Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve (with an Apostrophe)!

Local newspapers and magazines are filled with ads for New Year's Eve events at bars and clubs. About half of them leave out the apostrophe. Here's an example of an incorrectly punctuated ad:

My attempt to rip it out of the paper was also a fail. Or maybe I was just angry about the bad punctuation. Here's an ad from the flip side of the same page:

When it comes to New Year's Eve, the possibilities are endless, but there's only one right way to punctuate this holiday.

See you next year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All I Want for Christmas Is Correct Punctuation

My friend Tiff, one of Apostrophe Catastrophes' best contributors, snapped this photo while she was snowboarding at Sunday River:

At least they've got 361 days to fix the sign before the Santas come again next year.

Thanks, Tiff!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Punctuation Police, Arrest This Man

According to a story in the Boston Globe, a Massachusetts man was recently arrested for stealing money that donors thought was going to military families. Paul K. Guilmain Jr. posed as National Guard member at a Stop & Shop in Woburn and made off with about $150. Even worse than the fraud, Guilmain held a sign that said, "MILITARY FAMILY'S FOR THE HOLIDAYS."

Stupid, stupid criminals....

Thanks to my friends Tori and Dave for alerting me to this egregious crime.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chinese Food on Xmas

Merry Christmas to everyone out there in the blogosphere! For those of you who celebrate the birth of Christ, you'll probably be chowing down on some ham or fowl in a few hours. Non-Christians, on the other hand, traditionally eat Chinese food on Christmas. And The Christmas Story tells us that Chinese food is a good back-up plan if your turkey gets eaten by dogs.

In the spirit of the season, Brent uploaded this photo to the Apostrophe Catastrophes facebook group:

It's acceptable to use a hyphen between the "x" and "mas," but an apostrophe is inappropriate because the word isn't a contraction. "Chris'mas" would be OK because the apostrophe is in place of a "t."

Anyway, regardless of your religion or food preferences, I hope you have a wonderful, correctly punctuated holiday!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Hate Fruitcake

I went scrounging for food in my office kitchen and discovered something that may or may not be real fruitcake.

I know I don't like real fruitcake, but these quotation marks indicate that this could be the fake kind. [I take a bite.] Nope, it appears to be real. I can't even swallow a small bite of this stuff. Ugh.

OK, what else is in here? Ooh, leftover goat cheese and crackers from our office party! Now you're talking!

Merry Chrismahanukwanzakah, readers! May your holidays be delicious and fruitcake-free.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No Wonder He's Starving!

The economy is bad, and jobs are scarce. So, if you post an ad on craiglist looking for work, you should probably have someone proofread it for you first. This ad has more mistakes than I can count. I'm not in the math industry, after all!

I blurred out the poor guy's phone number so he doesn't have a bunch of horrified Apostrophe Catastrophes readers calling him.

Thanks to Chris for sending this one in!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Need to Do Some Last-Minute Holiday Shopping? Choose the Store that Uses Proper Punctuation

Marshalls (no apostrophe) and T.J. Maxx are essentially the same. In fact, they are even owned by the same company, TJX. So, where should you go to score brand-name merchandise at discount prices? Let's compare these two ads from today's Boston Metro.

Marshalls has boots for $29, but the ad uses the dreaded mens. In fact, they neglect to use apostrophes anywhere in this ad. Let's check out what T.J. Maxx has to say.

T.J. Maxx correctly punctuates "ladies' boots" and "men's outerwear," so it is the clear winner. As an added bonus, ladies' boots $5 cheaper at T.J. Maxx. Time for a shopping spree!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Maybe the Writer Was Distracted By Faith Hill's Hot Bod

Seeing Faith Hill in a bikini was apparently so shocking to this writer that he/she forgot to include any punctuation (or a space) in the third line of this blurb:

An em-dash would have been appropriate before "it's." Get it together, MSN.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Apostrophe After a Close Parenthesis?

My friend Dan was baffled by the unusual placement of an apostrophe after a parenthesis in this music review:

See the second-to-last line in the screenshot above. The writer should have rewritten that sentence to avoid the bizarre-looking construction. But is it wrong? Let's discuss in the comment section.

Thanks, Dan!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Get This Olde-Fashioned Catastrophe at the Faire's Shoppe

My roommate Molly brought home a souvenir glass from King Richard's Faire, and we noticed that it was missing an apostrophe.

The words are written vertically, but they could have made an effort to show possession somehow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

TiVo Can Be Stupid

Jessica writes, "My TiVo is smart enough to know what I might be interested in watching, but it clearly is not smart enough to know the difference between possessive and plural." See the it's/its error on the fourth line of the screenshot below.

Thanks, Jessica!

In other technology news, I registered There's no need to update your subscriptions or bookmarks since the blogspot address still works, but I just thought you'd like to know.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Apostrophe Catastrophe in the New York Times

Alert reader Tom sent me a link to this article in the New York Times, which contains an apostrophe catastrophe. Check out the third paragraph in the screenshot below.

I'm not sure if the writer meant "Bush's guest list" or "the Bushes' guest list," but "Bushes guest list" (without an apostrophe) is certainly wrong.

Thanks, Tom!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Making the Same Mistake Twice

As my friend Merry pointed out here, Charlie's Kitchen is missing an apostrophe in its sign. A few months ago, they opened a beer garden that features the same mistake.

I would praise them for being consistent, but they have a neon sign in the window that does contain an apostrophe.

Thanks again, Merry!

Giving My Fake Address

The address of this building may or may not be 85 Sutherland.

Thanks to my brother, Charlie, for sending in this bizarre example of unnecessary quotation marks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Maybe Jared Lost His Appetite from Seeing this Sign at Subway

My cousin Joe sent in an apostrophe catastrophe that many readers considered the worst ever. Well, folks, he has done it again. Check out this sign that Joe saw outside of the Subway in Hamden, CT:

He said he was going to go in and ask for a bag of chip's. Thanks, Joe!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Republican Apostrophe Catastrophe in Georgia

After Senator Chambliss won the runoff election in Georgia, RNC Chairman Mike Duncan wrote an article on that contained an apostrophe catastrophe.

Michelle saw Keith Olbermann point out the error on MSNBC and e-mailed me to tell me about it. Thanks, Michelle!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bryan Adams Tries to Be Dirty, but the Proof Is in the Apostrophe

What is "The Summer of '69" really about? Nearly 25 years after the song's debut on the pop charts, Bryan Adams is now claiming that the song isn't about the year 1969 at all. Oh, really, Bryan? Well, then why did you include an apostrophe in the song's title?

Check out this posting for more thoughts on this scandalous topic, including something else that's definitely dirty about the album cover.

I watched a lot of MTV back in the mid-'80s, and I think I'm retroactively traumatized.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

JumboTron Apostrophe Catastrophe

I know it can be difficult to use proper punctuation in text messages, but if you know that your message will be seen by 20,000 people, it's probably worth making a little extra effort.

Thanks to Smoochiefrog for sending in this catastrophe from a Wizards game.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A 78-Year-Old Catastrophe

Adam of Universal Hub noticed an old sign in Dedham, Massachusetts, that includes the phrase "in early year's."

The spacing on this sign also seems a bit off, and the first part isn't really a sentence, yet it has a period at the end.

See Adam's original posting on about this poorly punctuated sign here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Boston Garden Womens and Mens Rooms

Celtics games rock. Punctuation errors suck.

Since the last time I was there (around two weeks ago), the TD Bank North Garden put up new signs that say "Womens Entrance," "Mens Entrance," Womens Exit," and "Mens Exit." This new signage brings back fond memories of the time my friend Amy and I went into the men's room during a Destiny's Child concert, but the lack of apostrophes is terrible!

These punctuation errors upset me almost as much as the fact that they don't play Gino as a victory cigar anymore. At least the Celtics continued their domination of the Eastern Conference last night. Woo! But seriously, TD Bank North Garden, put up some apostrophes in those bathroom signs, and bring back Gino! We want Gino!

Update: They played Gino at the game on December 19! Thank you for listening to me, Boston Celtics.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Phishing Scam Catastrophe

Sometimes phishing scam e-mails look pretty convincing, but I don't think very many people will be fooled when they get an e-mail from Bnak of America.

See the "from" field in the above e-mail. Stupid criminals...

Oh, and since this blog is supposed to be about bad punctuation, I'd also like to point out the grammatically incorrect and poorly punctuated sidebar, which says, "If you ignore this message your account has definitely blocked" (no period at the end).