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

  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.

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  2. 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”

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      • 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.

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  3. 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!”

    🙂

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

    Like

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