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Select Gifts On Sale

Select Gifts On Sale

Those were the words prominently displayed in the window of a Pier 1 Imports today, and they are so very wrong.

  • Gift: [n] something acquired without compensation
    If it’s on sale, you have to purchase it to get it. If you have to purchase it to get it it’s not a gift.
  • In this sentence “Select” reads as a verb, and you can rest assured that they don’t want you to actually select the sale items because the sale items are the ones they’ve cut the profit margin on to entice you into the store to hopefully buy items that are not on sale. Ignoring the fact that the “Gifts” aren’t actually gifts they should either use quotes to indicate that someone has referred to these gifts as “select” and thus making it clear it’s an adjective, or they could have used “selected gifts” instead.

Yes you can easily interpret what they meant to say but the point is that you shouldn’t have to interpret their meaning. The people who made that signage (actually it was a static window decal) are being paid good money to construct English promotional material. Were I their employer I would feel gypped to think that my employees a) couldn’t correctly construct a four word sentence and b) not one person in all the meetings that this surely went through was bright enough to catch these obvious errors.

On a related note can someone please suggest a word with the same meaning as “gypped” that doesn’t have the negative racial connotation? Are the Romany considered a race?