Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Going OFF on a Coupon

Can a single sheet of paper contain a myriad of mistakes? Until today, I wasn't so sure. After seeing this coupon, which was handed to my friend Lindsay, of IAMNOTASTALKER, outside of a Target in Pasadena, California, I am positive.

Where to begin? I'll start at the top and work my way through. The first two lines look good. Things start to heat up, however, when we reach the address line. My first issue is a persnickety one: When you use a letter to indicate a directional end in a numbered address, abbreviate it and place a period after it. The E, which is short for "East," needs a period.

My next issue pertains to missing periods as well, though it's a much bigger pet peeve. Inconsistencies, even "minor" ones that most readers wouldn't give a darn about, make me want to pull out my red hair. Why put a period after St. in "Green St." but not after Blvd. or Ave.? They are all thoroughfare abbreviations and all merit a period. At the very least, do not include any periods in such cases. It wouldn't be the proper style, but it'd be consistent.

Next up is the case of the oddly placed comma. Shouldn't it come after Blvd., not Ste.? And, when we move the comma, let's make sure to keep one character space between Ste. and 9&11.

Moving on...

Is the word coupon necessary? By including material such as "15% off" and "discount," it's obvious that this is a coupon. You don't have to literally spell it out for us. And, while we're on this line, why is off in all caps? This is informal printed material, so I could understand using an uppercase O for style purposes, but OFF doesn't fly — unless, perhaps, coupon had been in all caps as well. Again, consistency.

Let's proceed to my biggest issue. Where is Discount? Is that a town near Pasadena? I'd like to go there, to dine. The 15 percent markdown is a "dine-in discount," of course. The hyphen is critical.

Moving on...

What's with the word call? Why is it there? Actually, phone isn't necessary either, though something along the lines of Phone: 626-795-3793 makes sense.

Nothing's wrong with the bottom line. First two lines? Good. Last line? Good. In between? Not so good. This coupon incorporates a lot of problems into very little text.

Lindsay informed me that the coupon was printed on thick, glossy paper. She suggested that instead of investing in such high-quality paper perhaps Bua Na should have opted to pay for a proofreader. I can't argue with that line of reasoning. And who knows, the proofreader may have offered his services at 15 percent OFF.


  1. Lol Love this one! We walked by Bua Na the other night and took a look at the menu. I wanted to send it to you, but Bret said he was afraid your head might explode upon seeing it. ;). It's a doozy!

  2. Please excuse my misspelled name in the above comment - on a grammatical errors blog, no less! UGH! The freaking iPhone and its darn autocorrect!

    1. No worries, Lindsay Blak_. Try giving the iPhone a taste of its own medicine; insist on referring to it as an iPhonr.