For a great while, I have always thought that the bumper sticker "Eat Local" was grammatically incorrect. I was under the impression it should say "Eat Locally."
But, now, for some reason, I am starting to reconsider.
Which is correct?
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"Eat Local" is a slogan, not a complete sentence.
Yes, as a sentence it is not grammatically correct. "Local" is an adjective, but there is no noun for it to modify. "Eat locally" is a grammatically correct sentence. "Locally" is an adverb modifying the verb "eat".
But slogans are not expected to be complete, grammatically-correct sentences, so it's not necessarily "wrong" as is.
Either way, I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean. The plain literal interpretation of "eat locally" is that it is an injunction to eat at restaurants in your home town or to eat in your own home. Is that what they mean? Is this a bumper sticker from the local restaurant association or grocery store?
I'm wondering if what they mean is to eat locally-produced food. Like here in Michigan the state has a campaign to encourage residents of the state to eat food grown in the state.
As it is commonly used on that bumper sticker, eat local has the meaning eat locally. Sort of. Maybe.
Grammatically speaking, eat local without other context would be taken to mean "local is a thing, and you should consume it". As local is not a noun in common usage, this is bad grammar.
Eat locally produced [stuff] is the true meaning behind the bumper sticker. It is an encouragement to support business/agriculture/etc in the immediate area. Theoretically, it is better to purchase goods/services from nearby, thereby contributing to a local economy, than to support nameless faceless corporations hundreds of miles away.
Why eat local then, if it is incorrect? Who knows? Informal English can ignore grammaticality when pithiness or brevity or just plain humor are "improved" through incorrect usage. Times and places to do this are out of scope for this question, but "rules were made to be broken", and English is no exception.