Today I heard a GEICO commercial that included a line something like this:

“To show our appreciation, call within the next 15 minutes…”

Geico Gecko Grammar HelpThis sentence contains a grammatical error!  Was it intentional?

The thing is, these sorts of sentences are all-too-common in the writing I see every day.  GEICO might have intended this one, or the error may have been an oversight…  but many of my clients make these errors frequently and unintentionally.

You may be saying to yourself, “WHAT grammatical error?  Looks okay to me!”

Let me explain.

Take a look at the the first half of GEICO’s sentence: “To show OUR [Geico’s] appreciation…”

Ask yourself, who is the natural subject of this sentence?  What would naturally follow from the first half of the sentence?  If you think carefully, you’ll see that it would be something relating to whom?

To GEICO of course!  GEICO is the natural subject of the sentence.

A grammatically correct sentence might read, “To show our appreciation, we are offering you a NEW CAR with FREE insurance for the vehicle’s lifetime!”

Now *that* would be a great sentence.  Yes, I like that sentence.

Another alternative would be to write a different first half of the sentence that would naturally lead toward making the customer the subject of the sentence.  For instance:

“To show YOUR appreciation, call us within the next 15 minutes and tell us how adorable the gecko is!”

I’d call to praise the gecko in an instant.  He’s pretty cute.  And he gives great car insurance.  If he looked at me just right with those beady little eyes, I’d probably even forgive him for having his grammar a little mixed up.

Do you think the GEICO gecko needs grammar help? Or do you think GEICO’s ad people made this error intentionally?  Please take our 1-Question Survey and/or share your opinion below.

And if you need writing help, please contact The Essay Expert for a FREE 15 minute consultation.  We’ll make sure you don’t make it into someone else’s grammar rants.

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