New York City? Get a rope.

July 30th, 2014 · 76 comments

Our submitter just moved to a small town in South Dakota, and says that seeing this “edited” ad at a diner was the biggest culture shock she’s had yet! “As an art teacher,” she writes, “I was irritated that someone would try so hard to dissuade some kids from pursuing what sounds like a pretty cool experience.”

New York City? Get a rope.


related: Hey, redneck

FILED UNDER: God · schools & teachers · small town living · spelling and grammar police

76 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Carrie

    As a teacher, of any subject, submitted should be just as upset at lack of basic grammar being taught.

    Jul 30, 2014 at 10:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   The Elf

      Yes – and since it was made on a computer, a simple spelling/grammar check built into the software would have resolved both issues.

      Jul 31, 2014 at 6:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Tesselara

      Eh, it’s easy to make those mistakes when you are doing something in a hurry. Team kids who want to work hard! :)

      Jul 31, 2014 at 6:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Carrie

    As a teacher, of any subject, submitter should be just as upset at lack of basic grammar being taught.

    Jul 30, 2014 at 10:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Althea

      How do you know the submitter is a teacher?

      Or are you a teacher ironically making a modifier placement error in a post criticizing grammar?

      Jul 31, 2014 at 10:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   Althea

      Aaaand just when I misread the comment editor fails. Sorry ’bout the misreading, folks.

      Jul 31, 2014 at 10:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Poltergeist

    Aww, it looks like the pathetic little grammar Nazi is jealous. The nerve of those young whippersnappers and their willingness to work for donations! What gives them the right to have ambitions when I’m stuck at home with a freezer full of TV dinners and a box of Kleenex?

    Jul 30, 2014 at 11:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   The Elf

      As much as the grammar errors irritate me, I have to agree. These teens are at least volunteering to WORK to raise the money! They aren’t soliciting relatives, they aren’t demanding it of their parents, they aren’t walking door to door selling yet another fundraiser. It’s a golden opportunity for them and they’re willing to go the extra mile to get it. Kudos.

      Jul 31, 2014 at 6:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   TKD

      Yes, at least they are asking to WORK. The alarming trend in my tiny part of the world is to stand outside of places like grocery stores, carry a container with a slot cut in the top and say to everyone who passes “Would you like to make a donation to my school trip to “? Since when did BEGGING become the preferred method to teach your children to acquire wealth? This has happened at least a dozen times to me this summer. I even had one mom, teenage son in tow, do all the talking. Now that is a role model.

      Jul 31, 2014 at 8:09 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   The Elf

      In that time spent begging, kid could have done a lot of yard work.

      Where I live there aren’t many kids of that age, but if one of them did come around looking for a money for a school trip, I’d have a job or two for the kid. There’s always weeding, brush-hauling, mulch-spreading, stick-picking-up, and other assorted lawnwork that doesn’t require machinery but does require a strong back. Better their 16 year old back than my almost 40 year old back.

      Aug 1, 2014 at 6:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   JoDa

      The kids around here ruin it…they try to sell store candy for 3-4x the price as a scam. I would KILL for a kid to show up at my door (or store) hawking the pretzel or caramel chocolate bars I did in jr. high to pay for trips (yeah, sure, there were plain, almond, and others, but the pretzel and caramel ones were the BOMB). I always made my mom buy a bunch, not to fund my stuff, but because they were frigging AMAZING.

      Also, I have to go FIND a coworker with a daughter to get Girl Scout cookies anymore. What has the world come to?

      Aug 1, 2014 at 11:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.5   Paleo

      From an entrepreneur’s perspective, if you can get the money without working for it, why work for it? Maximum return on effort if you simply ask and receive. Nobody’s forcing anybody to donate, so as long as they’re clear about what the donation is for they’re not being dishonest or cheating a system. So what’s the problem? Moral superiority? “Back in my day I had to WORK for my dime! Disrespectful whippersnappers!” Yes, someone’s found a way to make money easier than you did. Sorry.

      (Not going into market saturation and stuff that would collapse the donation idea if done too much – and of course the work-for-money kids are taking advantage of your emotional response to get more money for their effort too!)

      Aug 4, 2014 at 2:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.6   The Elf

      Why work? Because self-reliance is a lesson that the parents should be reinforcing.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Chinchillazilla

    I feel like leaving “an” out was a deliberate choice to save space, not a grammar mistake.

    Interestingly, the only real grammar error I see on the flyer is the capital D in donations at the bottom, which Ol’ Sour Grapes didn’t even catch.

    Jul 31, 2014 at 12:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Rachel

      Almost completely agreed. Most of the “errors” above are just less conventional ways of wording it. Though I do think “fund” is an error when used that way.

      Jul 31, 2014 at 9:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Nathan Rudy

    These are students looking to raise money for an educational experience while demonstrating their lack of education.

    An art teacher should be concerned that the execution of this flyer doesn’t support the goal of the flyer, in that they are showing a disinterest in education while asking for help to get an educational experience.

    This is a poorly written and laid out flyer for kids looking for an educational art experience in New York? They haven’t taken advantage of the educational art opportunities at home, so based on this flyer they are looking to party in New York rather than to learn about art.

    Jul 31, 2014 at 5:53 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Tesselara

      You do realize that they teach art in art class, and not grammar?

      Jul 31, 2014 at 6:57 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   Poltergeist

      Look everybody, I think we found the flyer editor!

      Jul 31, 2014 at 7:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   The Elf

    Fun Fact: In my senior year of high school, the class voted on a slogan for our class to put on a t-shirt. (The t-shirt was to be sold to raise funds for prom). The winning slogan was “We Out”. The teacher in charge of such things approved it. When I complained to the teacher of the astounding irony of selling a grammatically incorrect t-shirt advertising a public high school, he sarcastically told me to spray paint a ‘re on it.

    And this is among the reasons I’ve never gone back for a reunion.

    Jul 31, 2014 at 6:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   John Porter

      I think you have a very dry wit. Either way, your post made me laugh. :)

      Jul 31, 2014 at 8:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Paleo

      Because everything a person ever says has to be clean-cut standard English, eh? I’d say for a shirt celebrating their escape from the mediocrity of high school, the kids should be allowed to use whatever vernacular they want. There’s certainly plenty of good reasons for local vernacular – one of which is a sense of community. Something tells me you just weren’t part of theirs.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 2:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   The Elf

      Let’s just leave it at this: it was a community I was happy to leave, and the shirt encapsulated all the reasons why in one succinct phrase.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   EffingReally

      You must be a riot at parties. It’s slang, on the senior class shirt. It’s not selling the school, it’s a memento for the students. I don’t think this is the reason you won’t be going back for reunions. You won’t be going back because no one likes you.

      Aug 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Christine

    Is anyone else concerned they didn’t blur out the phone number? Somebody’s going to get pranked!

    Jul 31, 2014 at 6:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Jessie

    What is with the crazy amount of question marks at the end? That is a conditional sentence. It doesn’t require a question mark.

    Jul 31, 2014 at 7:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Poltergeist

      Yeah, I was wondering about that too. I’m pretty that no matter how you slice it, it’s grammatically incorrect to have three giant question marks written over the text itself.

      But since I don’t have a stick up my ass, what do I know?

      Jul 31, 2014 at 8:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Poltergeist

      *pretty sure

      Oh no, I’m so illiterate!

      Jul 31, 2014 at 8:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   Team Beasly

      Grammar nazis are simply engaged in a 24/7 Nitpicking LARP. They are never right, because the entire premise of their gripes is scientifically flawed. (Source: I am an *actual* linguist. You can disagree with this if you want, and most pretentious pricks do, but you’re still just as wrong as if you said fetuses gestate in stomachs and the sun goes around the earth.)

      Even under the most stringent of criteria, there is only one possible “error”, namely “fund/s.” The other “errors” are just headline English and use of “donation” as a mass noun.

      Jul 31, 2014 at 9:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.4   Tesselara

      Right–language is a human construct, created by humans, and is always in development. That said, some things help the readability of a document, and neglecting the current conventions do make it harder to read.

      Also, 24/7 Nitpicking LARP! Best thing ever. I’m going to use this sometime. I promise.

      Jul 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.5   kat

      Finally, Another linguist! I love watching the first year students argue for prescriptivism. You want to see grammar fanatics. Try the French.

      This is a sign. Space is important.

      Jul 31, 2014 at 3:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.6   Feather Blade

      I think the pedant is simply confused by the entire phrase.

      I admit, it would be clearer if it had been worded “If you have a job for us to do, please call…”

      The other edits are reasonable, but at that point, the pedant is just being obtuse.

      Aug 1, 2014 at 12:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.7   Tesselara

      Or pedantic!

      Aug 1, 2014 at 8:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   buni

    The editor missed “…and *are* willing to:”

    Jul 31, 2014 at 9:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   kermit

    I would overlook this if these kids were in elementary school. By the time you’ve reached high school you’re a teenager. It’s not unreasonable to expect teenagers to have a handle on basic things subject-verb agreement, when to use capitalization, etc. There are hardly any immigrants in South Dakota so the foreign language excuse doesn’t really fly. If they were in France, Germany, Sweden or China, the only trip they’d be getting is to the library.

    Jul 31, 2014 at 10:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Lita bang

      I see it the other way around. Teenagers, in my experience, are much worse at this sort of thing. Too much shorthand texting, perhaps?

      Jul 31, 2014 at 11:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   kermit

      I don’t know Lita. English was my third language, and by the time I got to high school knew how to write better than this. It’s one thing to be careless when you’re just fooling around; it’s quite another to be careless when you’re applying for jobs, soliciting your services or worse, writing standardized tests. “Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits” is a very true thing.

      Jul 31, 2014 at 11:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   Lita bang

      That is indeed a thing that is very true!

      I dunno. It really comes off like no one cares anymore, because there’s always some “easier” way to do whatever. And I do know people my own age (mid-twenties) who cannot spell or use proper grammar to save their lives, because they’ve relied on their computer’s spelling and grammar checkers for so long they literally can’t operate without them. *sigh*

      (I had no idea! What are your first two languages?)

      Jul 31, 2014 at 3:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.4   H for Toy

      Maybe because it’s your third, you actually studied it, instead of just growing up knowing it. Not that that’s an excuse. Or maybe you’re just smart

      Aug 1, 2014 at 5:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.5   Rushmore

      Actually, there is a significant international population olong the I-29 corridor. However, I recognize the city code and think that Kermit is correct about the sign creator being a native English speaker.

      Aug 1, 2014 at 8:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.6   Rushmore


      Aug 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   MEEEEE

    Is it bad that im with the editor. It all sounds annoying and yes. Stay away from NYC… go to DC or something.

    Jul 31, 2014 at 11:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Lita bang

      You’re with the editor, and yet you get lazy with your “I’m” and forget your question mark… ;)

      Jul 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   MEEEEE

      Yes Lita, im with the edItOR. Call down

      Aug 1, 2014 at 11:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.3   MEEEEE

      OuI lITA, im with the edItOR. Calm down

      Aug 1, 2014 at 11:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.4   TKD

      I don’t think MEEEEE get’s it. :-(

      Aug 1, 2014 at 12:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.5   Lita bang

      I don’t think MEEEEE gets much of anything.

      Aug 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.6   The Elf

      YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU might be on to something.

      Aug 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Haterade

    I guess it’s just me who thinks the scribbler was being sarcastic by commenting that they should skip NYC and study English instead? :-/ That’s the only way I can make any sense of someone honestly believing he/she was trying to “dissuade some kids from pursuing what sounds like a pretty cool experience”, as opposed to just poking fun.

    Put me down for Team Misunderstood Sarcasm…

    Jul 31, 2014 at 12:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   deprogrammed


      “Where did you go during summer vacation, little Joe?

      I done been to the Big Aple with the money I got from cutting some grass.”

      The least you can do when asking for a job is correct the grammar. If you don’t believe that, submit a resume with a single typo and see what happens.

      Aug 2, 2014 at 1:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   buni

      I find that it really depends on what type of job you are applying for. I used to be married to an elementary school principal and I did help him read through resumes looking for spelling and grammar errors. However, at the place where I work now, the standards are much more lax as most of the jobs are blue-collar and literacy is not as important as the ability to drive large trucks and operate heavy equipment. I’ve seen many people get hired when I would have thrown their application away for being illegible. Some people can barely write their own name.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 10:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   kermit

      If your career aspirations are to do manual labor or revel in the smoke fumes of a greasy spoon, then literacy doesn’t count. I doubt many people think of those professions as they dream jobs. No little kid says that they dream of being a janitor or burger flipper. And not many people appreciate finding out they were stiffed on their paychecks because their bosses know they can’t do basic arithmetic, either.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 10:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.4   Poltergeist

      I don’t even know why you guys keep bringing up illiteracy. A few typos do not amount to illiteracy.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.5   kermit

      Typos don’t amount to illiteracy. They do amount to carelessness and lack of attention to detail – characteristics which most employers don’t look for (even if they’re hiring somebody to do household chores).

      Aug 4, 2014 at 1:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.6   Poltergeist

      Even the most detail-oriented people can make typos. It’s very easy for your brain to “autocorrect” a typo in something you’ve written because you know what you want it to say. That’s why editors/proofreaders exist. The only mistake made by this high school student was not getting somebody to proofread the flyer before he/she printed it out. It does not mean that they are not knowledgeable about basic grammar, and as others have stated, they actually only made one definite mistake on the flyer anyway.

      Frankly, if you would refuse to hire one of these students to do some work solely because one of them made a few typos on the flyer, you’re being a prick.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.7   kermit

      Detail-oriented people can certainly make typos when they’re under pressure and have other things to worry about. However when you’re applying for a job, nobody is holding a gun to your head and you have all the time in the world to go over what you’re submitting and to make sure that it is in fact, correct and representative of who you are as a worker.

      I would have no problem hiring those students to do manual labor. I definitely wouldn’t hire them to do anything that required more diligence or attention to detail.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.8   Poltergeist

      I hope you’re not saying that manual labor in general doesn’t require diligence or attention to detail because that couldn’t be further from the truth.

      Just because one student made a few typos on a quickly typed-up flyer doesn’t mean that all of the students are incapable of doing anything but washing car windows, and just because somebody types something up without any mistakes doesn’t mean they are competent. If anything, you’ll probably find some very detail-oriented people within a group of art students.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 3:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.9   kermit

      Let’s put it this way, Poltergeist – I have no problem if there is still the odd leaf in my yard if I ask somebody to rake it. I have a huge problem if a person who can’t be bothered to spell check their resume makes an equally careless mistake sending out an invoice, sorting some receipts or recording some payments. That’s why I would let these students rake my yard and not do anything “important”.

      And FYI – it’s precisely because manual labor requires diligence and attention that having errors in the ad can be a big deal to a prospective employer.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 5:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Jami

    And I have no comment so I give you a joke instead.

    A door to door salesman knocks on a door answered by a little girl. “Hello there, dear, may I speak to your mother?” He asks.

    “She ain’t here!” The girl replies.

    “Tsk tsk, my dear, where is your grammar?”

    “She ain’t here neither!”

    Jul 31, 2014 at 12:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Lita bang

      Ha! I have to steal that one. :)

      Jul 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Rachel

    Grammar is the new religion. Fairly pointless, but endlessly superior.

    Jul 31, 2014 at 8:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Kyler

    Honestly, my first thought when reading this was that it was written by someone who speaks English as a second language. I’m part of an active Chinese community and all of these errors are common (leaving out “s” at the end of words, missing small words like “an” or “to”). I highly doubt that the entire educational team gathered ’round the computer and typed out the flyer together. All it means is that whoever they designated made a few mistakes. Chill out!

    Jul 31, 2014 at 9:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   assiveProgressive

    So… Wonder if they raised enough to go to NYC. Summer’s almost over, kiddies. That’s a heck of a lot of leaf raking, if you consider airfare and hotel.

    Aug 2, 2014 at 12:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   juniper

    I’m a grammar Nazi. Proud one too.
    I would have obviously noticed those errors if I saw the sign, but they wouldn’t have bothered me much. It’s a pretty well laid out poster – the only one that is absolutely clear cut is ‘fund’ and generally it seems to be in support of a good cause. I grew up in one of these small pissant towns and experiences like that can be invaluable to kids that just can’t see beyond the limitations of their circumstances and upbringing.

    Aug 4, 2014 at 7:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Jami

    Can we get a new PAN, pretty please?

    Aug 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   kermit

      No, you can’t. You have to live in the real world.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 5:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.2   Jami

      *pouts, whimpers, then suddenly* MOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY! The mean frog man said I couldn’t have a new PAN!

      Aug 4, 2014 at 10:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.3   Lita bang

      There there, Jami. You can borrow my Denial of Reality cap if you like.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 11:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.4   Justme

      I would like to purchase a Denial of Reality cap (preferably in blue). Where did you get yours?

      Aug 4, 2014 at 11:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.5   TKD

      A Denial of Reality cap has to be knit with yarn spun from the Andean Apathy Alpaca, using Rainbow Unicorn horns as knitting needles. Very difficult to come by one. I happen to have one right here. It looks like a cheap, blue, acrylic stocking cap from Target, but it is the real deal. You just have to believe hard enough in your denial. I can get you a good price… because I like you so much Justme. Did I mention that this one is blue?

      Aug 5, 2014 at 6:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.6   Jami

      Sometimes I think we all need to be on a sitcom together. But it would probably have to be on HBO.

      Okay, while we wait for a new PAN – I’m in charge of potlucks at my work. Every other month we have one. Every other month I put up a sign up list so people don’t bring repeats. Every other month they write down their name and the words “something delicious” – so we end up with repeats. I asked them in an e-mail to not do that anymore. That they don’t have to put an actual name of a dish, but please put if you’re bringing a main dish, a side dish, a desert, etc, and reminded them the point was to avoid everyone bringing the same thing. I even gave them a list of suggestions on where to buy pre-made stuff if they can’t cook or have a hard time with coming up with ideas.

      Now I worry I was a little PA even though I didn’t intend to be. I just want them to at least put down “Main dish with chicken” or “side dish with tofu” or what have you so we don’t end up with three bowls filled with chicken meatballs from CoastCo.

      Aug 5, 2014 at 10:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.7   The Elf

      Well, I can think of worse things at a potluck than 3 bowls of chicken meatballs. I instantly feel sorry for you, getting the potluck organizing task. I hated event planning when I got roped into it.

      I think your only solution to this is Mongolian hats and spare ribs. Don’t forget the sugar free fruit cups (because diabetics are people too).

      Aug 5, 2014 at 11:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.8   Jami


      Only good thing about it is this is my PIP so I actually earn extra vacation hours by doing this. Which will come in handy as my parents have booked a fishing trip in Alaska for next year.

      It’s actually the three deserts last time that got me upset. I had already put down I was bringing a cake. Another coworker bought a cheesecake and a third made tiramisu. What we needed were veggies.

      I mean, is it really so hard to say “Yeah, I’m gonna buy a pre-made veggie platter”?

      We only have one diabetic and she’s pretty well under control. But we have one person who is – Oh, I forget the term, she’s not a vegetarian but the only meat she eats is fish.

      Aug 5, 2014 at 11:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.9   Lita bang

      Pescetarian, I believe (not sure if it’s spelled right. Augh. –no wait, yes, that is correct.)

      Aug 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.10   Jami

      Thank you, Lita. I knew it began with a P but that’s all I remembered.

      I’m so glad we don’t have any psycho vegans. You know the types – the ones that other vegans want to pin down and force raw hamburger down their throat.

      Aug 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   M_M

    This is common in SD. Ive lived and worked all over that god awful state, and meet tons of people who have never left the state (since birth). If I ask why (and I usually do), the two biggest reasons are CRIME and GANGS. I was even told once by someone from SD going to Minneapolis (nice city btw) that they worried about getting shot, at the Mall of America, by a gang member or homeless person. Chances of that are slim to none. They stay clueless and ignorant because they choose to. The only city worth something there is Sioux Falls…but barely.

    Aug 5, 2014 at 10:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   AC

    I’m just stoked for the old 90s Pace Picante sauce reference in the title for this post; made my day. Grammar, shmammar.

    Aug 9, 2014 at 7:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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