Monday, March 30, 2009

Stagecoach need to proof-read.

One of the many blogs that I enjoy to read regularly is called A Transport of Delight which is written by a team of people under the banner of The Lincolnshire & East Yorkshire Transport Review. It is a great blog to read to discover the latest developments happening in British public transport. This is not a blog of bus or train spotters but a very good analysis of what is happening on the nation's bus, coach and train routes.

I draw your attention to the post on 26th March 2009 about Stagecoach needing to proof-read their advertisements. This post features a photograph of a Stagecoach bus with one of their advertisements on the rear engine cover. The advertisement reads "7 days unlimited travel in Peterborough £11 it's a no brainer really".

I looked at the photograph and wondered what was wrong with it? I studied the photograph and could still find nothing wrong with it. £11 for a weekly anywhere travel ticket is good value as the equivalent on Cardiff Bus is £14. I have had 11 years of schooling and have been involved with buses and coaches for 30 years. I looked at the advertisement for the third time and still I could find nothing wrong with it. I read the rest of the post written by a review member with the initials of CW to find the answer.

Ignoring the obvious lack of capitalisation, 7 days' unlimited travel. It's a no-brainer, really is how it should be written. I wonder how many others have spotted this?

For a company the size of Stagecoach, who produce a large volume of corporate literature, to miss out an apostrophe, a hyphen and a comma on the same advertisement tag-line is rather a poor show. This just goes to show that there is more to bus spotting than noting registration numbers!

Not sure that an apostrophe is required after the 7 days', if I remember correctly an apostrophe indicates a missing letter, as in it is becoming it's, or ownership of something, eg the dog's kennel. Mulitple dogs owning the same kennel would become the dogs' kennel.

Could be wrong though being a scientist and have only ever read books written by Chris Bonnington or Andy McNab.

No-brainer is not quite the correct term either, the
condition of having a very small almost non-exsistant brain is called the Dandy Walker complex and is a genetically sporadic disorder that occurs in one out of every 25,000 live births, mostly in females (best not to make any comment at this point)

The grammatical errors spotted are all true.

Unlimited travel 'belongs' to a collection of days, totalling seven, hence "7 days' unlimited travel". The possessive is multiple, not singular and so accordingly the apostrophe is required AFTER the 's' - certainly NOT before it or omitted altogether!!

No-brainer does indeed require an apostrophe as it is a term in itself. "Brainer" on its own means didly-squat (as does 'didly'), thus a hyphen is required to ensure it is understood when used in tandem with another word.

There are many pedants out there who will argue otherwise I'm sure, though leaving out the apostrophe in 'no-brainer' and removing the apostrophe from 7 days' would see your A Level English Language grade reduce.
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