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My 6 year old is already a grammar nazi

November 5, 2011

I was in New York City this morning and, as is my usual custom, I spent a good deal of time of the subway. Much of that time (far too long due to LOTS of weekend track construction) was spent with my daughter, who then also rode the Amtrak train back to Albany with me.

Now my daughter has fast become quite the little reader, and she likes to demonstrate this skill whenever she is able. And thus it was that today, as we sat next to each other on a subway car somewhere beneath the island of Manhattan, she saw a sign that warned passengers about a particular danger unique to mass transit. It read: Do Not Lean on Doors.

This is a fair warning, and one routinely ignored. I have leaned on subway doors – sometimes it’s just more comfortable – with no consequences to speak of. However, upon reading this sign, my daughter’s response was not to ask “why shouldn’t one lean on subway doors?” Rather, it was to say, “they forgot a word.”

I asked her what she meant by this, and she said again, “they forgot a word, daddy. They forgot the the.”

“What?”

“The the. It should say, Do Not Lean on the Doors.” She was quite annoyed by this most obvious oversight on the part of the MTA.

I can’t say that I disagree with her assessment, and we both agreed that proper grammar on subway trains should be the topic of a letter writing campaign. I also observed that those “see something, say something” security ads are a total farce; and that it is, in fact, very obnoxious that we passengers are asked to do the transit authority’s job. She didn’t seem to care as much about that, and I allowed that it was slightly off topic from her attack on improperly worded signs.

I am a proud father tonight, either way.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Portia permalink
    November 9, 2011 5:30 pm

    I have both A). wondered about the missing “the” and
    B). Seen something and said something.

    Like

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