The missing comma cost over 700 euros


This week is all about the celebration – Estonian youth is singing and dancing and all Estonia is celebrating. The 12th Youth Song and Dance Celebration “Mina jään” (“Here I’ll stay”) takes place this week. More than 8000 young dancers started their rehearsals already at Tuesday and more than 25000 young singers and musicians will join them at Saturday. First dance performance was held at Friday, two other performances will take place at Saturday and big youth celebration ends with a parade and big song celebration at Sunday.

To the occasion people could also see new posters on the streets of Tallinn last week, which greeted young dancers, singers and folk musicians, welcoming them to Tallinn and to big celebration. “Tere laulja!”, “Tere tantsija!” “Tere pillimees!” – in English accordingly “Hello singer!” “Hello dancer!” “Hello musician!”.

But there was one but. By the Estonian language grammar rules there was a disturbing mistake at the posters – when greeting somebody specifically or by name, there have to be a comma after “hello”.

Unfortunate mistake was noticed by the grammar-sensitive citizens at the time, when already 75 posters were set up. Although it was a human mistake, that was received early on in the work-process and before all the posters were put up on the streets, the situation was still not acceptable, especially since it is a youth song and dance celebration, where the use of proper Estonian language is very important. So, the organizers of the song and dance festival had to replace dozens of posters with the typo to the new posters with the correct grammar.

 

That’s why it is so important to learn grammar – for example, to save 775 euros, which now were spent on printing and setting up the new posters.


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The missing comma cost over 700 euros

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