Why grammar sometimes doesn’t matter (that much)

Loo's This Way

I hate a misplaced apostrophe as much as anyone. And I really hate unnecessary capital letters.

But, as any editor will tell you, the real reason for describing a piece of writing as bad is nothing to do with breaking the ‘rules’. It’s to do with communication. Ultimately, crimes against English happen when something about the writing prevents the message from getting across.

And this particular message – repeated at several places along the Thames Path – was very clear. And undoubtedly, for many of its readers, very welcome. I don’t think they would have cared about that apostrophe at all.


4 thoughts on “Why grammar sometimes doesn’t matter (that much)

  1. Flipping the clipart of the bloke with the brief case left-right so he was walking in the direction of the arrow would have improved the visual communication of the sign. I like the way the woman jauntily looks the right way.
    I can’t believe I’ve just typed in a comment on the finer points of toilet signage.

  2. Unnecessary capitals I would agree but misplaced apostrophe? Can’t convict without further evidence. Benefit of the doubt maybe? ‘Loo is this way’ contracts to ‘loo’s this way’ which is fine. How many loos are there? I think we should be told!


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