Where do I sign up to sue people for their bad grammar?!
When it comes to online communication, whether it is an email, a Facebook post, or a tweet, we’ve all made grammatical mistakes (and still do). But up until now, I didn’t think it was possible to get sued over your grammatical errors but this man from New South Wales has a different story.
Anthony Zadravic, a real estate agent landed in court when he forgot to add an apostrophe on a Facebook post in which he was criticizing his former workplace and another agent by the name of Stuart Gan. But instead of typing, “employee’s” in which he referred to himself, he accidentally wrote “employees” which kind of changed the whole perspective of the post. “Oh Stuart Gan!! Selling multi million $ homes in Pearl Beach but can’t pay his employees superannuation,” Zadravic wrote in his now-deleted post. “Shame on you Stuart!!! 2 yrs and still waiting!!!” Yikes, one missing apostrophe, and all the employees are unpaid.
Stuart Gan, the person named in the post, then filed a defamation claim against Zadravic. To dismiss the case without any serious charges, Zadravic argued that it was simply a rookie grammatical mistake on his end as he clearly meant to add an apostrophe. The judge, however, didn’t buy it and said that the case could move forward as the small grammatical mistake still suggested that it was “a systematic pattern of conduct” by Gan and the company, thereby tarnishing the reputation of the company.
“The difficulty for the plaintiff is the use of the word ’employees’ in the plural,” district court judge Judith Gibson said in a statement attained by NYT. “To fail to pay one employee’s superannuation entitlement might be seen as unfortunate; to fail to pay some or all of them looks deliberate.”
This petite error could wind up costing Zadravic more than $180,000. So next time your posting something, be sure to check for grammatical mistakes TWICE, just to be on the safe side.
(edit: I meant to write “you’re” in the last sentence, please don’t sue me.)