Wegmans’ Grammar

 

English: A Wegman's store in Manalapan, NJ.

English: A Wegman’s store in Manalapan, NJ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is almost nothing wrong with Wegmans. It is the world’s best store. Indeed, people visit from across the globe to see how things are set up. They bring cameras and snap pictures of our amazing store, which is set up to look and feel like an outdoor market in Paris.

In the produce section, the fruit is heaped in baskets and barrels. There is usually someone cooking and serving something simple yet delicious — like sautéed shiitake mushrooms with shallots and basting oil — (and all the ingredients just happen to be right there for you to pick up for dinner that night). The marketing people are amazingly brilliant.

Wegmans also has a deli, a bakery, a fish shop, a meat market, a cheese department, a tea bar, a coffee bar, a place to buy sushi or salad or pizza or subs, and they have this one entrée and two sides deal for $6 that cannot be beat. There is a pharmacy and a café. They have an organic food section, a kosher food section, a lactose-free section. They cater. The store sparkles. The public bathrooms at Wegmans showcase nicer tiles than some private homes I’ve visited. The soap dispenser is always full. They have towels and air dryers.

If you buy a jar of tuna and get home and see it is dented, they will take it back. If you buy a pound of meat and think it smells a little bit funny, they will take it back. If your kid is hungry, you can let him nibble an apple or a cookie, and no one hassles you. Alec Baldwin’s mother loves Wegmans so much, he did some schtick about it on Letterman, and he landed himself a few pre-holiday commercials discussing Wegmans’ awesomeness. Frankly, Baldwin’s commercials are awful, but anyone who has ever been in a Wegmans understands; there really is nothing like it.

That said, the following sign has been tacked up in my local Wegmans for years! I don’t think anyone notices it except me, but it drives me bonkers. Given their attention to detail, I can’t believe the sign has lasted this long. I figured, surely, someone would notice it. After all, it’s right next to the water fountain.

For those of you who appreciate spelling and grammar, as well as the art of letter writing, see how many errors you find.

What has become of me?

And should I say something to Bob?

 

57 responses to “Wegmans’ Grammar

  1. Wegmans IS the best store on earth. Seriously. As for the sign, well, it is not one of their more stellar moments. The word ‘satisfaction’ is misspelled. The sign flips in and out of pronoun context, and should it be ‘thank you for shopping AT Pittsford Wegmans’? What did I miss?

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  2. 7th line comma splice. No comma for compound sentence. Third paragraph not indented. I would not put line space between 3rd and 4th paragraphs but not an issue. If Pittsford is a city I think it should be ” ‘s” but not if surname. But the biggest error of all is that someone should tell our Mr. Farr that the appropriate person to do the responding is him! He has substituted second tier aloofness for personal customer intimacy which was probably his true intent.

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    • Carl, you nailed it all (except you do need a comma in a compound sentence, but I would argue this one is just a simple sentence with a compound predicate).

      Like you, I especially don’t dig the “substituted second tier aloofness.” Wegmans is all about handling things, but their amazing customer service just isn’t coming across vis a vis this crappy sign.

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    • @ Carl, Awesome. I love your last point.

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  3. OMG! I have read that sign before and never noticed the “satifaction”!!! I did notice the indent and also thought about the how they refer to the store Pittsford Wegmans and figured leaving out the at was intentional. That is beyond hysterical! Did you bring it to the store’s attention?

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  4. Also if they are Mr. Jiffy on the Stick, why are those two shopping carts still floating around in the parking lot? In addition, although the landscaper did a fine job squaring up those hedges he should have taken a moment to clip that jutting branch on the upper left to give the tree a degree of symmetry(looks like a black olive, right? Now about that hair-do of the overweight checkout lady at aisle 6…

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    • I have to admit, since it is the dead of winter, I simply went to Wikipedia and snagged a picture of a springtime Wegmans… in New Jersey. I cannot speak for the Wegmans in New Jersey. It’s New Jersey after all.

      In Pittsford, we have better carts. Just sayin’.😉

      As for Carole in aisle 6, don’t you dare say one bad word. You hear me. Not one bad word. She’s good people.

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  5. Has Bob passed fifth grade English? Perhaps we are incorrect in assuming he is Wegman’s “staff”. Maybe they’ve just hired one of their own children to “read what you have to say”.

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    • Now Jennc, before you get all high and mighty, explain why you have placed an apostrophe in between the “n” and “s” in Wegmans. The store is Wegmans – the empire of goodness that so many of the Wegman family have created together. The staff would be Wegmans’ staff, so let’s not get hostile.😉 Mistakes can and do happen.

      John and Walter Wegman started the store in 1916. Walter’s son, Robert, next took the reigns. Now, Danny (CEO), Colleen (El Presidente) and Nicole (vice-president of restaurant operations) run things together since there are more than 75 stores.

      I need to know if other signs like this exist. If someone sends me proof, I will shake down this “Bob” person.

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  6. Bob Farr has been the store manager at Pittsford for less than 2 years, so the sign could not have been up longer than that. I’m sure it was created by someone in their Advertising department, and he probably didn’t read it very closely when he signed it. You can call him at the store, ask to speak to him when you are there, or drop a comment card into their suggestion box.

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  7. Do you also notice the produce and meat signs that are misspelled? I feel like taking pictures of them when I see them, but I’m never sure what I’d do with them. Maybe form an “A-Team” for grammar. A “G-Team” shooting down signs with comma splices, blowing up placards with misplaced modifiers. (I’ve intentionally used improper grammar here.)

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  8. Hey Renee, don’t knock our New Jersey Wegmans!! As a matter of fact, Wegmans is one of the best things to happen to New Jersey. And, as for the sign, I bet Bob is still there since that store is their premier store and once you become the manager, you’ve reached the pinnacle of Wegmans store management. Now for the grammar…

    I bet they would appreciate if you would stop at the customer service desk, ask for Bob (and if he’s not there, his top assistant mgr.) and tell them what’s wrong with his sign. You can’t be the only one who has noticed the grammatical mistakes and they really should be fixed. So stroll on over to customer service and gently point out the mistakes, while telling them how much Wegmans rocks (because it really does!)

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    • Hello Betsy #2. I wasn’t knocking the New Jersey Wegmans so much as New Jersey, but that isn’t fair as I’ve never been there.😉

      I know how to discuss the sign, I’m just wondering, will I or will I not come off as the whack-job suburban housewife with nothing better to do than to critique the signage?

      But now that I hear from Betsy #1 (see above) that there are other misspelled signs, I shall have to go on a photography spree. Perhaps today.

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  9. I bet that sign has been up for so long because no one has commented/suggested that they take it down and turn it into kindling. I guarantee that if you write them a nice letter stating your (quite serious) case, they will not only take down the sign and replace it with something suitable to the tastes of both Strunk and White — The Powers That Be will also send you a happy letter in return!

    Do it!

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    • So you don’t think I will sound like a crazy housewife who is channeling the grammar goddesses? I’m leaning toward doing this, but I mean — I gotta live in this town. Will I be forced to shop at another Wegmans? Do I risk excommunicating myself from my community? My people? My produce?😉

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  10. My first blog comment!

    I think if you’re nice about it and let them know how much you love their store, they would appreciate your comments. Maybe they’ll even offer you a job as “Wegmans Proofreader.”

    I’m still stuck on the fact that they misspelled “meat” in NJ. I forwarded your blog to my editor friend in NJ for further comment.

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    • Hi Larisa! Welcome to my bloggie!

      I would LOVE to do something/anything for Wegmans. Proofreading layout for Wegmans’ Magazine would be like dying and going to heaven. Except I would totally alive and (theoretically) getting paid.

      I don’t think Betsy #1 meant “meat” was spelled incorrectly. I think she meant that items like “broccoli” (“brocolli”) or “fillet” (“filay”) have been misspelled in the past.

      Let’s not knock NJ any further.😉

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      • I was not knocking NJ. That’s just where the error happened to be. It happens everywhere. A teacher I know accompanied his class to Washington, D.C. and found a spelling error on a plaque at the White House. I think he told the docent. It happened a while ago.

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  11. I’m with Carl. You know me “proper” english/writing doesn’t drive me insane like it does for you. Now not painting straight lines, entirely different story — but the people connection, that’s wrong. That’s what really caught my attention first. I didn’t even catch the fact that a word was misspelled until Jennifer pointed it out! Lol! And speaking of straight lines, I hate the layout of it; its spaced funny. I guess it depends what’s important to you (Art, English, Psychology, etc…) as to what you “see” first.

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  12. Renee, there’s no way to avoid sounding like a crazy English teacher if you bring this to their attention.😉 But you must do it anyway! I’ve never even noticed this sign, and I’ve stopped at that water fountain hundreds of times! I haven’t seen any errors in the meat or produce dept either, but that’s probably because I’m so enthralled with the beautiful selection of fresh fruits and veggies. And I’m with Mary. I didn’t notice the misspelling either, but the failure to indent that third paragraph stuck right out at me. I think the best thing to do would be to send Bob Farr a link to this blog post.

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  13. Yes, of course you should say something to Bob.

    My local supermarket had a HUGE sign in the window that said:

    “Tomato’s Sale 1 pound for $1” and “Peach’s Sale …”

    I pointed out the mistake to the manager but only referred to the “Tomato’s”; I assumed he would recognize the general rule and apply it to BOTH signs. A few days later I noticed that the apostrophe on the tomato sign had been removed but the Peaches were still selling themselves at a reduced price. ha ha. Oh, wait. It’s not funny. It’s horrible! (It really does drive me nuts, Renee. Feel free to correct any of my mistakes😉.)

    –Kelly

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  14. How about emailing this post to “Bob” and printing out a copy and hand delivering it to his office? Maybe it will get them to fix the sign.

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  15. As a marketing professional, I would absolutely want someone to bring it to my attention. Even if it was a crazy English teacher.🙂

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  16. Just a sign of the times🙂

    I think you really should “reach out” to Bob and help bring “closure”
    to this deplorable situation. But first, make sure Wegmans has a “grief counselor” at the front end to constructively handle the inevitable blow to his self esteem. The handwriting is on the wall!

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    • Steve:

      See the note below. I think Mary Joan will be able to talk Bob down from the ledge with his self-esteem intact. What I want to know is which one of you whistle blowers made this happen.

      C’mon, who made the call?

      Or is Wegmans really that good that they have a full time person scoping out Wegmans on the Web?

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  17. Dear All:

    I came home this afternoon to this message:


    Good Morning! This is Wegmans Consumer Affairs. No need to do anything further. I’ve shared your conversations and concern with Bob. The sign will be taken down immediately. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    In the future, please feel free to contact Consumer Affairs (comments@wegmans.com) or the store directly with any questions or concerns. Wegmans always appreciates feedback – both positive and negative.

    Thanks again.
    Mary Joan
    Wegmans Consumer Affairs

    Thus proving, once again, the awesomeness that is Wegmans. And the power of the blog.😀

    So should I feel good when I look at the blank spot near the water fountain? I mean, the sign was glued to the wall. They are going to have to do some serious patching. Ah well, it was in the name of grammar.

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    • I’m sure they will have a new sign made up toot sweet, so don’t worry about the need to patch the wall!

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    • Did you write to them, or did someone send them your blog? If you send them a thank you note for taking the down the sign, could you also suggest that the open up a store in West Palm Beach? Just a thought. A constant, slightly obsessive, thought. 😉

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      • I just wrote a letter to Mary Joan asking her how in the world she ever found my wee bloggie. I wondered if one of my followers squealed or if someone was just conducting a random search. I may be able to report back later.

        As for a Weggies in West Palm, I can’t imagine why they aren’t there already as so many New Yorkers live down in Florida 1/2 of the year. How do they live without their Wegmans?

        She suggested people forward questions to her at comments@wegmans.com. Maybe drop her a line. Perhaps getting a store in WPB is as simple as taking down a badly written sign.

        Ya think?😀

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      • This was my response from Wegmans. 😦

        Hi,

        Thank you very much for letting us know that you would like to have a Wegmans in your community. We’re delighted to know that you enjoyed shopping in our stores.

        Our stores are located in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland. Your community is quite a distance from our warehouse, which makes daily deliveries impossible. While we have no immediate plans to build in West Palm Beach FL , who knows what the future will bring. We appreciate your comments and hope you will be able to visit us again soon.

        Sincerely,

        Kim
        Consumer Services E-Mail Coordinator

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      • I guess that’s a no, huh?😦

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  18. Personally I can’t judge other people’s grammar because my own is so horrendous. Seriously, I’m going to try very, very hard in this response because there are so many eyes watching. I’m so bad at grammar that I sometimes tell people that English is my second language. Unless I find the time or the desire to change my forty-three years of language destruction I will have to just keep on trudging forth. I am the proverbial “bull in a china shop” when it comes to my own given language. With all that said, “what in the hell was this guy thinking?”

    This sign was obviously not hand written but was most likely a product of a computer generated letter. Every computer based word processor has a spell check. How did “satifaction” slip through? One explanation may, I repeat may, be a marketing ploy. In marketing we learn that misspellings bring attention to an item. Sometimes an advertiser will purposely misspell a word just so the intended target notices that something is wrong with the advertisement, either consciously or sub-consciously. Was this Bob’s intent? I doubt it!

    I would tape a piece of paper and add “..and apparently not spelling nor grammar!” to the end of the first sentence. When the powers that be take that down, replace it with a new one, just to let them know that they are being watched. Sweet!

    How did I do with my grammar? Don’t be afraid to share, I’ve grown accustomed to all the red ink.

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    • Not bad, Jeff. Not bad at all.

      My only issue is with your use of double negatives — not and nor — in the same sentence. You don’t need both. You wrote:

      “and apparently not spelling nor grammar!”

      You could say:

      , but we don’t give a hoot about spelling or grammar.
      ; neither spelling nor grammar concerns us.
      😀

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  19. C’mon Renee….remember me – the one who worked in Wegmans Consumer Affairs for 14 YEARS??!! I e-mailed a friend there this morning after seeing your blog on FB…I needed you to get back to more important things…like planning your son’s bar mitzvah!

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  20. Well, now that I see they are fixing the sign, I’m satified.

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  21. Folks, you are missing the big picture here. Renee HAS a beloved Wegmans to go to. Apparently, Wegmans has mistakenly chosen to avoid building in Northern Jersey😦 Whenever i am in Dewitt, it is my first stop. Even before grandma. Shhhhhhh, don’t tell!

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  22. I’ve perused through the multitude of comments, but I didn’t see anyone mention that the guy is going to “read what you have to say.” Shouldn’t he listen to what you have to say and read what you write?

    Did I read the above comments too quickly and fail to hear what your fans wrote or am I the first to sniff out that sensory disconnection?

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    • David: I noticed the unintentional synesthesia, but the new signage went up before I ever had a chance to talk to anyone.

      Are you saying I should continue to shake down Wegmans about their new sign? Cuz I’ll do it. But at what cost?

      Like

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