By on May 16, 2017

2016 GMC Yukon Denali

Browsing through Facebook, one must often sort through and endure a constant barrage of poor grammar and misspellings. Generally we accept this (or I do) as one of the pitfalls in our present digital age. Everything is instant, quantity is more important than quality, and getting a Like and a Share means a lot to some people.

But I expect more from the advertisements I’m forced to view than I do from the common man, especially when precision is part of the ad copy.

Look what I found today, when a GMC ad auto-played (an obnoxious feature for a different article) with captions, since I had my computer on mute.

Image: GMC Facebook Ad

See the problem? Someone at GMC’s ad company thinks the plural of conductor is conductor is. And they didn’t stop there.

Image: GMC Facebook Ad

Because the plural of maestro (which is not a proper noun) is Maestro is.

Image: GMC Facebook ad

Now am I nitpicking? Possibly. But it matters a lot to people who rely solely on captions or the written word to receive information. I expect just a bit more precision from a company attempting to sell product on that virtue.

[Images captured via Facebook]

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93 Comments on “Picture Time: When Grammar Eludes Professional Grade...”


  • avatar
    Pete K

    I’m fairly certain GMC has NO control over the closed captioning, but I suppose I could be mistaken…

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Thankfully TTAC has never had any grammar mistakes.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      YES THANKFULLY YOUR ABSOLUTELY FREE CONTENT WITHOUT ANY COMMERCIAL BIAS HAS BEEN PERFECTLY SUITED FOR YOUR PERSONAL TASTES YOU UNGRATEFUL PIECE OF SH1T.

    • 0 avatar

      And when we make mistakes, people call them out and we fix them. Maybe GMC will do the same, but I doubt it.

      As an aside, subtitles are a big deal for the deaf community. We do our best to help the blind community on TTAC (if there is one) by adding correct alt. text tags to images so they can at least have that image described to them by a computer.

      • 0 avatar
        usernamefredkate2

        So I called out the huge grammar mistake(s) in the Honda Odyssey “disclosure” statement last night and no one approved my comment. I like how the writer attempted to fix the mistake, yet it’s still incorrect. What a joke.

        P.S. Corey–the plural of maestro does use an apostrophe because it’s a foreign word. Please don’t call out other people’s mistakes if you don’t know what you’re talking about!

        • 0 avatar

          For starters, I attempted to fix it earlier today based on your comment and I just went at it again now.

          I didn’t approve your comment because you were being an arse. It’s one thing to point out a grammar flub. It’s another thing to be a massive dick about it like you’re doing right now.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          So all foreign words, when plural, get an apostrophe.

          pomme frite’s
          haricot’s vert’s
          baguette’s

          No. The plural is maestros.

          • 0 avatar
            operagost

            Indeed, that is a new bit of nonsense to me. Loan words must use an apostrophe in their plural form? I am completely taken aback.

        • 0 avatar
          hachee

          I’m pretty sure sentences aren’t supposed to end with prepositions.

        • 0 avatar
          newenthusiast

          “the plural of maestro does use an apostrophe because it’s a foreign word. Please don’t call out other people’s mistakes if you don’t know what you’re talking about!”

          Might I suggest you listen to your own advice?

          Maestro:

          Borrowing from Italian maestro, from Latin magister (“master”).

          Pronunciation/ˈmaɪstɹoʊ/

          Noun

          maestro (plural maestros)

          A master in some art, especially a composer or conductor.

          Synonyms

          master

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          “the plural of maestro does use an apostrophe because it’s a foreign word.”

          Who told you that was how English worked?

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        MS: “And when we make mistakes, people call them out and we fix them.”

        You’re behind schedule. I pointed out your error in the article below eight days ago.
        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/05/volkswagen-crushes-10-speed-dual-clutch-dreams/

      • 0 avatar
        OliverTwist78

        Thanks for pointing out about the benefit of closed-captioning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.

        People often forget that closed-captioning does benefit the hearing people as well.

        Some hearing people have hearing disorders that interfere with their abilities to hear clearly, namely tinnitus, tone deafness, etc.

        Closed-captioning helps the young children and illiterate people develop their reading skills by listening and reading at the same time (even though closed-captioning isn’t 100% accurate but better than none). Studies proved that hearing children of deaf adults have better reading comprehension a several grades above their peers.

        The pubs and fitness clubs have several television sets, and it’s hard to hear the dialogues from them or know which one is talking. Closed-captioning solved that issue perfectly.

        Sometimes the actors and actresses are hard to hear or understand because of mumblings, background noises, strong accents, or unfamilar pronouncations.

        The people who learn foreign languages love them because they could listen to the pronouncations while reading the closed-captioning. Spanish-speaking people in the US often use closed-captioning to improve their English fluency as shown by National Captioning Institute’s survey in the 1980s.

        • 0 avatar
          Tele Vision

          As a guitarist of 30 years I can attest to the fact that ‘tone-deaf’ and actual hearing ailments do not belong in the same category.

          • 0 avatar
            OliverTwist78

            All right, I should have said the mouthful ‘high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss’ if I want to be specific which type of tone deafness…

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      TTAC isn’t trying to sell me a $50k+ vehicle with claims of “precision” and “quality”.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    that’s Facebook’s Automatic sub-titling. It’s not the work of GMC or their ad agency.

    edit: YouTube’s is even worse, I found that ad and while it didn’t make the same error, it made a more amusing one:

    “there are conductors and there are my strokes”

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    Lead with Confidence…into the bottom 20% of the class.

    As a bona fide degree-carrying English curriculum graduate, stuff like this drives me crazy but also provides a chuckle or two. The funny thing is, a good chunk of the population probably didn’t even notice. That said, Corey, I appreciate your attention to detail and sharing this with us. I’d like to add that you aren’t picking nits…this is absolutely a legitimate criticism you’ve leveled against GMC.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    State of Alabama temporary tag (license plate) when you first buy a car but you don’t yet have the permanent metal license plate:

    “TAG APPLIED FOR”

    No digits or anything else official looking. Sometimes these “tag applied for” tags are hand written on a random piece of paper or cardboard.

    Irony is replacing the “TAG APPLIED FOR” paper with a “support education” specialty plate.

    The registration paperwork is presumably inside the car, ready to present to any law enforcement official on request. The hand written thing (and I’ve seen some pretty rough examples) basically means that the “honor system” is de facto legal when it comes to registering and operating vehicles on public highways.

    (Other strange Alabama motoring fact: big trucks with two trailers are allowed in any lane they please, including the left lane in places with three or more lanes.)

    • 0 avatar
      Silent Ricochet

      “(Other strange Alabama motoring fact: big trucks with two trailers are allowed in any lane they please, including the left lane in places with three or more lanes.)”

      Domestic terrorism.

    • 0 avatar
      PhilMills

      “(Other strange Alabama motoring fact: big trucks with two trailers are allowed in any lane they please, including the left lane in places with three or more lanes.)”

      Q: Where does a 500lb gorilla sleep?
      A: Anywhere he wants to.

    • 0 avatar
      jberger

      Not that it really matters, but “Tag Applied For” is not required, nor is it valid in Alabama.

      It’s a legacy of the old system where the tag was tied to the car and included when it was sold (used). So you would buy a new car and wait for weeks for the state to issue a new plate for it. New car owners or those bringing a car in from out of state needed something to indicate they were waiting for the state, thus the “Tag Applied For” signage.

      The rental car companies still use them, I’ve had a couple of cars in the last year with plastic “Tag Applied For” plates. I assume the cars were purchased and trucked in from out of state, and that the issued plates would eventually catch up to the car.

      Today the tag is held by the owner and transferred to the new vehicle, so you don’t normally need any temporary tag at all.

      You have 10 days from the date of sale to register the vehicle, and you must keep a copy bill of sale in the car in case you are pulled over.

      Most dealers use a pre-printed “Tag Applied For” or their own dealer logo tag on the car to make things easier for the purchaser until they receive the state issued tag.

      If you chose a personalized tag, you receive a paper temporary tag until the metal plate is received.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        Neat. I didn’t realize it was no longer valid- plenty of people seem to think otherwise. The history behind it makes sense, it’s not all that much different than the way most other jurisdictions used to operate, albeit many years ago.

        The number of cars running around with these adornments, especially the occasional hand-written one, gives the place an, ahem, “traditional” feel. Yeah, “traditional,” I’ll use a nice word to describe it…

        But seriously, thanks for the lesson.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    WOW!!! The hatred for GM is only surpassed by the hatred for Trump.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    The bigger issue is the term “professional grade” which is entirely meaningless. It just sounds silly when applied to crossovers like the Acadia and Terrain. And, while it’s a little more apropos for the trucks, you can get vehicles of the same “grade” wearing Chevy badges and sometimes even Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      There is no structured definition for a “Professional” grade of car, but it sure makes for some attractive advertising. Whatever makes people feel better about spending more money, right?

      To me, a Professional Grade product just means it’s used in the course of one’s daily profession/job and is designed around their specific needs. I would generally expect the product to be either more ergonomic, durable, powerful, efficient or precise than the non-“professional” product.

      I mainly think marketing departments use it loosely to differentiate a high-priced product line from other product lines from the same manufacturer. There isn’t much functional difference between a GMC and the Chevy that rolls off the production line right behind it. Especially considering you can spec most Chevys almost identically to the matching GMC.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “Professional grade” is just their answer to “Ford tough.”

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Meh give me the option of LineX as a floor covering instead of carpet and I’ll acknowledge that it really is “professional grade.”

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            If Ford offered that, would that make it “professional grade tough?” :O

            Anyway, the other thing this reminds me of is the “police” options and “heavy duty” options that used to be more common in the 1970s. Back when you could order a new car a-la carte.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          “At Ford, Quality ams Job 1!”

          (I’ve had to replace a 3V 5.4, so I get to mock Ford Quality until THE END OF TIME.

          I will give Ford credit that the REST of the drivetrain on my F250 is very sturdy, and the truck itself is very well built.)

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Actual Professional Grade is a rubber floor, vinyl seats and dust in every crevice.

        This here’s nothing but an Eminence Front.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Until 1974 when GMC stopped producing their own engines you could argue they were professional grade as defined by greater durability under adverse conditions. Now professional grade GMC seems to be almost entirely based on having more fake wood and plastic chrome than the Chevy equivalent, but less than the Cadillac version.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m more concerned that 162 people took the time to comment on a generic GMC online ad.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Most of them are roughly:

      “i like this gm Arcade, my mom’s has one and my aunts’ is red and they like to drive around in them and they look good. No gas Problems mpg.

      Juan Villallarta – you should get 1 4 ur mom!1! :F”

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        The ARCADIA mispronunciation thing really irks me.

        My SIL had an Acadia for a bit and would always call it the “Arcadia”. Where did she get this ‘R’ from? Is Acadia really that hard to say?

        Why do people feel the need to make random changes in grammar? Arcadia, chipolte, nucular, etc. It’s interesting how language evolves.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          I don’t understand that, how people can extract letters from a word which don’t exist in that word.

          Ask most anybody in the Midwest to read the big blue letters on the front of the grocery.

          K R O G E R

          Now what’s that say?

          “Kroger’s.”

          NO.

          • 0 avatar
            LeMansteve

            I got myself mildly annoyed with the Arcadia. Here you come reminding me of the “Krogers” abomination. Argh!

            How many poor pronunciations does it take for these to become colloquialisms?

          • 0 avatar
            rocketrodeo

            An even more topically relevant example: Ford’s. Just about everyone in the southeastern Michigan region has a relative or forebear who worked at Ford’s.

        • 0 avatar
          CaddyDaddy

          Here is one. …….Anamosa, IA v. Alamosa, CO?? Has any one run across this flub between the low land flat landers and the high country flat landers?

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          Arcadia with the R is an acceptable pronunciation on a single day every year. That day would be September 19th, which is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

          Acadia is the only correct way for the other 364 1/4 days.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          I think it might be a long “a” (“aaah-cadia”) corrupting to an “arr”?

          (I mean, people back east say Washington as “Warshington” sometimes, so I don’t even know what.

          n.b. pronunciation isn’t quite grammar, though.)

        • 0 avatar
          newenthusiast

          This is “r” sound where there is no letter is called the ‘intrusive’ R.

          Its usually associated with England and Wales, although former commonwealth nations of the Southern hemisphere (Australia, NZ, India, South Africa) also have localized dialects where it shows up.

          Anyway, this brings me to the point: the phenomenon of hypercorrective intrusive r. This is an American peculiarity whereby someone with a traditionally non-rhotic accent (as found in New York City and New England) hypercorrects and pronounces r regardless of whether it precedes a vowel.

          Hence we get:

          “I’ve got no idear what to wear!”

          “He liked to drawr cats.”

          “Brendar and Eddie were still going steady in the summer of ’75”

          “Arcadia”

          It drives me insane when I hear it.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “This is “r” sound where there is no letter is called the ‘intrusive’ R.

            Its usually associated with…”

            PIRATES! It’s usually associated with pirates!

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Like when the British say BRANARNER.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “Like when the British say BRANARNER.”

            I guess there are worcestershire examples.

          • 0 avatar
            newenthusiast

            “Its usually associated with…”

            PIRATES! It’s usually associated with pirates!”

            Well,you’re not wrong….

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            I thought the “warsh” thing was specific to Northwest Ohio. When I moved to the Toledo area from Detroit back in ’84, it sounded like a foreign language at first!

        • 0 avatar
          Moparmann

          Corey: How about “RPM’s”(revolutions per minute) or “MPG’s” (miles per gallon)? And don’t even get me started on “so fun”!!! :-)

        • 0 avatar
          Bee

          Arcadia is a local city in Southern California, and I used to think that was the name of the GMC crossover. That said, I can’t stand when people change existing words even after hearing it properly pronounced. I annoy my boyfriend sometimes by correcting his mispronunciations.

          My personal favorite is when people on Craigslist sell ‘Turing’ models or Camerys.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Commandant Corey on grammar patrol. Respect his authoritah.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Does GM still spell gauge without the “u”?

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Language is often a casualty, even if quality is the intended focus:
    https://s26.postimg.org/lin0coga1/Trailer_Of_Irony.jpg

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    >>> Browsing through Facebook <<<

    I think I found your problem right there.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    These things drive me crazy too, unfortunately they are becoming more common. The misuse of apostrophes however does not annoy me as much as the massive confusion between “lose” and “loose.”

  • avatar
    bortlicenseplate

    The misuse of apostrophes is bad, but we are overlooking a far more pervasive and pernicious syntax violation: the omission of the dash in “professional-grade”. That crap just chaps my ass.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    I watch this commercial for the new Acadia many times and every time I see it, I laugh! I happen to know a conductor and he drives around in a company S Class sedan.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Sh!t like that practically leaps off the page or screen at me, even as my spelling has worsened with age. (I second-guess myself even more, and my first instinct is usually correct.)

    I especially go ape-feces over captions on TV news that use the incorrect spelling of a word (role/roll, and the like — is that a “homophone,” B&B)?

    A friend’s refrigerator magnet describes me best: “I’m the grammar snob about whom your mother warned you!” ;-)

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