retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Give Albert Gifford an A for English, and an A+ for gumption.

In the UK, the Daily Mail reports that 15-year-old Gifford recently wrote to Tesco to complain that its own-label orange juice cartons described the juice as being made with the "most tastiest" fruit.

Which, no matter how good the juice is, happens to be a lousy use of English.

So he wrote to company management, but apparently did not get a reply until his complaints got an airing in the media. At which point, Tesco wrote back to him to say that it apologized for the lapse and would change the wording on future cartons.

Gifford is now quoted as saying that he's happy with the response, though a little disappointed that Tesco didn't send along any coupons. "I'm pleased with the result," he said, adding, "I don't think supermarket packaging should be wholly responsible for teaching young people English grammar - but I can't help thinking that 'every little helps'."

I think this is great - and I wish that more businesses would be called on their misuse of the English language. (I say this as someone who welcomes emails from people who point out my misspellings, and try to correct them as fast as I can.)

For example, I hate the sign in many stores that says "10 items or less." It ought to be, "10 items or fewer."

Can we start fixing things like this? Now?
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