…or do I have a legitimate gripe?
My grocery store has this annoying habit of offering “daily specials” at the register. They don’t offer USEFUL things – like city trash bags, which I ALWAYS leave the store without, because one can’t buy them in the aisles; they must be bought at the registers. Nope; often, most of these specials are horrid offerings – sugary “fruit” snacks or dreadful BBQ chips – but the other day, my brazenly pierced check-out girl asked if I would like to try Fruity Cheerios. Given that I was starving – I hadn’t eaten lunch, and hadn’t bought anything that could pass for emergency tide-me-over food – I said “sure, why the hell not?” (I used those actual words; I thought brazenly pierced check-out girl could hack it). I popped open the box before I buckled my seat belt and decided that, as far as impulse buys go, this was not a stinker.
Right about now, you’re wondering “what the HELL does this have to do with teaching?!” Patience, Grasshopper; I’m getting there…
ANYWAY, we’ve started eating breakfast at a real table lately, with the occasion of new floors and space in which to put said table. My children, I may or may not have mentioned, are excellent, eager readers and, in true kid-at-the-breakfast-table form, love to read the backs of cereal boxes while they crunch. Frankly, so do I, which is how we got here in the first place.
So, I’m reading the Fruity Cheerios box, where there are four little balls on the back filled with information that is supposed to make moms everywhere prefer Fruity Cheerios to those “other” fruit-O cereals. The very first ball, in fact, says, and I quote:
Excellent source of WHOLE GRAIN
Did you know that only 1 in 10 kids get enough whole grain per day?
It’s recommended that most kids get at least 48g of whole grain per day.
Now, aside from this seeming like a WHOLE HELL of a lot of grain, and the fact that no where on the box does it mention how many grams of whole grain are actually in a serving of this stuff, the first complete sentence is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! One in ten kids GETS enough – there’s only ONE kid – there should be a singular verb there, folks!
I wrote an email to the Cheerios people. Here’s what I said:
As an English teacher and mother of two voracious readers (who enjoy reading the back of Cheerios boxes while they eat breakfast), I need to take some issue with the grammar on the back of the Fruity Cheerios box: “Did you know that only 1 in 10 kids get enough whole grain per day?” The subject of the main clause in that sentence is the “one kid,” which means that the verb should be the singular “gets.” Please help me do my part to teach our young people correctly and to save our language.
Too much, or am I well within my parent/teacher boundaries to request that they get themselves an editor with a grasp of the target language?