What is the most important thing when communicating with someone? Have a look at the photo below from a small boutique in Melbourne*. The sentence that they wrote does in fact include a mistake in punctuation. But that’s not the biggest problem at all.
“If you don’t buy something from our store, we might think you’re a shoplifter, and you’ll have to show your bags to our assistant upon leaving the store.”
Isn’t the point of learning English so you can improve your English communication skills? Yet native speakers also have problems in getting their message across.
So next time you’re worried about making a mistake in grammar, take a step back and ask yourself: “am I communicating the message I’d like to communicate?”
Would you treat your customers this way? I bet the answer’s no! I also bet you’re doing just fine!
shoplifter – someone who steals something from a shop
bet (v.) – here it means “I’m sure.”
* I photoshopped out the shop’s name
Shop photo: D. Sweetnam