GrammarPhile Blog

Thursday Challenge

Posted by Kimberly Largent, aka Persnickety Editor   Sep 12, 2019 7:30:00 AM

lightning boltI rarely watch TV. But when I do, I watch only those shows that I’ve DVR’d — because I abhor commercials. My always-editing brain can shred to pieces commercial scripts and have fresh copy mentally written before the commercial concludes. I exaggerate, of course.

There is one commercial, however, that I’ve become humored by and tolerant of — because it’s snappy, funny and creative. It’s State Farm Insurance’s commercial featuring Victor and Sheryl, and Sheryl’s She-Shed. Are you familiar with it? If not, you can watch it on Youtube here.

If this commercial evolved into a sit-com, I’d watch — even the commercials! Because I’d want to know whether Victor intentionally sabotaged Sheryl’s she-shed so that he could claim the space for a man-cave — a place where he and all his buddies could gather on Saturdays to watch college football on a mega large-screen TV.

Below is a silly prequel to this specific commercial. And it’s filled with lots of incorrect words that sound like or look like the word that is actually meant. It’s up to you to read (carefully) and tally up the number of incorrect words used.

The first five readers to post the correct number (no more, no less) of incorrect words found in the text will receive a small gift from So, post your answer in the comments. There is a deadline though; only answers received before 5:00pm ET on Sept. 18, 2019 will be counted. AND your first answer counts; no fair going through and submitting more than one answer.

We’ll contact you if you’re a winner, and the answer key will be posted next week. Happy hunting! (The contest includes only the material below this line of text.)


The Day Sheryl’s She-Shed Was Struck by Lightening

Sheryl recalls vividly the events of the day her she-shed was struck by lightening. She and Victor stated their morning regime as they did everyday, by riding there stationery bikes in the living room while watching the morning news on TV. That particular morning, the picture on the TV screen was flickering, which usually indicted a storm was approaching. The flickering became quit annoying as a news peace on Warren Buffet, who was trying to affect change in the financial industry, was continually interrupted. The next story was about new HIPPA regulations soon to be unvailed. When the TV screen finally blacked out, Sheryl nervously eyed her husband.

“Victor, did you affix that lightening rod to the roof of my she-shed like you said you would?” she asked sharply. “There’s a storm coming.”

Uh-oh. Although Victor attached the rod, he’d forgotten to run it’s copper wire to the conductive grid buried beneath the ground. He was fairly certain he’d left the coiled wire on the roof of Sheryl’s she-shed. He sidestepped her question and simply responded, “Sheryl, you’re she-shed will be fine. The chances of lighting hitting your she-shed are one in a gazillion.”

“So, it’s possible then,” she surmised in a worried tone. There was only a brief moment of silence.

“Victor, did you have Zachary ad my she-shed to our polices? Is my she-shed insured?”

“You’re she-shed’s insured, Sheryl. Just take a deep breathe and relax. Nothing’s going to happen to your she-shed.” He decided to pay her a complement to take her mind off the storm that was now bearing down on them. “Sheryl, that’s a lovely sweater your wearing. It certainly looks better then the one you wore yesterday.”

“The one I wore yesterday, Victor,  was a birthday gift from you last year. Remember? I asked for shutters for my she-shed and you gave me a sweater.”

“Oh,” he sheepishly replied.

Within minutes the storm’s full furry was upon them.

A bright light flashed sharply outside the living room window; it was immediately followed by a thunderous roar that caused the house to shake. The eclectic went out. Both Sheryl and Victor stopped pedaling.

“My she-shed!” Sheryl squealed. She hoped from the bike and ran though the house to the back door to check on her she-shed. There, she saw a small stream of smoke trailing upward from the roof of her she-shed, giving the appearance that an inside dweller had built a cozy fire in the fireplace — accept that her she-shed had no fireplace! And the steady stream of smoke was quickly tuning into bright-orange flames!

“My she-shed,” Sheryl sighed outwardly. But inwardly she was already planning the rebuild of an even more chichi-er she-shed with the insurance money…




Topics: common mistakes

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