This absolutely thrills me!
I’m a little more impressed with teacherscount.org than even I was before. Not only did they respond to me, but they responded personally, thoughtfully, and promptly! Check it out:
Dear Mrs. Chili,
Thank you for your compliments on our mission and also for your thoughtful feedback regarding the grammar in the Virginia Madsen ad. We subscribe to Google Alerts, so we saw your blog entry on this subject as well. Despite getting a bit of bad press on your blog, I actually think it’s great that you are such an energized and engaged contributor to the public dialogue on education.
I do know what you mean regarding the grammar in the ad. At the time of that ad’s completion, we were working with an award-winning advertising agency that was responsible for writing the copy for all our ads. We did question the sentence fragments during the proofing process, but the agency told us that it’s standard in the industry for ad copy not to follow the traditional rules of English grammar. An example of this argument can be found here:
As an English major myself, I admit to feeling annoyed at the erosion of good grammar and word usage perpetuated by pop culture, but the trend of casual copy-writing seems to be well established in the ad industry. We decided to “trust the experts” on this one.
As for the “me’s”, I find that to be a tough call. It was a direct quote from Virginia Madsen, so we had to find a way of putting it to paper. The concern with writing simply “mes” is that people might have thought it should be pronounced “mess” and not know what to make of it. While I realize this plural of me is neither possessive nor a contraction, there honestly did not seem to be another way to successful convey the quotation in writing.
Thank you again for getting in touch, and best of luck with your teaching.
10 East 40th St., Suite 1900
New York, New York 10016
Isn’t that GREAT?! I mean, yes, the ad is still being run with the rotten grammar, but there’s something comforting to me in knowing that SOMEONE over there choked a bit on it before they put it out into the world. Now, if we could just get people like Lauren to work in the ad companies, we’d be much better off trusting the experts.
Thanks, Lauren! I very much appreciate that you took the time to answer, and that you did it in such a considered, thoughtful way.