Un-Words, Pt. VIII

Not long ago, I told you people who write signs tend to be the worst violators of them who adulterate all that is righteous in English and grammar. And here’s proof:

brokesign

In case you don’t see the problem (and boy, oh boy, do I hope you see it), it’s broke.

Yes, yes, broke is a word. But in this case, it ain’t used correctly.

Broke serves as two parts of speech in America (I’m not sure about other parts of the world). As a verb, it is the past tense of break–to fracture, transgress, blah, blah, blah. And as an adjective, its definition is penniless.

True, it’s an adjective that the sign requires to describe the door, so the word broke simply needs an n.

Used properly, the sign indicates that the door is “damaged or altered by breaking.” Improperly, as is, the sign indicates that the door has been “violated” or “fractured.” Or, possibly because of the current economic depression, the door is “penniless”? … Poor door. I know how it feels.

All of that notwithstanding, I’m glad the sign writer drew an arrow for a visual so we’d know which other door to use. How kind.

(I’m considering separating un-words from grammar woes … Whatdya think?)

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~ by MsInklination on September 28, 2009.

2 Responses to “Un-Words, Pt. VIII”

  1. Actually, I’m more annoyed with the repetition of the word ‘door’ than the misues of the word ‘broke.’ I would be satisfied if the sign said: Door’s broke use the other.

    • LOL! You know … hmmm … that does read a little better. The only problem with that is I don’t expect the people who wrote that sign would put put that apostrophe there to make a contraction.

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