Monday, June 24, 2013

Grammar Wall of Shame #3: Their

This flyer came in the mail last week:

Oh, Rogers! You're ONE of a kind. Get it?
It's the wrong use of that dreaded their again. And don't try to tell me it's a case of Rogers trying to be gender-neutral; gender has nothing to do with it. You wouldn't say Rogers gives his or her customers the freedom... would you?

In this case, Rogers is the name of one organization, just like Tim Hortons, McDonalds or Sears. In grammar terms, Rogers is considered singular and requires a singular verb and singular pronoun reference.

Top marks on the singular verb: Rogers gives. Just like: he gives, she gives, it gives. Singular subject takes a singular verb.

So why did the writer suddenly decide to use a plural possessive pronoun reference?

The correct sentence is:

Only Rogers gives its customers the freedom to do more.

There's only one Rogers, and it's headed for the Wall of Shame!

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