|Posted by Kathleen Schubitz on December 12, 2011 at 9:05 AM|
Sleuth at the Restaurant
It is probably this kind of experience which brewed the “incurable” part of my nickname...even restaurant menus do not escape my editing scrutiny. It is a habit shared with my late husband, Bill, who though not as blessed with outstanding English teachers nevertheless began his own quiet campaign into menu grammar.
Common error: “Select any of our fine wines to compliment your meal.” My husband’s comment to our server: “Unless you have talking bottles in your cellar, it would be difficult for your wine to compliment our meal.”
My memory crutch: “I” enjoy receiving compliments. Compliment with an “i” is the thoughtful, appreciated comment, or the free item, such as complimentary tickets.
Complement with an “e” is something that completes or goes with. That new scarf nicely complements your suit; that old sterling complements your heirloom china.
A nearby Italian eatery sports another common grammar glitch. They claim being “Pizza Capitol of the World”. We tried explaining that capitol was a building (think “o” round dome), while capital with an “a” is all other uses, money, cities, punishment, letters. The server was undeterred, maintaining that their restaurant was a building. Oh, well!
Little errors...big difference in meaning!