Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This is the packaging of a car-care product.  What could conditional possibly mean?  It turns out that this product is actually a conditioner.  Quite obviously, the misspelling arose because the owner of the business, or the person in charge of marketing the product, does not pronounce syllable-final /l/, hence making conditioner and conditional homophones in his or her speech.


陳恭娟 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

The Grammar Terrorist said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I found one for you!

Can molest be used as a noun? Isn't it really a verb? Since when do we use it as a noun?

Look at this ST article headline:

Businessman jailed for molest


The Grammar Terrorist said...

You're absolutely right -- "molest" can only be a verb in Standard English. The use of this word as a noun is typically Singaporean. In Standard English the noun is, of course, "molestation".

ZAHRA said...

What a great blog! I keep visiting it.

I warmly welcome your comments regarding my own blog.

Kind regards,


Michael said...

Dear TGT,

I have a question.

When writing a list, do you put a comma before the 'and' or not?


The Grammar Terrorist said...

Zahra -- Many thanks for your kind words! You have a very interesting blog -- I'm learning a thing or two reading it!

Michael -- It's a matter of taste, really, but you can quite safely omit it (this is the convention in British English). However, sometimes it does help the reader, especially when the options you're listing contain conjunctions. For example, "John loves bacon and eggs, and fish and chips" is preferable to "John loves bacon and eggs and fish and chips".

However, the so-called "serial comma" (the comma before "and" and final item in the list) is the convention in American English. Incidentally, it is also called the "Oxford comma" because Oxford University Press follows this convention.

Zahra said...

Thanks a lot for your reply.

Your reply and kind words have perked me up.