"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

As If “Not Littering” Were/Was(?) Enough….. Which is Correct?

Okay Grammarians. Here’s your chance. I can’t decide which is correct.

1. As if “not littering” were enough to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.

2. As if “not littering” was enough to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.

The more I read them the more I think I should go with- #3 choice-

Is just “not littering” sufficient?

or

“Not littering” isn’t the only thing necessary………

No way to dial a #1-800-Grammar line and find out which is correct.

It’s after eleven PM. The English teachers, working or retired, I know are fast asleep.

Surely someone can help me out with the proper wording of the title.

Maybe it will occur to me in the middle of the night.

Or just check out the sign and don’t worry about my inability to decide.

Shot near Rankin Bridge on Route 837.

This sign is on the entrance to a car junkyard.

22 responses

  1. I think littering is the least of the beauty problems at this particular spot.
    My “grammar instinct” tells me that if it were me, I would use the “was”.
    I would be interested to know what is correct.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:39 am

    • Two are voting for the “were” due to it being subjunctive?

      March 15, 2012 at 8:06 pm

  2. There’s a fourth option: choose a different photo. :)

    March 15, 2012 at 1:42 am

    • Your suggestion is right on, sir. I think that I have better photos than that. The hour must have been late.

      March 15, 2012 at 8:06 pm

  3. Sue Reinfeld

    I say just check out the sign. I hope you didn’t lose sleep over grammar.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:49 am

  4. Hi Ruth

    Congratulations! I have nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award.

    cheers
    Lorraine

    March 15, 2012 at 4:50 am

    • Thanks Lorraine for your nomination for Beautiful Blogger Award.
      Very sweet of you to send it to me. Thank you.

      March 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm

  5. If the junk yard is fenced in it’s actually helping to beautify the rest of the area…by eventually crushing, and recycling all those rust buckets running up and down the road…Have to say though, I got a chuckle, when reading it brought to my memory the funniest “Church Sign” I think I’ve ever seen. It was hanging on the front door of a Jehova’s Witness Kingdom Hall and read: “No Soliciting”

    March 15, 2012 at 6:48 am

    • Your church sign made me laugh out loud. Really funny Thanks

      March 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm

  6. Maybe the sign is there to encourage you to leave your junk cars there instead of on the curb or in your yard?

    March 15, 2012 at 9:04 am

    • Cars in the front yard are never nice. They should definitely let them rust out in the back!

      March 15, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      • I had to interview a client one time who lived in a double wide, had junk cars in the yard, along with hound dogs in the yard. Nothing wrong with double wides, it may be the only house some can afford but the visit was classic.

        March 16, 2012 at 6:54 pm

  7. How about as if littering alone could make Pennsylvania ugly? No that’s not right.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm

  8. My grammar nerd instinct is saying were…but if I can’t figure it out, I change the sentence. I think #3 is a better option, too.

    Or maybe just this:

    “Oh, the irony!”
    :)

    March 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    • Thank you. That is good of you to research it. :-)

      March 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      • I had the same question and it’s been bugging me, so your post made me laugh–and think, “Doggone it, I’m not alone! I just need to look it up!”

        March 15, 2012 at 8:23 pm

  9. Lois I. Greenberg

    The ‘if’ MAKES IT SUBJUNCTIVE, SO
    “WERE” IS INDICATED. WHAT FUN T BE OBSESSING OVER GRAMMAR… LOIS

    March 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

  10. I think I would use “were”.. but I have absolutely no reason why I’d choose that??

    March 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm

  11. “Were”. However, “hello? might also work

    March 16, 2012 at 5:02 am

  12. My vote is for option #2.

    March 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm

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