Monday, June 13, 2011

Paging Honda: Check Your Grammar

Since it seems we have entered the world of the soon-to-be car-buyers, Steve and I spent Saturday morning checking out what's been happening in the minivan market since we were last there.  The Honda Odyssey is looking like a top choice, so we went to that dealership first to see if we could arrange a test drive.  And I came to a screeching halt (I think the screeching was in my head and did not come out of my mouth, but I can't be sure) when I saw the 5-foot high cardboard cut-out of... I'm not sure what, actually.  It might have been the zombie, or the superhero, or the cute monster.  But the kicker was the caption: "To Each Their Own."  While I appreciate the sentiment (I think it describes the individualizability of the Honda Civic), the grammar is an utter offense against nature.  I am not the first blogger to note this (well, of course. I'm seldom the first blogger to do anything): here's one take, and here's another.

As I explained to the nice lady who came up to see if we were being helped, "each" is a singular pronoun and "their" is a plural.  It should be "to each his own" or "to each her own" depending on the gender of the individual portrayed.  In the case of the zombie, maybe "to each its own."  "To each his or her own" would be unacceptable because of cheesy political correctness and wordiness, but at least it wouldn't have set my teeth on edge.  Or how about the elegant Latin solution: "cuique suum."  Two words instead of four, and all three genders are represented.

So after I did my bit to attempt to slow down the decline and fall of civilization, we test drove the Odyssey.  It's a nice car.  We'll probably get one.  But they may have to physically restrain me from defacing the cardboard ads in the showroom while we sign the papers.

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