Getting out of bed is tough sometimes, I won’t lie. Either for reasons motivated by laziness, dread, exhaustion, apathy, lack of direction or even just a lack of motivation, pushing yourself to get through the day can be difficult. And in those times of difficulty, it’s important to be able to remind yourself why it’s important to keep going. It’s important, arguably even necessary, to have some kind of a goal, a promise to yourself that you’ll do better, do more, or just do something. Maybe you want to make more money, go on a vacation, get better grades, take care of your loved ones or give back to the community. Possibly you have a career in mind. Maybe, you even woke up one morning and promised yourself, “One day I’ll get out of here, one day I’ll get that job. One day I’ll teacher!”
Wait, what? That didn’t make any sense. Surely, I hear you thinking, you meant to say “One day I’ll be a teacher.” Right? Well, normally, yes. But, since I’m to be a graduate of Eastern Washington University, it’s been decided in the most official capacity possible (by which I mean to say, corporate advertising), that stretching a sentence to a whole six words instead of four in the interests of making grammatical sense, is clearly a waste of everyone’s time and brain capacity.
Quite recently, EWU embarked upon the newest chapter of their corporate branding strategy. Building on the wild success of a big red empty box, the “one day I’ll…” campaign was launched, hoping to inspire potential students into enrolling at Eastern by getting them to think of their own “one day I’ll…” goal that a degree from EWU would allow them to achieve. Now, I personally don’t believe that’s the greatest or most inspiring slogan in the world, but that’s neither here nor there. Besides, we live in a world where words as ridiculous as “Wii,” “Google” and “iPod” pass for professionally made product names, so accusing a red box with a slogan attached of being an automatic failure on the grounds of it being odd or obscure isn’t really a fair argument.
However, if you are going to engage in a mass marketing venture and hope to be taken seriously, the least you can do is adhere to the common rules of language, things like, you know, making grammatical sense. Meaning, for example, that if I were to walk into the entrance of River Park Square and see a gigantic red box before me with the words “one day I’ll…” plastered on the front and hundreds of magnets below it completing that sentence, the least I would expect is some effort to complete that sentence correctly.
So when that sentence isn’t completed correctly, and instead each magnet is simply adorned with the name of a profession like “athlete” or “teacher,” making that sentence read “one day I’ll teacher” or “one day I’ll athlete,” I’m a little confused, and also a little angry. Because when an academic institution can’t even get a simple sentence to make sense, and then puts that sentence out for all to see in one of the most frequently visited areas of the second-largest city in the state, it’s not just funny, it’s a joke. And being part of that academic institution, that makes me a joke too.