Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Speaking of children, is it possible that this newspaper employs the remedial English students to write their headlines?


I could have gone along with this, maybe, if it had said "Presidential child's play." That might be a neat little pun--I get it (even though there's more than one child involved and my inner grammarian is cringing at the disagreement issues despite the cute pun). But I really just don't think this "kid's play" phrasing works here. YVIE, who sent in this picture, says:

The PC's sign at Staples was trumped when I picked up the Detroit News today and found this. I spent a while wondering if either Sasha or Malia was performing in a play. Now I'm not really sure WHAT the writer was attempting to say. The saddest thing is that it's not a little hidden mistake, it's the biggest freaking text on the entire page (actually the saddest thing is that I'm sure most readers didn't notice it).

What do you think? Do you think this pun works, and a few of us grammarian types are being too damn rigid? Or do you think it sounds misleading and potentially apostrophically catastrophic? (Yeah, I just made up a word. Which I keep trying to pronounce in my head, and it's quite the tongue twister.) Weigh in below, in the Comments section.

Thanks to YVIE for this picture!

7 comments:

HorribleLicensePlates said...

Yeah, I'm going to go with potentially apostrophically catastrophic.

EVula said...

If it had been "child's play", I could have possibly forgiven it. As it stands now... failure.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Phew! OK, good--I'm glad you guys agree. For a while there I was wondering if I was being horribly picky. Looks like I'm not, so...yay! :)

sitboaf said...

I might have preferred
"Presidential Kids' Play."

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Yep, that would work well, too! That's a good suggestion.

John Roach said...

No, it doesn't work at all. At my paper, you'd never get away with referring to anything other than small goats as "kids."

I think space trumped sense here, which is a terrible thing to let happen.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

John, you clearly work for the right kind of newspaper. :) And I agree--this is indeed terrible!