I saw this sign while at a local hardware store waiting for some lumber to be cut. It would be one thing if this sign were scrawled on a piece of cardboard using a felt-tip marker. Then I could excuse the errors as being the result of some harried employee hurriedly writing these safety instructions. However, this sign was professionally printed and hung, and is probably one of many hanging in the different locations of this particular hardware store chain.

That in and of itself is sad, that money and effort went into creating this sign yet no one bothered to proofread it for errors (wrong “it’s”, people) or fact-check it for meaning. But it’s even more bothersome to me because these are safety instructions, so it seems worth taking the time to make sure those instructions are clear, doesn’t it? As written, this sign gives the saw blade a lot of credit, and assumes both that the saw blade can return itself to its original position and at the same top push the STOP button. That’s some saw!

Sharon Ernst is a retired freelance copywriter now on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes.