Friday, May 30, 2008

Bed's, Bed's, Frame's

Paula, who is helping her young son avoid apostrophe catastrophes, sent me this photo of a truck that she spotted at the corner of Wilkens Ave and Brunswick Street in Baltimore:

She writes, "I love the friendly message to fellow motorists, and then the accretion of crappy signage on top. Baltimore is Baltimore."

The random ellipses also add to the punctuation mess. And why does it say "bed's" twice?

Check out Paula's blogs here and here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Vacation Apostrophe Catastrophes

Looks like Las Vegas isn't the only Memorial Day destination riddled with punctuation problems. My friend Michelle, who provided the hilarious "lost poddle" flier, recently saw this sign at the Space Needle:

and this neon sign in a Vancouver window:

It's a little difficult to read, but the sign says "PASSPORT PHOTO'S." I am cringing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Poorly Punctuated Prostitution Posters

If you walk along the Las Vegas Strip, you'll be subjected to a barrage of ads for strippers, masseuses, and escorts. They say Vegas is more family-friendly these days, but don't let your kids look down as you're walking on Las Vegas Blvd. because there's essentially free porn lying everywhere. I'm not offended by the X-rated cards and fliers that are strewn on the sidewalk, but I was appalled by the semicolon on this advertisement:

Besides being in a cab with a driver who had never heard of Elvis, seeing a drunk dude in New York New York get knocked out by security, and watching a giant-breasted chick in stripper heels fall on her butt outside the Mirage, this semi-colon was the most shocking part of my stay in Sin City.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Laundromat Jackpot

I'm going away tomorrow, so I have to do laundry. Luckily, there are laundry facilities in the basement of my apartment. My landlords were even kind enough to put up this helpful sign:

English isn't their first language, so I won't rag on them too much for the apostrophe catastrophe.

I didn't have enough quarters, so I decided to stop at a laundromat on my way home to get change. Clearly, someone forgot to press the shift key when making this sign:

Good thing I wasn't planning on staying very long!

Someone tried to fix this horrendous sign, but he/she forgot the apostrophe:

Oh, check it out! If you bring some guys named Matt, you can wash them here!

And, finally, we have unnecessary quotation marks:

I feel like I hit the jackpot in this laundromat! Let's hope my luck continues in Vegas.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Memorial's Day Sale

My friend Carrie's boyfriend, Rich, got an e-mail from even though he's never purchased anything from them before. The e-mail said you could get 10 percent off for Memorial's Day.

Here's an image that's posted on their site:

Lord help us.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dave & Buster's Suck's

My friend Merry, who also noticed the missing apostrophe in the sign for Charlie's Kitchen sent me this screenshot from the Web site of Dave & Buster's:

Check out the ad for gift cards on the left side of the page. Appalling! But I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a place Bret Michaels visited on Rock of Love 2 is stupid.

The nearest Dave & Buster's is in Providence. I might have to drive down there and protest.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Show Me the Hyphen!

Missouri's nickname is the Show-Me State. But its new license plates are missing the hyphen! According to this article, some residents are showing their dismay.

A spokesman for Missouri says that the error will not be corrected because the hyphen wasn't there when voters chose this design:

Perhaps the state's reputation will be repaired if Missourian David Cook is crowned American Idol this week.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Time to Stock Up!

This sign has been posted at my local Hess station for the past month or so:

I'm so tempted to walk in there with a 20-ounce soda and hand them a penny and then ask for change.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My favourite park's are car park's.

Why do people think that it is necessary to add an apostrophe before an "s" to make a word plural? Why?!?! Alan from Essex, England, sent me this photo that he took at the Rayleigh Rail Station:

Alan, who works as a taxi driver, told me that he was so disgusted by the sign that he sent a letter of complaint to the company that owns the car park. He even used the phrase "apostrophe catastrophe" in his letter! Way to go, Alan! The world needs more upstanding citizens like you.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No Hiatus for Bad Punctuation in L.A.

My friend Tiffany (a.k.a. Tiffers) sent me this sign that was posted all over the TV studio where she works:

The errant apostrophe in the middle of the word "hours" is the most glaring mistake here, but there's also some random capitalization and lack of periods going on. I asked Tiffers if Hiatus is the name of the TV show that's being shot at her studio. If not, that part doesn't really make sense either.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What does the salad own?

The Cupcake Cafe has gorgeous and delicious cupcakes, so I was disappointed to see that its chalkboard contained an apostrophe catastrophe.

But look how cute those cupcakes with legs are! I forgive you, Cupcake Cafe.

I have posted examples of apostrophe catastrophes and other punctuation errors from New York, Bermuda, and various other locations, so I'm changing the subhead of my blog from Boston's Worst Punctuation to The World's Worst Punctuation. We're going global! I'm a jet-setter thanks to Google Adsense. (Kidding!)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mothers Day, Mother's Day, or Mothers' Day?

My brother and my dad cooked a delicious Mother's Day dinner last night. The top of the menu for the event read Mothers' Day. It's a holiday for all mothers, right? While the men in my family were grammatically correct, they were not historically accurate. According to this article from the Vancouver Sun, Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother's Day, insisted that the apostrophe in the holiday's name be placed between the "r" and the "s," indicating a singular possessive, "for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world." But, in this day and age, where non-traditional and blended families abound, I think it makes more sense for the holiday to refer to more than one mother. Thoughts? Incidentally, my mother is the best.

Friday, May 9, 2008

How do these people get jobs?

Remember the horrendous fax that my friend Carrie received a few weeks back? This sign that was posted on the fridge in her office is even worse:

Among the many problems with this sign: wan't?!? Now I've seen it all.

Incidentally, Carrie recently started a blog about customer service. Check it out!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Call the Apostrophe Police!

This sign from the Boston Police Department, which features an apostrophe catastrophe, made me so mad that I almost lit a cigarette as a protest. And I don't even smoke!

Perhaps I'll call the Hackney Carriage Unit to complain that the police don't know how to use proper punctuation.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Everett, it's a comma, people!

Certain punctuation errors are very common. People often put an apostrophe before an "s" to make a plural, and unnecessary quotation marks are everywhere. But, every once in a while, I see punctuation mistakes that are truly bizarre. BostonCoach vans, which circle around South Station all day, have an apostrophe where a comma should be. See the bottom right of this photo:

There must be something in the water in Everett because alert reader Cindy recently sent me a photo of a beauty salon on Route 99 that uses a dash where a comma should be.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Comcast on Crack

I was flipping back and forth between the Red Sox and Celtics games on Sunday afternoon when I noticed that my TV was telling me that I was watching Tampa Bay vs. Cincinnati.

I'm pretty sure those two teams never play each other except during spring training. Plus, the Sox game was on NESN, which stands for New England Sports Network. NESN broadcasts games featuring the Red Sox, Bruins, and other New England teams. A Tampa Bay vs. Cincinnati match-up would never be shown on NESN. The two teams (Boston and Tampa Bay) were listed correctly at the top of the screen, but the info at the bottom was bizarrely wrong. I know that this error has nothing to do with punctuation, but I'm temporarily expanding this blog's focus to include it.

Go Reds! Um... I mean... Red SOX.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Picking on Macy's Again

Seeing a horrendous t-shirt at Macy's inspired me to start this blog. Sadly, the errant apostrophe on the Peanuts t-shirt is not the only punctuation error you'll find if you visit a Macy's store. My friend Merry sent me a picture of this sign that she saw there this weekend:

Those apostrophes are both wrong and inconsistent. And are those em-dashes where en-dashes should be?

Macy's in Downtown Crossing also features unnecessary quotation marks on its window displays.

Unless they're quoting someone who said, "The things we love about spring ... the trench," this is wrong.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Why My Bags Got Searched Twice at the Airport

As I mentioned in a previous entry, I didn't see very many punctuation errors in Bermuda. One of the few that I did notice was this sign, which uses an apostrophe where an accent aigu should be:

Sure, it's a bit strange, but I was on the beach, and life was good.

Everything changed when I entered U.S. Customs at the Bermuda Airport and saw this sign:

Putting quotation marks around a word for emphasis is a very common mistake, but it's pretty appalling to see it on an official sign at the airport. I tried to take the photo as quickly as possible to avoid being spotted by security, so I apologize for its poor quality. I put my camera back in my backpack and prayed that I wouldn't be sent to Guantanamo Bay. Then I turned the corner through the maze of blue ropes and saw something even more bizarre.

I thought about waterboarding and being the subject of an Amnesty International campaign, but I had to to capture this horrendous misuse of quotation marks.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Teach Your Children Well

Paula from Baltimore, who has not one but TWO blogs, sent me this photo of something that her first-grade son wrote:

As a librarian, Paula was pleased that her son understands the appeal of books but dismayed by the punctuation error. "Intuitive spelling is so cute," Paula writes. "But the misplaced apostrophe? That demanded immediate correction."

I always enjoy receiving e-mails from readers, so keep 'em coming!

Also, my aunt sent me this article from The Onion about punctuation. I, love, it.

Speaking of my relatives, my mom recently started a hilarious blog of her own. Check it out!