Today, I decided to get myself a manicure and pedicure. It was a chance to sit back in one of the comfortable massage chairs while working through the plot of my second book in my head, when this sign caught my eye.
Unfortunately, the picture isn't all that clear. I took it with my iPhone - after asking permission, of course. It says:
Due to the increased numbers of nail
lacquer bottles being broken falling
down to the floor, we have no choice but
must hold customer's responsibility for
any broken nail polish bottle. From now
on, every broken bottle must be paid at
full retail price, which is $20 dollars. So
please handle nail lacquer bottles with
care. Thank you very much for your
Being an English teacher and writer, this was too much for me to ignore. The plot temporarily forgotten, I leaned forward in my chair and quietly spoke to the manicurist about the grammatical faux pas. Alas, her spoken English was worse than the sign.
Now, I understand the difficulty of communicating in a different language - the salon was staffed entirely by Chinese ladies and their male boss - but really, I believe it's only common courtesy not to make a hash of the common language in a public place.
It's a lesson to us writers as well. Before publishing your work, and putting it out there in the public realm, please, please, please, get it proofread.
You want to engage your readers not frustrate them!
Oh, my nails look fantastic, by the way.