Monday, March 24, 2014

For Kids Who Can't Read Good

Tina sent in this catastrophically ironic sign from Naples, Florida.

Good thing this statement is in quotation marks because it probably isn't true.

Thanks, Tina!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Panty Catastrophe

I was taking a walk yesterday in Scranton, but it was crazy cold out, so I ducked into a mall. *shudder*

Fortunately, the mall's big department store, Boscov's, provided me with this gem.

At least they didn't write "bikini's" to go along with "ladie's."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bananas Cause Gas?

When I first saw this apostrophe catastrophe from my friend Irene (a.k.a. my friend Ethan's mom), I thought, "Bananas cause gas?"

But apparently it means that they aren't unnaturally ripened using gas or something. I'm not up on all these organic food trends.

I especially love this catastrophe because it's from Market Basket, which is, well... just check out this website. Some may disagree, but I say it's worth dealing with the chaos of Market Basket to pay literally 1/3 of what I would pay at Whole Foods or Shaw's.

Thanks, Irene!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Another Gym Catastrophe

My gym corrected the blatant apostrophe catastrophe that I found there the other day, but now another one has cropped up.

It's a little hard to see, but it says, "Sale ends in two day's." Yikes. Also, the sign should read "Now on Sale," not "in sale." And you don't need a dollar sign before "10 bucks." That's redundant.

In addition to the grammar and syntax errors, this sign presents the fallacy that these sales at the gym last only a few days. Signing up for a gym membership is like buying a car (or a mattress). You never pay the sticker price, and you can negotiate.

That's your public service announcement for the day.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Drink Catastrophe

The menu from Delaney's in North Conway features an apostrophe catastrophe and an oddly X-rated drink title (4th drink on the list).

Despite the punctuation errors, these drinks did sound delicious, but I had a two-and-a-half hour drive ahead of me, so I stuck with water. Their buffalo chicken soup was delicious after a 9-mile hike, though!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gym Catastrophe

It's 6 degrees and snowing today so I had to go to the gym. The highlight of my workout was finding this catastrophic sign.

I do like the women's area because creepy dudes never hit on me in there, but this sign is almost as atrocious as taking a selfie on the treadmill. Well, for $10 a month, I guess my gym can't afford to hire a proofreader.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Retro Catastrophe

Anne spotted this gem at the St. Francis Legion in Minnesota.

Love the hairstyles!

Thanks, Anne!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Doctors, Heal Thy Punctuation

Someone needs to fix this hospital apostrophe catastrophe, stat.

Robert, who sent in this catastrophe, writes, "Hope they have a firmer grasp on other things (including their scalpels)."

Thanks, Robert!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Corny Catastrophe

This supermarket e-circular from Canada appears to be accusing its readers of being corn.

You're corn! No, you are!

Thanks to Susan for sending in this catastrophe.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Extra S Catastrophe

At first glance, this Parisian shop, captured by Simon, suffers from an apostrophe catastrophe.

However, the problem is actually the extra "s" between "boys'" and "men's." And the lack of space, so it looks like one long, bizarre word.

'90s throwback Boyz's II Men's?

Thanks, Simon!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

You Can Find the Courage to Change Careers!

As my loyal Apostrophe Catastrophes readers have surely noticed, I haven’t been updating my blog as often as I once did. For the first three or four years of my blog’s existence, I updated it nearly every day. These days, I find myself too busy to post examples of grammar atrocities. But it’s not just that I’m too busy; I’m too happy! And it’s all thanks to my new career in education.

It may seem odd for a blogger to say this, but the less time I spend online, the better I feel. In my previous career as an editor, in which I felt trapped, I was using blogging as a means of escape. This cubicle, where I spent eight hours a day for three and a half years, felt like a prison.

No matter how many pictures of sheep or Lady Gaga I put up on the gray walls, there was nothing I could do to make the office atmosphere feel more pleasant nor my mindless administrative tasks feel more meaningful. Every day that ticked by, I felt my brain beginning to atrophy. I had majored in psychology as an undergraduate and yearned to make a difference in the world. But somehow, instead, I had found myself spending my days feeling like a soulless drone. I realized that I had hit rock bottom one morning when I sat in my car for fifteen minutes in tears, unable to bring myself to enter the prison of cubicles. The absolute worst moment was when I realized that I despised my job so much that it was even ruining my weekends! On Friday afternoons, when a normal person would feel a sense of relief (“TGIF!”), I was still overwhelmed by dread because all I could think was, “Ugh. Only 48 hours until I have to come back here.”

Not to toot my own horn, but I was an excellent editor; it simply didn’t suit my gregarious personality. To quote Herman Melville, “It is a very dull, wearisome, and lethargic affair. I can readily imagine that to some sanguine temperaments it would be altogether intolerable.” During one particularly low period, I spent three straight weeks cutting and pasting text into a Word document. I wasn’t even editing for content. It was truly abysmal and utterly pointless.

I half-heartedly applied for other editorial jobs, but I realized that I didn’t just need a new job; I needed a new career. For years, I had thought about going back to school to become a guidance counselor, but being trapped in a cubicle for years had worn down my confidence. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle a full-time job along with classes at night and homework. Most of all, I worried about how I would pay for school. I have a mortgage, and thinking about my finances sometimes literally kept me up at night. But if you truly want something in life, you’ll find a way to make it happen. I scrimped and saved and got three or four part-time jobs and somehow made it work. I tutored for the SAT (which I still do, post-graduation and is where I recently found the aforementioned quote from “Bartleby the Scrivener”), babysat, participated in psychological experiments at Harvard, and even got paid to test out hair products! Besides, school doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think it might be. There are tons of financial aid opportunities available, and you get a tax refund for a decent portion of your tuition. I was terrified about going into debt, but now that I have graduated and have started paying back my student loans, it really isn’t that bad. My monthly loan payment is about the same as my cable bill! (Speaking of which, threaten to quit your cable company and they will lower your bill. Or better yet, actually cancel your cable. And if you live in the city, you can split your wi-fi bill with your neighbors.)

You might think you don’t have the money to pay for grad school to allow you to change careers, but try keeping track of all of your purchases for a couple of months and I guarantee you will find some superfluous expenses. That thing I said before about how the less time you spend online the happier you are? The same thing goes for malls. You won’t regret the money you invest in your educational future, but you will regret buying that designer handbag. The nicest piece of jewelry that I own was paid for with Skee-Ball tickets (R.I.P., Good Times in Somerville!), and one my few wedding-guest-worthy dresses cost $10 at Building 19 (R.I.P. again!).

As far as choosing the right school, I recommend making your decision based on the monetary value of the degree. I live in Boston where there are dozens of prestigious colleges and universities, but I chose my grad school after talking to several people who work in my chosen career. Everyone said that, in the field of education, the most important quality that employers look for is the quality of your internship/student teaching, not the name of the college on your diploma. And while I had some wonderful professors, I learned far more from shadowing school counselors and from counseling actual high school students at my internship than I did in my college classrooms. Access to hands-on experience is a key attribute to look for in a college. I loved that my college required shadowing a professional counselor right away to see what the job really entailed. What if you shelled out thousands of dollars for a graduate degree only to find you didn’t like that profession either?

The first day I set foot in a high school to begin my pre-practicum, I was terrified. What if I didn’t like it? But since I had only taken a couple of classes at that point, it wasn’t that big of a risk. And after a few minutes of observing guidance counselors in action, I felt reassured that, yes, this is what I want to do with my life. You can find the courage (and the money) to go back to school and feel the same sense of accomplishment that I now do.

So, sorry, Internet, you might have to wait for school vacation to see more Apostrophe Catastrophes. I need to help some kids plan how to study for their next science test.

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's the Most Catastrophic Time of the Year

If you're feeling festive, this catastrophic sweater, which Simon spotted at the Wallthamstow shopping centre and posted in the Apostrophe Catastrophes Facebook group, might bring out your inner Scrooge.

I am trying to keep calm but every single commercial on TV and radio keeps going on and on and on about Black Friday even though I thought that was supposed to be over yesterday. Do we really have to deal with the you-must-spend-all-of-your-money-on-useless-crap for another 25 days?! Bah Humbug.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chipotle Burrito Catastrophe

The cashier at Chipotle must have been feeling romantic tonight because she thoughtfully labeled my BF's and my burritos.

But wait! "His and her's"?! Oh, the humanity!

Or perhaps the apostrophe is not misplaced, and instead, the "C" should be next to the "h" because she thought I was Cher. I can dream...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holiday Book Recommendation

This post is not about a catastrophe at all. It is about a wonderful children's book for the holidays, Esther's Hanukkah Disaster. It has a hilarious and meaningful story with a lovely, subtle message about empathy and friendship. It has perfect punctuation (of course) and adorable illustrations. Check out Jane Sutton's website to learn more about this wonderful author, who, I must admit, is my very own mom. Forgive the digression from our regularly scheduled mocking of punctuation errors; I am very proud of her latest book.

Caramel Popcorn Catastrophe

Sherry sent in this apostrophe catastrophe that also features an odd branding choice. The personified peanut on the package implied that this product would contain nuts, but Sherry says it contains only popcorn.

The font is a bit small, but the package misuses the word "it's". It's (this time used properly) "not very good either," Sherry reports.

Thanks, Sherry!