On Monday when I was driving back to work from my Chiropractor appointment, I saw a new billboard for some bite-sized snack which was supposed to take care of your hunger pangs in between meals or something. The snack looked, from the 3,000-times-the-actual-size photograph, totally unidentifiable as a specific food (more specific than “bite-sized snack,” anyway), and I don’t think the name was very specific either–just “Bites” or something. No mention of what they were bites. Still, they appeared somewhat yummy, in an unidentifiable, not-particularly-healthy kind of way.
In the lower left-hand corner of the billboard was a subtitular descriptor of sorts that announced:
Cooked Perfect Bites
Never mind that someone had smudged out a section of the second “o” so that it looks like it says, Cocked Perfect Bites. (I like my bawdy humour as much as the next person, and maybe more than a Christian Youth Group Leader should, but I also like it to have a little bit of intelligence behind it.) The thing that really got me was the Absolutely Horrendous Grammar of this advertisement. Perfect, in this case, is an adverb modifying the adjective Cooked. (Or cocked. Either way, the grammar’s wrong.) But there was nothing perfect about this little claim.
Perfect, as an adverb, needs an ly. But even the makers of this billboard would know that Cooked Perfectly Bites doesn’t work. (It almost works if you’re trying to say, slangily and a little rudely, that being cooked perfectly is, for whatever reason, decidedly unsatisfactory.) It should, instead, say something like Perfectly Cooked Bites.
Sheesh, I thought, as I sailed by the billboard at speeds not conducive to snapping photos on my iPhone, No wonder no one can speak properly anymore! Probably another kind of police would have had something equally snarky to say about my driving, had any of them been around at the time. Fortunately for me, the only police at hand in this corner of Our Fair City at that moment, was this grammar one.
What’s the worst grammar gaffe you’ve ever seen in professional advertising?