Monday, June 30, 2008

The reader's what doesn't work?

Amanda and her husband found this apostrophe catastrophe at a gas station in in Tuscaloosa, Alabama:

So many mistakes are packed into such a small sign. Thanks for sending, Amanda!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Drunken Punctuation

My friend Merry took photos of four signs outside a liquor store in Allston. Two of them contain apostrophes, and two don't. Behold!

It looks like they snuck the apostrophe in at the last minute on this one:

And here are the two without punctuation:

According to their web site, the official name of this liquor store chain is Blanchards. Interesting! Before I went to Blanchards' web site, I assumed that the signs without the apostrophes were the erroneous ones.

Merry has previously pointed out mistakes from Dave and Buster's, Macy's, and Charlie's Kitchen. Thanks again, Merry!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Billboard-Sized Error

For the hundredth time, I would like to remind people that adding an apostrophe to a word or abbreviation does not make it plural.

The text of this billboard in Porter Square is in all caps, so it would be difficult to differentiate TVs from TVS (Turkish vacuuming system?), but I'm sure they could have figured something out.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Judge Bob Says: Mistake!

OK, let's see a show of hands. How many of you watched the premiere of
I Survived a Japanese Gameshow last night? If you didn't tune in, you missed some major hilarity. As you can see from the picture below, one contestant had to run on a giant treadmill while another contestant attempted to eat food from the top of the runner's head.

If you look closely, you can also see that the subtitle contains two punctuation errors. It says, "Lets go Bilenda!" There should be an apostrophe in Let's and a comma before the contestant's name.

And later on, the subtitles failed to put an apostrophe in it's.

However, I forgave the apostrophe catastrophes because Conveyor Restaurant and the other ridiculous games were just so entertaining.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Classic Comma Catastrophe

Last night, my mom told me about Goodnight Bush, a parody of Goodnight Moon, one of her favorite picture books. We all love the children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown, but shouldn't its title contain a comma? In fact, the author doesn't use any commas at all. Check out this page from the inside of the book:

The lack of commas keeps the kid-oriented text simple, but it's grammatically incorrect. Without commas, the phrase "goodnight socks" appears to be a noun, as in "Where are my goodnight socks? I can't sleep without them!"

I still love Goodnight Moon, but I have to point out errors wherever I see them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Celebrating Guydom

SPIKE TV, the male equivalent of the Oxygen network, aired a program last night called the Guys Choice Awards. When Wikipedia writes about this show, it includes an apostrophe after the "s" in "guys" to show possession. SPIKE does not include an apostrophe in the show's title, which I think is wrong. Here's a screen shot from SPIKE's web site:

SPIKE is honoring Hugh Hefner, but the producers clearly haven't been reading the articles in Playboy. Supposedly, if you look beyond the photos of nude women, the magazine really does feature some impressive journalism.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Kobe Bryant's Ego Could Take Up an Entire Parking Lot

Well, the NBA Finals are over. I'll miss watching the Celtics, but I will not miss that GMC ad that ABC showed during nearly every timeout. Not only was the commercial annoying, but it was improperly punctuated! I noticed it and so did Carrie and Rich. Rich says, "I think I've found the most high-profile apostrophe catastrophe thus far."

The placement of the apostrophe in the commercial's title tells us that the parking lot belongs to just one player. However, The Player's Lot probably refers to the lot in the arena where all the players park. Rich says, "I could be wrong. Maybe there's some player out there with enough cars to have his own lot and lot attendant."

Hmmm... not mentioning any names, but perhaps a certain overrated Laker who was named league MVP...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Panic on the Streets of Boston

The Celtics won the NBA championship last night, and there was chaos on the streets of Boston. Riot police scare me, but things stayed relatively tame. However, this T-shirt, which my friend Dave found on the NBA store site, is worth rioting over:

In case you can't read the small print on the front of the shirt, it says "Where Raising 17 Banners Happen." I know that T-shirt companies often have to print championship apparel in a hurry, but that subject-verb disagreement is unforgivable. It's a shame because the T-shirt would be really cool if it weren't for that error!

Grammatical errors aside, I am thrilled for the Celtics. A truly classy group of guys destroyed the Lakers to win the team's 17th championship last night.


I see this guy in Downtown Crossing all the time, and I finally had the opportunity to take his photo.

Obviously, MENSSUITS is the funniest part of this sign, but I just noticed that the sign also spells warehouse wrong. If that were intentional, it would actually be a pretty good pun. But alas, I think it's just a spelling mistake.

Update: An alert reader pointed out that Men's Wearhouse is actually the correct spelling of the store's name. Surprisingly clever! However, there should be an apostrophe in Men's, so that part is still wrong.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fighting the Effects of Bad Journalism

In this article about the Boston Celtics, the Associated Press uses "affects" where they should use "effects." See the first sentence in this screen shot:

Thanks to my friend Tiff for alerting me to this error. You better be wearing a Celtics T-shirt in L.A. tonight, Tiffers! I hope to be dancing like Gino in the streets of Boston around midnight.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's/Fathers' Day

Since the holiday on the second Sunday in May is Mother's Day, its male equivalent should be Father's Day. But putting an apostrophe before an "s" to make the word "dad" plural is never OK.

Also, that hyphen should be an em-dash. Shame on you, Bally's Total Fitness!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Unsexy T-shirt Back

A t-shirt inspired me to start this blog, and this t-shirt caused me to chase after a guy in the subway on Saturday:

His friends were like, "Dude, this girl is taking a picture of your back!" I think he was drunk, so I didn't bother to explain why.

In other news, I have a new favorite band.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Lakers Can't Handle the Truth

And I can't handle the inconsistent use of apostrophes at The Four's, a pub near the Boston Garden. This place was supposedly voted the #1 sports bar in America by Sports Illustrated, but it can't seem to decide whether or not to use an apostrophe in its name. I asked a waiter about the apostrophe (or lack thereof) in the bar's name, but he didn't seem to understand what I was talking about. Some signs refer to the place as The Four's and others call it The Fours. Check out this sign that's posted outside the front door:

The pub's web site is full of inconsistencies, too. I'm so confused!

But one thing's for sure: BEAT LA!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Some people say he was honorable. Others think he was kind of a jerk.

In Cambridge, nearly every intersection is named after someone. I ride my bike through an area that is apparently called Thomas McNamara Square just about every morning, and its sign always makes me smile. I'm sure that Mr. McNamara was a great guy, but the quotation marks in this sign call his honor into question:

If I were the McNamara family, I'd sue for libel. Or at least get ladder and an X-Acto knife so I could remove the unnecessary quotation marks.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quotation Marks Are "Hot"

I have no idea why, but I have a subscription to US Weekly. I came home from work one day a few months ago and found it in my mailbox. I've never received a bill, and the magazines continue to arrive every week. It's a pretty terrible publication, but I contribute to people's workouts by donating my copies to the gym. The writing style is extremely cheesy, but it contains surprisingly few errors. This ad, on the other hand, is horrifying in many ways:

I'm pretty sure that the designers are using quotation marks to denote emphasis here, but it appears that they are questioning the pictured woman's hotness. And actually.... Well, I'll leave that up to you guys to decide.

For other questionable quotation marks, check out The Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

You Get What You Pay For

I love the Boston Metro because it's free. Also, it contains a lot of errors, which I enjoy mocking. This free paper recently started a program called the Metro Life Panel, which is also free. You fill out surveys about current events and have the opportunity to receive free best-sellers and other swag. But, man, are their e-mails poorly written. Check out this one that I received yesterday encouraging me to fill out a survey about the NBA Finals (Go Celtics!):

They misuse a hyphen in the first paragraph, misspell "special" and "edition," and commit an apostrophe catastrophe ("Thursdays editition [sic]"). Metro, if you give me some more free stuff, I'll help you proofread.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Triumph for Punctuation Sticklers

My friend Sara is a librarian at a fancy prep school near Boston. Last week, the library unveiled its new online catalog, and it contained an apostrophe catastrophe! Check out the middle of this screen shot, under Formats:

Some of the librarians argued that it was correct to put an apostrophe before the "s" in an abbreviation to make it plural, but eventually the truth revealed itself in the form of an MLA handbook. The library planned to correct the error in its catalog. Hallelujah! Thanks, Sara!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Melinda e-mailed me this postcard that someone sent to PostSecret:

Thanks, Melinda! I'm all for legalizing gay marriage, but confusing your with you're should be a crime.