Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More Movie, Less Grammatical Correctness


I'm seriously considering boycotting TNT - the cable network, not the explosive device.

Is my boycott part of a cable-wide protest of the switch from analog to digital television? Or perhaps I am objecting to the "questionable" content of some of TNT's original series?

D, none of the above.

I'm boycotting TNT because their new tag line, "More Movie, Less Commercial" makes me want to stab someone with a spork. Preferably the TNT executive responsible for this travesty.

I have nothing against TNT's programming, I just have a serious issue when a major cable network, owned by uber-media conglomerate Time Warner, can't get the goddamn English language right.

Grammar Quickie from Spark Notes
helping students avoid doing it themselves since 1999

When to use less and when to use fewer? There’s an easy way to remember. If you can’t count it, use less. If you can count it, use fewer.

• Cain has less love in his heart than anyone else I know.
• Cain gives fewer hugs than anyone else I know.

I'm not sure why Spark Notes chose a Biblical character to illustrate this grammar lesson, but the point is made. As annoying as commercials are, they are fully countable, and therefore we should be promised fewer commercial interruptions, not less.

I don't have a degree in English. I didn't even take a single English class post-secondary. But I am a stickler for the finer points of grammar, and I can't help but go blind in one eye, spasm uncontrollably, and reach for the spork whenever I come across these egregious grammatical offenses.

Some of the most enraging:
  • They're/their/there and it's/its mishaps. I won't go into detail, but what the f#%$ is up with the new Degree ad - WHATS NEW? *spasm twitch*
  • Unnecessary apostrophes - DVDs NOT DVD's; 1970s NOT 1970's. Apostrophes of this nature are intended to express possession and are absolutely inappropriate to throw in at random when pluralizing nouns.
Of course, grammar and punctuation slip-ups occur, and when they do, the Panda, very vehemently, says NO!

You can find out more about the Panda's quest for perfection by reading Lynn Truss's Eats Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (the title says it all). The book is available in paperback as well as a new illustrated hardback edition (oh la la!). The focus is strictly punctuation, but it's a start on the path to Grammar Happiness.

And with luck, fewer sporks will be needed in the future.

1 comment:

Loren said...

THANK YOU! I have been frustrated to a degree I can't even describe due to TNT's complete ignorance of the English language. How hard is it to use the proper adjective? Thank you for acknowledging this ridiculous error.