Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yankees Suck (at Punctuation)

The Yankees played their final game at Yankee Stadium last weekend. I went to see the Mets at Shea a bunch of times, but I never went to the House that Ruth built, mainly because I didn't want to give money to the Yankees. And I was afraid of getting beaten up for wearing a Red Sox hat. Fortunately, a friend of a friend named Allison was there to capture the momentous occasion -- and a triple apostrophe catastrophe.

It's a little hard to tell for sure since the sign is somewhat transparent, but it appears to say "close's it's door's." Also, the comma should be a period, and what's the deal with the ellipses?

Thanks, Allison! Out of gratitude, I will refrain from gloating that the Red Sox are in the playoffs and the Yanks aren't.

Monday, September 29, 2008

In the Interest of Nonpartisanship...

For this reason Apostrophe Catastrophes has endorsed Barack Obama for president. But I won't hesitate to point out punctuation errors from any political party. Here's one from the other side:

Several people forwarded me an e-mail with photos from an anti-Palin rally in Alaska, but I never noticed the missing apostrophe in "We're not that stupid" until my friend Ruth pointed it out to me today. It looks like someone may have tried to sneak one in after the fact, but it still looks like a catastrophe from afar.

Thanks, Ruth!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Super-Sized Punctuation Problem

Today's trip to Fenway Park for a rainout would have been a total waste of time if I hadn't found a high-profile apostrophe catastrophe.

The McDonald's in Kenmore Square only manages to get its own name right half the time!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, the Irony...

Today's apostrophe catastrophe comes to us from Vicki in Seattle, and it's one of my favorites of all time. Would you trust these guys to make sign's for you?

Not surprisingly, Vicki says Professional Sign's & Lettering has gone out of business.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Facebook Applications, Your Really Stupid

My friend/softball teammate Dan, who blogs here and here was appalled to find an apostrophe catastrophe on his own facebook page.

Thanks, Dan! Facebook isn't all bad, though. Apostrophe Catastrophes has its own group there. Join by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What Can You Expect from a Place Called Tasti D-Lite?

My friend Johannes sent me this photo from a Tasti D-Lite in Miami Beach:

I wonder what Bill did to make them not accept his $50 or $100. I'll take it!

Thanks, Johannes!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy National Punctuation Day Eve!

Readers, tomorrow is an exciting holiday we've all been waiting for: National Punctuation Day. Click here for ideas on how to celebrate.

As you know, I celebrate National Punctuation Day every day. For instance, on Saturday my friends and I met some Canadian tourists in a bar and we felt compelled to inform them that their t-shirts were missing an apostrophe.

"Mens is not a word," Mollie told them. In their defense, Men's Alcohol Sports Holiday (M*A*S*H) is a clever acronym, and they had cute accents, eh?

National Punctuation Day was founded by Jeff Rubin in 2004. Let me know how you choose to mark the occasion.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Dane of My Existence

A reader from Boston named Lisa forwarded me a promotional e-mail from fellow Bostonian Dane Cook in which he left out the apostrophe in the name of his own movie.

See the subject line in the above screenshot. "Tisk, tisk," Lisa writes. Thanks, Lisa!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ready to Count the Errors in this Sign?

Pret a Manger now has shops in New York, but its punctuation is stuck in the UK.

Here in the U.S., commas are always supposed to be inside of quotation marks. And why are the quotation marks in this sign anyway? It makes me question how fresh these sandwiches actually are. Also, there's a period at the end of this statement, but it's not a complete sentence. And, finally, pret should have a circumflex about the "e" if we want to be proper about it. Zut alors!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Art Is in the Park

My co-worker Kate took a photo of this sign, and we debated whether or not it was an apostrophe catastrophe:

Maybe a guy named Art is in the park? We concluded that it was a catastrophe upon finding this link from the South Boston Arts Association. I think the event should actually be called Ahts in the Pahk, but that's a whole other story.

I could just yell this over my cubicle wall, but thanks, Kate!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

100's of Apostrophe Catastrophes

A reader named Lisa informed me that Woman's Day keeps committing punctuation errors on its covers. She wrote to the editors to complain that they had written "Save $100's." They never responded to her e-mail and repeated the offense the next month ("100's of recipes"), along with "Save $1,000's"! Perhaps "Save $1,000,000's" will be next?

Thanks, Lisa!

Even without the apostrophe, this construction bothers me because it looks like it should be read as "one hundreds." Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

There Are No Words

There's really nothing I can say about this one.

Let the discussion begin in the comments section.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Who Is Mission?

In New York, I discovered that the Boston Metro isn't the only free paper that's filled with typos. I found a who's/whose error in the New York Metro.

Yes, that's a photo of Michael Phelps' back. You're welcome.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Importance of Spelling Things Correctly When You Are an Ignorant Racist

Apparently, some guy in Florida put up an anti-Obama sign in his yard, and it's offending a lot of people.

There are a lot of things I could say about this sign, but for the purposes of this blog, let's just look at the spelling. Obama is a type of fabric?!? Wow. That might make me think twice about voting for him.

Thanks to my friend Stephanie for sending me a link to this frightening news story.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dan Quayle Must Have Written This Sign

Here's another one from New York:

The apostrophe catastrophe here also creates a spelling error because "potato" shouldn't have an "e" in it. This sign should also have a comma after "eggs." The guys in the background clearly had no idea why I was taking a picture of their little shop.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Fresh" Pizza's

I went to New York a couple of weeks ago, and as soon as I got off the bus, I was determined to find pizza. I was too hungry to care that the first pizza shop I found had a giant apostrophe catastrophe on its sign.

They also spelled "Hawaiian" wrong. Later on, we had to get another slice of pizza, and the second pizza shop had just as many problems.

When I got home from my brief trip to the Big Apple, I had an e-mail from Lee with this photo of a pizza shop in Brooklyn:

Oh well.... Pizza can still be good even when it's reheated. Thanks, Lee!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hot N Cold About Katy Perry

Katy Perry scored one of the biggest hits of the year with "I Kissed a Girl." This song pissed off a few church leaders with its trendy-bi message, leading to signs like this:

Kiss and let kiss, I say, but this church clearly misses the point of the song. Perry is kissing a girl to impress her boyfriend, which is kind of lame. And using a lesbian kiss to stir up controversy is so five years ago. But I guess it worked!

Perry's second single, "Hot N Cold," is a big improvement. I've listened to it five times already today. Romantic partners not knowing what they want can cause all kinds of problems in our lives. And so can apostrophes. My iPod has the song listed as "Hot 'N Cold," which is wrong since that implies that the "N" stands for "in." (I've discussed this problem here, here, and here.) So, I went straight to the source to see what the song is really called. But Perry's web site is hot and cold about apostrophes, too. It refers to the song as "Hot N Cold" at the top of the page and "hot n' cold" (hot no cold?) at the bottom.

And are those backwards quotation marks? Still, "Hot N Cold" is hot.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Practice What You Preach

The higher-education punctuation mistakes continue. Last week I posted an apostrophe catastrophe from Harvard's web site, and today's catastrophe comes from Tufts, where my friend Claudia is a grad student.

Check out the red writing in the upper right. I would think twice about signing up for an English course that has the phrase "no waitlist's" in its description.

Thanks, Claudia!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lets All Learn How to Use Apostrophes

This sign was posted in one of the bathrooms at the Franklin Park Zoo:

Let's all punctuate properly. Please and thank you.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Another Day, Another Error in the Boston Metro

For some reason, the fun-facts section on the front page of the Metro often contains errors. This one has a blatant comma splice:

They ought to pay more attention to the writing in this box since it's placed so prominently. And what's the deal with the creepy cartoon policeman?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Elitist Mistake

Continuing the trend of high-profile punctuation errors, a reader named Wayne sent me a link to a Harvard University web site that contains an apostrophe catastrophe.

The Environmental Health & Safety department uses "it's" where it should use "its."

Thanks, Wayne!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rock Stars Love Punctuation

The other day, I ran into a guy I know from middle school (Hi, Chris!) who plays bass in three New York bands, and the first thing he said to me was, "I love your blog!" Soon after, I received an e-mail from Adam of The Lights Out saying that everyone in his band was a huge fan of Apostrophe Catastrophes. I'm like the opposite of a groupie!

Anyway, Adam sent me a glaring apostrophe catastrophe from (*gasp*) The Wall Street Journal. Here it is:

The poorly punctuated chart was from an article called "More Artists Steer Clear of iTunes" from August 28.

Because Adam and his bandmates are such dedicated punctuation sticklers, I encourage you to vote for them in this Harpoon Brewery contest. Oh, and their music kicks ass, too. If they win the title of the Northeast's Best Unfiltered Band, they win a year's supply of UFO Hefeweizen. What more could a local band ask for?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Electing John McCain Would Be a True Catastrophe

In this posting I declared that Apostrophe Catastrophes was nonpartisan. Well, I lied. Something John McCain-related has been brought to my attention that is so appalling that I have no choice but to support Barack Obama for president.

Don't stare at this pen too long or you might go blind. It is more painful to look at than It's Raining McCain. Scratch that. "It's Raining McCain" is brilliant and hilarious. This pen is just wrong on every level.

Thank you to Kevin for sending me (via Carrie) a link to this pen, which is being sold on McCain's official web site.

Yes, we can elect a candidate who has a command of the English language.

See what Red Pen, Inc. has to say about the pen catastrophe here.