption: "find the mistake." We know no one is perfect, but it's a fun way to practice grammar and spelling out in "the real world." :)