Thursday, December 31, 2009

It Just Keeps Getting Worse

There are not one, not two, but three apostrophe catastrophes in this sign, which Tim spotted at an ASDA in Kingsthorpe.

They can't even manage to be consistent!

Thanks, Tim!

Happy New Year/Decade to all of you out there in the blogosphere! Keep those submissions coming throughout the '10s. Um... what is the next decade going to be called anyway?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Apostrophes in Last Names

Unless your last name is something like D'Agostino, apostrophes have no place in the plural form of your name. The table of contents of this DVD, discovered by Winona, makes this mistake four times!

The Ramirez's looks the most catastrophic of all. I'll bet this DVD is unintentionally hilarious, though.

Thanks, Winona!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Its' [sic] Sick

It's fairly common to see writers confuse its and it's, but its' is never correct, ever!

Thanks to John for sending in this unusual catastrophe!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Catastrophic Christmas Gifts

Ben forwarded me an e-mail from IT Direct that contained six apostrophe catastrophes. Handycam's got cut off from this screenshot.

Happy Festivus, everyone! This blog has been a wonderful outlet for airing my grievances.

Thanks, Ben!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Wish It Was the '60s, I Wish We Could Be Happy

Heather sent in an adorable example of an apostrophe catastrophe that she found in a book called Hippie Artifacts.

I love stuff like this! If I had a print of this poster, I would totally frame it and put it up in my apartment, even with the apostrophe catastrophe. That says a lot.

Thanks, Heather!

Monday, December 21, 2009

What Do They Mean by Treats Anyway?

This photo, sent in by Brian, the self-proclaimed Apostrophe King, makes me think about sophomore year when my college's dining halls declared that they now featured "Real Food on Campus." So, what were we eating freshman year that us to gain 15 pounds?

If they're not food, what are these treat's the sign refers to?

Thanks, Brian?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

There's an Apostrophe Catastrophe in My Basement

I don't know why I was looking at the electric meters in my basement, but I noticed that each one has an apostrophe catastrophe on it (its vs. it's).

Not much to say about that one! This snow needs to stop. I am going stir crazy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Hour Catastrophes

Thank Gaga it's Friday, everyone! If you live in a state without Puritan Blue Laws, you might be out looking for some happy hour specials. This one, sent in by Spencer, looks like a pretty good deal, but I'm not sure I could buy any margaritas with apostrophe catastrophes in them.

And it's a double catastrophe! That's almost as bad as the worm in tequila.

Thanks, Spencer!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'mma Let You Finish, But...

Unlike Kanye West's favorite word, I'mma, Gonna is a word that can stand alone. No apostrophe is necessary. Broadway in Chicago, which sent the following e-mail to Amanda, clearly doesn't understand this concept.

Amanda points out the e-mail also omits a word and leaves a modifier dangling (not pictured above).

All I want for Christmas is good punctuation.

Thanks, Amanda!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How About "The Cat's Pajamas"?

I'm a bit confused by today's apostrophe catastrophe, which Melinda found on etsy.

It says that it has something to do with Jack Black in School of Rock, but I don't remember him uttering this phrase. Do any of you?

Plus, thinking about Jack Black wearing a onesie is far too disturbing for words.

Thanks, Melinda!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Catastrophic Toys

Jessica found the following double apostrophe catastrophe at Trombetta's Farm in Marlborough, MA.

"It's a cute little place, so I feel a twinge of guilt poking fun at it," Jessica writes. "But not that much guilt. I mean, come on, TWO apostrophe catastrophes in one sign?"

I think the mockery is justified. If you're going to put up a huge banner, you'd better have someone proofread it first!

Thanks, Jessica!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Disney Christmas Catastrophe

Shortening the word "until" can cause confusion for many people. You can write till or 'til, but combining the two, as Mickey Mouse does below, is incorrect.

John, who sent in this apostrophe catastrophe, writes, "Despite this atrocity, it still goes up every year, with fondness."

It is pretty cute, I must admit.

Thanks, John!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Blanket with Sleeves! And an Apostrophe Catastrophe

I think it's safe to assume that the Snuggie's in this sign is an apostrophe catastrophe and not a contraction for Snuggie is.

Thanks to Keegan for sending in this photo.

Do any Apostrophe Catastrophes readers actually own a Snuggie? I'm embarrassed to admit that I thought about buying one until last weekend when a friend's mother gave me the coziest throw blanket ever.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Looks Like America Made the Right Choice

From John McCain's Twitter page:

Punctuation on e-mail and Twitter can be a bit more lax than in a book or business letter, but apostrophe catastrophes are never acceptable. In this case, I think we have to blame McCain's staffers for the blunders. He once admitted that he doesn't know how to use a computer.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Catastrophe at Beer Island

Amy found a double apostrophe catastrophe at a Coney Island liquor store called Beer Island. What a cool name for a liquor store, right? Too bad about the punctuation errors.

On the left, we have it's rather than its, and on the right, today's is missing an apostrophe. "Maybe the apostrophe jumped from one sign to the other?" Amy wonders.

The sign on the right quotes the NY Times. I wonder if that mistake was in print, too. If so, we can't blame Beer Island.

Speaking of which, it's almost 5:00 on a Friday -- nearly time to take a sail over to Beer Island.

Thanks, Amy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Waxed Tissue Is ... a Person?

Christina spotted today's apostrophe catastrophe at a supermarket in suburban Cleveland.

She also wonders when waxed tissues became a proper noun. Good question!

Thanks, Christina!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Regresty to Inform You

Melinda sent in an apostrophe catastrophe that she found on Regretsy, which I bet is a goldmine for punctuation errors. The name of the site also makes me think of a woman from the movie theater where I worked in high school who once said, in a thick Boston accent, "I regret winter." Because she apparently created a season? I didn't know that God worked at a second-run cinema in the suburbs!

On to the catastrophe in question.

One more time, everyone, its is already possessive. It's means "it is."

Thanks, Melinda!

Monday, November 30, 2009

One More Reason to Shop Online

Well, the Christmas season has officially begun, and the media implores you to spend, spend, spend! I used to love malls when I was a teenager, but now they just depress me. However, I still own stock in Gap, Inc., which my grandfather bought me when I turned 13. But after seeing this apostrophe catastrophe from one of its stores in NYC, I might have to sell my shares.

Thanks to Robbie for sending this one in!

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Catastrophe

Readers, I hope you all had a wonderful, properly punctuated Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all of you! I am especially thankful for J.A. who found a Turkey Day-themed apostrophe catastrophe.

Based on the apostrophe placement in seating's, it appears that the restaurant will make you sit in your seat for five hours. Oh, and that hyphen should be an en-dash.

Thanks, J.A!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Revisionist History

I love it when readers send in a story along with their submissions. JJG reported that the employees at the gas station where he found today's apostrophe catastrophe claimed that they meant "pizza's" as "pizza is."

I'm not a mindreader, but I find that unlikely. Good try, though! And it's awesome that JJG called them out on it.

Thanks, JJG!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Living Under Communist Rule

The city where I live is sometimes referred to as "The People's Republic of Cambridge." Back in the '90s, someone went so far as to post a sign welcoming people to the PRC. The sign was taken down, but its image lives on in a bar on Mass Ave.

"Do you notice anything interesting about that sign?" I asked one of the friends I was with.

"Yeah, it's missing an apostrophe!" he answered.

I tried to explain it to the bartender and told him about Apostrophe Catastrophes, but he said he had never read a blog before. Maybe, as an employee of a communist-themed bar, he is forbidden from reading non-government supplied news.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Make Mine a Double

Merry found a double apostrophe catastrophe in Allston on voting day.

Well, I suppose apostrophe catastrophe isn't quite accurate since the sign is missing a comma and an exclamation point, but you know what I mean. Merry and I agree that the sign should say, "Speak Up, Allston! Vote!"

Thanks, Merry!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

PowerPoint Catastrophe

Krys found several apostrophe catastrophes in the PowerPoint presentation during a seminar on Behavior Management in an Elementary School Setting. She writes, "I needed a reinforcer to keep me from raising my hand to point out the errors."

Here's an example of a particularly terrible PowerPoint slide:

In addition to the apostrophe catastrophe in the title, the bulleted list is completely inconsistent and doesn't make all that much sense.

Thanks, Krys!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Another Permanent Catastrophe

Rick Reilly's latest column focuses on athletes who have bad tattoos. Laser tattoo removal is painful and expensive, so if you're going to get inked, you'd better make sure the message is grammatically correct. There's not much room on Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless' arm to add the missing apostrophe, so he's got a catastrophe for life.

"Quarless may be God's gift to football, but not to punctuation," Reilly writes. "It lacks an apostrophe, to say nothing of humility."

Thanks to my friend Bayard for sending Reilly's column my way! And thanks to Rick Reilly for the entertaining read.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pink Panther Catastrophe

Charles managed to find an apostrophe catastrophe in a classic Pink Panther episode.

"He looks aghast at the catastrophe," writes Charles.

The apostrophe in ladies seems to have migrated down.

Ugh, now I have the Pink Panther theme song stuck in my head.

Thanks, Charles!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dumb Cleveland Browns Fan

Melinda found this photo of a grammatically incorrect sign in a Yahoo story about Cleveland Browns fans:

That guy ought to say he's sorry for making a catastrophic sign.

Thanks, Melinda!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cutting Crew

Meghan, who spotted this apostrophe catastrophe at Hobby Lobby, deemed it "painful."

I would have to agree. Someone ought to use the cutter's to cut out the catastrophe from that sign.

Thanks, Meghan!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Infiltrate the Dancefloor

If there's one thing I love more than proper punctuation, it's gay men. So one of my favorite concepts is Guerrilla Queer Bar. You see, I like the dance, but I don't like the kind of straight men who go out dancing in Boston. So, GQB is perfect for me because I get to dance with a lot of hot men and not worry that any of them are going to roofie me.

This month's GQB was at Tequila Rain and featured dancing to "Bad Romance" and an apostrophe catastrophe on the bathroom sign.

Shout out to all my mens! I love you guys!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Putting the Ass Back in Assembly

Delphine from Lancaster, Penn., writes, "We have a lot of churches around here who tell us what to do and how to behave. But the Lord didn't teach them how to spell...."

Committing an apostrophe catastrophe is a mortal sin, as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks, Delphine!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Apostrophe Catastrophes Make Donkeys Sad

Chris found this sign at Grease Wood Flat in Arizona:

"Even the donkey seems upset by the sign," Chris writes.

Poor donkey...

Thanks, Chris!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Learn to Share, Girl!

David writes, "This public toilet at Monocacy Park apparently belongs to a particular girl and no one else can use it."

How could she be so selfish?

Thanks, David!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spooky Scary Catastrophe

Happy Halloween, readers! I hope you all have exciting plans for debauchery this evening. If you're in Boston, I would suggest avoiding the place that ran the following ad in the Improper Bostonian, for obvious reasons.

I consulted with my friend Louisa on this one to make sure it wasn't referring to "The Jock's Halloween Party," but we concluded that "The Jock" is not pictured in the ad. I think it would be kind of hard to be an athlete with that much silicone in your chest.

Trick or treat!

Victory at the Boston Garden

As you may have seen in this entry from last December, the bathrooms at the Boston Garden were riddled with apostrophe catastrophes. But last night, as I ran past the concession stands to make it to my seat in time for tip-off, I noticed that they had fixed the punctuation errors!



Congrats to the TD Garden on a rare apostrophe success -- and to the Celtics on their trouncing of the Bulls.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Boy's, Boy's, Boy's

Lady Gaga would not approve of this sign because she knows that one boy is never enough.

Thanks to Brian for sending in this apostrophe catastrophe that he found at an amusement park.

Happy Halloween to all my readers! If any of you dress as a punctuation mark for Halloween, be sure to take a photo and send it to me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Teach Your Children Well

Melissa from Utah wrote that her younger brother found this apostrophe catastrophe at his school:

Shortly thereafter, Melissa's mom found an apostrophe catastrophe at a salon in town that is owned by someone who graduated from the high school where the filing-cabinet catastrophe was spotted.

Melissa concludes that it's not entirely the salon owner's fault because she was never taught proper punctuation. I would have to agree.

Thanks, Melissa and Melissa's mom and brother!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Work Menu Catastrophe

A friend of mine who prefers to remain nameless has been annoyed by the apostrophe catastrophes on the menus at her office for months now. I'm sure she's not the only one who is annoyed because she works at a publishing company! She writes, "A building full of editors and copyeditors and proofreaders and no one lets them know there's no apostrophe in omelets?!"

They also spell "swordfish" wrong. And why is "A" capitalized in left side?

Thanks, mystery person!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Need to Recharge My Brain

Today's entry comes to us from a blog reader named Ramesh in Chennai, India. This is one of the worst multiple apostrophe catastrophes I've seen in a while. Readers, prepare yourself for the horror.

The word "accessories" manages to remain free from spelling and punctuation errors, but almost every other word on the sign is wrong.

Time for a cooldrink, indeed.

Thanks, Ram!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It Is for Waitresses'

Emily from St. Louis found this apostrophe catastrophe in a bar the other night and says she was "appalled."

The sign is pretty hideous; I think the font is just as appalling as the apostrophe catastrophe. Some might argue that the apostrophe implies that the area beyond the sign belongs to waitresses only, but I don't think that's what the sign makers had in mind, so I declare it a catastrophe. Not that I'm a psychic or anything. What do you think, readers?

Thanks, Emily!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mushroom Lover Is...

Nicholina took this photo of a tray at a Carl's Jr. location in Singapore:

The punctuation is appalling, but that photo is making me hungry.

Thanks, Nicholina!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seventy-Five Percent Wrong

Jim was shocked when he noticed that three out of the four words on this sign contained apostrophe catastrophes.

As we know, mens and womens are not words, but what if the store is owned by more than one guy name Gary? Jim called the store to investigate and learned that there is only one Gary. Maybe Gary should hire someone else named Gary to help him proofread.

Thanks, Jim!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gaga Ooh-La-La

Ever since I heard "Bad Romance" for the first time yesterday, it has become difficult for me to accomplish anything besides listening to it on repeat and (mostly successfully) trying to avoid dancing in my cubicle. So, in honor of Lady Gaga (and certain friends of mine who knew she was brilliant all along), today's chosen apostrophe catastrophe is the ubiquitous womens error. Reminder: women is already plural; womens is not a word.

My friend Merry took this photo at Wonder Bar in Allston, which happens to be across the street from one of her previous apostrophe catastrophes, Blanchard's.

Thanks, Merry! It has been too long since I posted one of your catastrophes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Catastrophe at Disneyland

In the 50+ years that the Dumbo ride has been operating in Disneyland, I wonder how many people have noticed the errant apostrophe in the word it's on its sign.

Does "It's a Small World" have the opposite problem?

Thanks to Brian for sending this one in!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bonus Catastrophe!

For today's entry, we have a double whammy -- a spelling mistake and an apostrophe catastrophe. Before going to Santa Cruz, Cathy saw a listing for Chic's with Sticks and had to see it in person.

Here it is in all its glory:

Cathy says that, because of the misspelling, the name of the store makes her think of a scene in the desert with "circle of sheiks stitching and bitching and drinking cosmos."

Thanks, Cathy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Catastrophes

It's only mid-October, but I'm already sitting here in a fleece jacket, slippers, and a blanket, which might explain why I chose the following apostrophe catastrophe for today's posting.

Jami, from the Apostrophe Catastrophes Facebook group, had the misfortune of receiving this decoration as a gift. I think I would have preferred coal.

In case you were wondering, day's is the only error in this decoration. Till is a perfectly valid word.

Thanks, Jami!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wasn't that a Song by Wings?

Charles' wife found this apostrophe catastrophe in the yellow pages when she was looking for job ideas:

Anyone want to hire her as a proofreader?

Thanks, Charles!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Go Twins!

Today, I am a Twins fan because they are playing the Yankees. And, as luck would have it, I have an apostrophe catastrophe to fit the occasion. Justin has informed me that the Twins' future home, Target Field, features a punctuation error in one of its sections.

The club is paying tribute to several legends, but the apostrophe placement implies that there is only one legend.

Well, regardless of the team's poor punctuation, I hope they crush the Yankees tonight.

Thanks, Justin!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Misplaced Fine

Apparently, the man in the photo below was fined for not producing any rubbish.

Well, I think the fine itself is rubbish! Instead, the Green Council should have fined the shop owner for having an apostrophe catastrophe in his sign.

Thanks to Claire for sending in this article from the Daily Mail.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Porn on the Streets of New Orleans

There's only one Larry Flynt, so there ought to be an apostrophe in the name of his club on Bourbon Street.

Apostrophe catastrophes aren't barely legal; they are completely wrong.

I also found some amusing unnecessary quotation marks in the bathroom at the airport.

In fact, the board wasn't welcoming me because I was on my way out of the city at that point. I apologize for the blurry photo. I think had one too many hurricanes.