Craigslist ad you won't believe

I read this on the last page on the January Autoweek. I like it as much as they did:


Ao basically Im selling my gmc sierra because I don’t have insurance an mah dam tooth fell off. Long story short I was vapin at my beach house, dropped the dam cape on my face and busted off a tooth an now I look like a dam hillbilly. It’s a second vehichle so I dont realy need it. 136k miles clean body no rust. $4500 firm call me text me asap. I need my tooth back.

As you might guess, all spelling errors were in the original, and there were more! But I got tired of re-typing stuff that Safari swears must be corrected. Anyway, my reaction when I read it the first time was: What?! Yours may be too. I hope a little humor starts your weekend off right. Oh, and it seems to me that it would be a step up for him to be a hillbilly.

Unfortunately I do believe it. Looking at Craigslist is one of my guilty pleasures. Ads like that are much to common.

"Ads like that are much to common."

Hopefully that was an intentional mistake, inserted for comic effect…


Good catch VDC I was going to edit but I think I will leave it.


Well, at least you didn’t type “adds” instead of “ads”!

When I was in a position to hire people, I recall one cover letter that stated the applicant was responding to my “add” for a paralegal. Because the position involved drafting legal complaints for submission to The Superior Court, I decided that my agency couldn’t risk hiring somebody who didn’t know the difference between one of the four basic math functions and the abbreviation for “advertisement”. I immediately placed the cover letter and resume in the round file.

You probably wouldn’t believe the extremely poor grasp of the English language that I observed in some of the cover letters and resumes that I reviewed.

A side issue could be that this vehicle is apparently parked at a beach house and may mean that it’s worth nowhere near 4500 due to half of the Sierra being composed of iron oxide; assuming the tooth story is true and not one of those attempts at sales humor.

A few years ago I saw a local CL ad for a Peavey 60 Watt bass amp at a very good price so my ears perked up a bit.
The ears dropped at the last line which stated that “I’m pretty sure this amp is stolen…”.

We should show sympathy. He said “an mah dam tooth fell off”.

It could be his only tooth left and how his friend can’t call him “Bucky” any more.


@VDCdriver : Your story reminds me of the time we had an attorney candidate who provided us with a writing sample that was clearly marked as the confidential information of her former employer. We did not hire her! But we did contact her to confirm that she had first obtained their permission to declassify/disclose the information and she said she did but we were still not sure we could trust that.

A few things regarding grammar that grate on me; and it happens on this forum now and then.

A 500 word essay regarding a car complaint and with no paragraphs or punctuation. One huge run-on sentence…

A complaint made by using Textese. If I wanted to study Heiroglyphics I’d go to the public liberry (sic) and check out a book on ancient Egyptian culture.

There’s also the most commonly used phrase on Craigslist; “Just needs a little TLC…”.
That one is pretty clear; it’s a full scale or borderline POS. :smiley:


Regarding run on paragraphs, I finally figured out that when using a cell phone to read and comment here on the forum I have to go to the link for “full site”.

If I type comments when accessing via the mobile friendly format, inserting paragrah breaks do not end up showing when I post. To have paragraph breaks post I must use the full site to read and post.

Agreed that run on paragraphs are annoying. Worse are posts lacking any punctuation, capitalization, and sentence breaks! Also hate texting acronyms used in forum comments for the most part.

Oh c’mon guys, do you really think you should be verbally bashing a guy just because he has difficulty with the English language? The man is just trying to sell a car. Possibly in a country and definitely in a language that he’s struggling to learn. Let’s show a bit more compassion and understanding. Scratch that… let’s show a LOT more compassion and understanding.

Save the verbal attacks for the crooks and thieves.

With respect TSM, not attacking anyone.

First, I am sharing a tip for anyone posting from a cell phone. I certainly have been guilty of posting run on paragraphs before I figured this out. If there are no preview and save draft buttons at the bottom of the comment box then default formatting runs everything together in one paragraph. To access preview, save draft, and formatting options a poster must know to access the full site link from the main menu.

Obviously, not everyone knows this so, ergo, lots of long run on posts appear. My intent is to inform and in doing so perhaps lower the annoyance level for regular readers through understanding.

I agree we shouldn’t be grammar police. But I also freely admit that certain styles of writing rather grate on my reading sensibilities.

“Texting” habits combined with the generally poor level of education in our primary and secondary schools have, without question, caused a serious deterioration of English Language skills in the country. My son and daughter know not to engage in the same level on English that he uses when communicating with their friends. They know I love them, but they know it bothers me.

The CL ad in the OP’s post, however, seems to me to be by someone for whom English is not their first language. It demonstrates very different characteristics than the sloppy English used by kids today.

In the interest of full disclosure, as Director of Corporate Training for my college, I developed and managed an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program for a major manufacturer. We assessed over 250 people, and had over 150 attending classes at 14 different levels. I got to know many as individuals, and I empathize with their struggle.

I’ll go against the grain . . .

I think the craigslist guy grew up here, but he’s just “struggling” period

With perhaps several aspects of his life

I know several people who were born and raised here, and the way they write, is pretty much identical to this guy

Looks like a clear cut case of tooth in advertising to me.

"definitely in a language that he's struggling to learn...the OP's post, however, seems to me to be by someone for whom English is not their first language"

I’m going to disagree with that assessment.
Having worked with/helped a lot of students newly arrived in the US who had to learn English after their arrival, I can tell you that the type of language in the ad is characteristic of a native-born American who is not proficient with his own language, and is not characteristic of a foreign-born person.

While there is not enough space here to detail the reasons for my observation…trust me…that mangled English is not the type of language usage displayed by somebody from a foreign land, and–instead–was almost surely written by somebody who just didn’t pay much attention in school, or who dropped out of school before attaining adequate communication skills.

I am not about to ridicule that person either, but I think it is important to correctly identify the type of language patterns in that post, and those patterns are characteristic of a semi-literate native-born American. That is sad, but I believe it to be reality.

I agree with the language issue but what I don’t understand is what “vapin” is or a “cape” falling on his face? Is that something to do with drugs or something or fishing? I did read an article somewhere a while ago where they were concerned about the millenials level of proficiency in a number of areas and ranked the US somewhere around 14 world wide. Certainly I don’t think computers and phones have helped a lot.

I once had a lady interview for a job with a copy of “How to Interview for a Job” in hand. She didn’t even hide the book during the short interview.

“what I don’t understand is what “vapin” is or a “cape” falling on his face?”

I think that “vapin” is a reference to using one of the new vaporized nicotine delivery systems. However that is just a guess, and I could well be wrong.

As to the “cape”, I had/have the same problems with understanding this message.
Is “cape” supposed to be “cap”–as in some kind of cap for the vaporized nicotine delivery device?
I don’t know the answer to that question, and in any event, I don’t understand how a cape or a cap could break somebody’s tooth.

Even Dracula’s cape was not likely to break a tooth, even though it might have been connected with…evil.

VDC, we clearly have different impressions of the cause of the language difficulty, but it still deserves compassion.

Oh c'mon guys, do you really think you should be verbally bashing a guy just because he has difficulty with the English language?

^Well, he is familiar enough with US culture and stereotypes to know that “dam rednecks” are the folks who have less than a full set of teeth; he knows the slang term for “vaporizing” something (hopefully just MJ, though I have my doubts). Given that he’s using “phonetic spelling” for the aforementioned “dam redneck,” it seems he’s aping a semi-literate bumpkin for comic effect. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure he’s a product of the USA.

He means to get laughs; I’m not sure “laughing at” vs “laughing with” is terribly offensive, or even undesired by OP. As an ad goes, it’s pretty successful…the abject stupidity of it makes one stop, pause…and potentially say, “ya know…wouldn’t mind having a GMC to drive around.”

"what I don't understand is what "vapin" is or a "cape" falling on his face?"
Well, a "vaporizer" is a box you put [whatever] into (that you want to smoke, but don't want to catch lung cancer from), and a heating element heats [whatever] to the vaporiztion temperature of the desired substance, without burning it/making "EZ-Vape Oven," if you will.

As for “cape,” note that, on a QWERTY keyboard, the close location of the “c” and “v” keys; also consider that you’d be “cheating” to the left side of the “v” if the next letter you were to type was an “a.” The contraption mentioned is (guessing) ~10# and could knock a stumblebums tooth out.