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Grammar makes for a busy pharmacist!

Last night I saw a TV ad for some (legal) drugs for children’s colds.

Pharmacist checking labels on drug boxes.

Pharmacists must pay careful attention to details…

It was nothing particularly out of the ordinary until I read the fine print at the end, which was grammatically poor.

For children under two years, contact the pharmacist.

Obviously there is only one pharmacist we could ask – must be a mighty busy person though if we only have one in Australia!

The grammar…

In short, using the word ‘the’ implies there is one so we correctly write ‘the Prime Minister is visiting the Governor General’.

When used as an article for a noun, the word ‘the’ signifies that the relevant noun is either unique or somewhat special. For example, the Tour de France is the long distance bike race – obviously, there are other long distance bike races but the Tour De France is the ultimate and best known one so using ‘the’ emphasises its importance.

So the ad would have been better telling us to contact ‘your pharmacist’ or ‘a pharmacist’.

 

* Image courtesy of 123rf

2 Responses to Grammar makes for a busy pharmacist!

  • wameyo says:

    …the pharmacist! I bet he’s a very professional pharmacist. It’s true, all professionals need to learn how to communicate effectively. They need to learn the language that they use as a medium of communication. Be it French,English German etc. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • TashWord says:

      You’re welcome wameyo 🙂

      It is very hard to fully trust any professional if you can’t understand what they are trying to tell you – and thus harder for that professional to get work and do the work.

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