Let’s unpack this image, shall we?
First, is it possible that the owners of this store have named it “Rumors” and the rest of the phrase is meant to convey that the store, “Rumors,” has everything you need for a wedding? You know:
Need a bridesmaid dress?
Rumors has it!
Want a huge selection of tiaras?
Rumors has it!
This is tough for me because I’m not always a fan of grammar. I often find the rules of grammar to be confining in terms of conveying my own creative or emotional vision, and I also don’t like the idea that there are people out there who hesitate to write down their own fascinating stories because they’re embarrassed to be caught out in a grammatical gaffe.
But I can’t help but feel that this sign gives a poor first impression to potential customers. I mean, brides aren’t going to be on board with stretching the rules of grammar when it comes to their engagement announcements or wedding invitations:
“Mr. and Mrs. Basil T. Higgenbottom is thrill to announcing the engagement of her daughters, Margaret, who are expect will be marry in June.”
Now, I like this. I think it’s poetic and raw. But if I ran a business, I would have to acknowledge that it’s not for most.
It’s a classic case of “know your audience.” Students ask me all the time why grammar is important, and many suggest that in this day and age of tweeting and instant messaging, grammar might actually be irrelevant. But the thing is, a storefront is not in the twitterverse. That sign is a real, actual message on the face of a business that speaks to a much different audience than does a tweet. People will make assumptions about these business owners - right or wrong - based on the image put forth by that sign. So, if correct use of grammar is important to your business, the correct use of grammar on the sign should communicate that value. See? Not a tweet.
All of this makes me wonder what was going on before the sign went up. I mean, aren’t there stacks of forms to fill out when you want to open a business? Wouldn’t these forms include the name of the business, right at the top of the paperwork? Wouldn’t these forms be seen by city workers, lawyers, bankers, etc? Am I to believe that the grammatical error in the name of the business never, ever came up? With anyone?
Entrepreneur: No, I think it’s right the way it is.
Entrepreneur: I’m pretty sure it is.
I also wonder if this topic ever comes up with patrons of the shop. I myself thought of going in and just mentioning - you know, in passing - that the name of their establishment is a grammatical nightmare that makes a mockery of the English language.
But I didn’t because I was worried about coming off as dickish.
So instead I went with a blog post gently poking fun of their sign.
Which isn’t dickish at all.
More like passive-aggressive.
Although it occurs to me that it’s still not too late to be both...