Friday, January 30, 2009

This Place's Punctuation Bites!

My friend Maura took this photo in a shop in Ireland called News Bites:

Apparently, the shop's punctuation ability bites, too.

Thanks, Maura!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birmingham Bans Apostrophes

I just read some terrible news. Birmingham, England, is banning apostrophes on road signs to avoid confusion. This is a travesty! Lynne Truss, it time for you to take a trip to Brum to protest this terrible decision.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

iPods and Fake GPS Receivers (?) in New York

Here's a photo that I took in New York a couple of months ago that features an apostrophe catastrophe and unnecessary quotation marks:

But the place looks a little shady, so maybe the quotation marks are necessary after all.

Also, since iPods and all the other items listed on this sign are plural, shouldn't GPS be plural to match? What is the plural of GPS anyway? GPSes looks a little awkward, and I definitely don't want to write GPS's. It seems that the only way around this is to write "GPS receivers," but that's pretty clunky.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Welcome to the State of Computed Tomography

When my friend Bayard texted me this photo from Greenwich, CT, I wrote back, "Because it doesn't have a comma?"

He pointed out that the abbreviation for Connecticut isn't "C.T." Right. I don't know how I missed that!

Thanks, Bayard!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Expensive Drinks, Bad Punctuation

I went to an art opening the other night at a boutique/bar/restaurant. Even more appalling than the $12 drinks was the bad punctuation on the customers [sic] copy of the receipt.

The art, on the other hand, was fantastic!

Thanks to my friend Jennifer for taking that photo. I need to stop forgetting to bring my camera.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You're Right! Well, 75 Percent of the Time...

Finding errors in the Boston Metro is like shooting fish in a barrel. In this interview with life coach Mel Robbins, the editor uses you're four times. Three out of four of those times, s/he uses it correctly.

You're kid is 12 now? That is painful to look at.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grow Your Blog's Audience

How do you increase traffic to your blog? By using proper punctuation, of course! This web site claims that it can help you make money from your blog, but they commit an apostrophe catastrophe in the second bullet point below:

Also, the fourth bullet point stands out as a fragment because the others are sentences.

Thanks to Peter for sending this one in.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Proud to Be an American

Remember a few years ago when everyone said that they were going to move to Canada but no one really did? Well, it's a good thing we didn't go because we would have had to put up with apostrophe catastrophes like this:

Art sent me this ad from the Toronto Star because he noticed that the apostrophe in "Fill 'er Up" is really a quotation mark. That's pretty bad, but the part that says "1000's of new and used cars" bothers me more.

I think it's time to eat another red, white, and blue cookie that's left over from our office's inauguration party.

Thanks, Art!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bah Humbug (or Whatever the Valentine's Day Equivalent Is)

Valentine's Day is all about bad candy, cheesy greeting cards, and making single people feel bad. If you're feeling low, here's an apostrophe catastrophe from a bar in Cambridge to lift your spirits. Check out the text in the hearts at the top of the poster.

Valentines' what at Redline?

Friday, January 16, 2009

In the 19th Century, Perhaps

I think this facebook flair is trying to say that the UK is #1, but, ironically, the bad punctuation kind of makes the statement more true.

Sorry, British friends! You know I love you! Hey, now that Amy Winehouse is reportedly divorcing Blake Fielder-Civil, perhaps the British Empire can rise again. Pirates seem to be making a comeback.

Thanks to my friend Jodi for sending this apostrophe catastrophe my way. Cheers, luv!

Update: People in the comment section have informed me that this is an intentional apostrophe catastrophe. Sorry!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Am Investment Paid Off?

My friend Ethan forwarded me this e-mail because its grammatically incorrect subject line made him cringe.

Good thing those Democratic Senators already got elected. This e-mail could have hurt they're (just kidding!) cause.

Interestingly, Ethan sent another catastrophe with the opposite problem to this site a couple of months ago.

Thanks again, Ethan!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New York Times Typesetting Catastrophe

My grandfather gave me this unique example of a punctuation error that he found in the New York Times:

It's a little blurry (my fault!), but you can clearly see that one half of the end quotation mark is on one line, and the other half is on the next. Did the Times fire all of its copyeditors and typesetters?

Thanks, Boppa!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Let He Who Is Without Sin Tow the First Car

I love the humor in this sign outside a church in Somerville, but the punctuation error is just as sinful as illegal parking.

Thanks to my friend Mary for pointing this photo out to me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Adding Insult to Injury

My brother's friend Alex waited for the train in Winchester for about 45 minutes during a snow storm a couple of weeks ago. During that time, three express trains whipped by, covering him in snow. To add insult to injury, he had to look at a badly punctuated LED sign the entire time.

Sorry, Alex! But thanks for sharing your apostrophe catastrophe!

Update: This is not a catastrophe if you consider "min's" to be a contraction for "minutes." See anonymous comment below.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Who Is Lips Are These?

That's what this ad that I saw on my Yahoo! mail says because it confuses who's and whose.

Also, that border makes my eyes hurt. Oh, and these ads for free offers are always a scam. Don't fall for one.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

As If a Murder-Suicide Weren't Tragic Enough

A local South Carolina newspaper added insult to injury when it committed an apostrophe catastrophe when reporting on a murder-suicide. See the line about the "womans friend" in the screenshot below.

Thanks to another Becky for sending this one in.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This One Is Definitely a Children's Catastrophe

While I'm still looking for evidence to back up Anonymous' claim that the errant apostrophe in Childrens' Hospital is intentional, this childrens lunch container is definitely badly punctuated:

These products look cool, but childrens is not a word.

Thanks to my friend Rich for sending this in.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Apostrophe Catastrophe on the WB

The WB has a new web-based TV show called Childrens' Hospital. It's a comedy, so I looked for evidence that this was an intentional apostrophe catastrophe, but I couldn't find any. Check out how many times this punctuation error appears on one web page!

Rob Corddry, I'm disappointed in you.

Thanks to my dad for submitting this apostrophe catastrophe!

Update: While I can't find anything online to explain the punctuation error in the title of this TV show, I did discover the story behind the missing apostrophe in Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. The hospital presumably doesn't stick to tradition when it comes to medicine -- unless doctors there still use ether -- so why should it keep a grammatical error in its name for nostalgia's sake?

Monday, January 5, 2009

An Infuriating Error

Boston College defeated top-ranked University of North Carolina in basketball last night, but this apostrophe catastrophe on their web site is even more upsetting:

My friend Stephanie, who sent me a link to this poorly punctuated site, said she was "infuriated (pun intended!)" by the first line.

Thanks, Stephanie!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another New Year's Catastrophe

Well, my champagne hangover has finally worn off, so it's time to post the first apostrophe catastrophe of the new year. This one comes from Michelle in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Michelle points out that Jerry's Artarama got two out of three apostrophes right on their ad, but they missed the big one in "New Year's."

Happy New Year and thank you to Michelle and all my other fabulous readers!