My flatmates frequently make a huge mess in our kitchen.

I created a motivational poster to hang in our kitchen with a picture of Optimus Prime and the phrase:

"Optimus Prime says: No more dirty dishes shall meet the eye!" (as a reference to the Transformers catchphrase "more than meets the eye")

I'm not a native speaker—so, does that work?

  • I've read through the four answers already provided and cannot argue that the question title is grammatically incorrect, but... ...a part of me really wants to split that infinite and move 'shall' before 'dirty dishes'. "No more shall dirty dishes meet the eye." – oosterwal Apr 1 '11 at 20:59
  • 1
    @oosterwal - To me, "No more shall dirty dishes meet the eye." moves it into the realm of a victory speech rather than a boldly stated intention. "Blackguard, prepare to die!" becomes "Rejoice! The wicked witch is dead!" – MickeyfAgain_BeforeExitOfSO Apr 2 '11 at 19:27

Whether it works or not is up to your roommates, but as a native (North American) English speaker, I think it's above average.


If you're a non-native speaker I think you can congratulate yourself on coming up with a pretty reasonable turn of phrase there. But as mickeyf says, it only works if your flatmates get with the program!

It may therefore be slightly nit-picking, but I have to say I think "No more dirty dishes shall meet the eye!" implies "meet your eye" (the flatmate's)...

...and that this implies (since Optimus Prime himself is giving the undertaking) that he will be doing the washing-up. That might be what you'd all like, but frankly I think you'll have a long wait!


Full marks for grammar and content. The archaic tone of the phrasing lends it an air of gravity.

I, too, have my doubts that the slovenly flatmates will shape up (but it pays to think positively).


Shall is a modal verb that can be used to express a strong assertion or intention. Think of Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring (film) saying to the Balrog:

You shall not pass!

So, yes, given the context and the purpose, consider it a way of humorously baring your teeth and snarling at your filthy roommates and their disgusting habits.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.