Monday, June 1, 2009

Support Our Troops with Proper Punctuation

A new monument to Gold Star Mothers was recently unveiled in Bennington, Vermont. Sadly, this shiny granite slab contains two apostrophe catastrophes, one right after the other.

There's an errant apostrophe in mothers, and who's should be whose. As the monument says, our fallen soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice. We could at least hire a proofreader to help us avoid disrespectful punctuation errors.


Winona said...

That is simply HORRIBLE!

Leigh said...

That is absolutely awful. The catastrophes on handwritten signs in stores just make me chuckle, but this makes me really angry. The monument shop needs to replace that immediately at their cost.

Becky said...

I agree that this is awful. They should definitely repair it immediately. I found out about this because I have Google alerts set up for "apostrophe" and "punctuation," and someone had written a letter to the editor of the Bennington newspaper to complain about the punctuation errors. Thanks for your comments!

jblue said...

Brutal. Also, wouldn't the wording be better as son(s) and/or daughter(s)? Surely at least one mother has lost at least two sons or two daughters, or a son *and* a daughter.

Becky said...

"Sons and daughters" might make more sense. I think they are trying to single out each individual Gold Star Mother, but you are right. Tragically, one mother could lose more than one child.

Anonymous said...

But wait, it gets even worse. Becky tells us that "someone had written a letter to the editor of the Bennington newspaper to complain about the punctuation errors".

Here's an excerpt from that letter: "The apostrophe placed before the S in MOTHERS implies that we have only one Gold Star mother. Obviously it belongs after the S (MOTHERS') because — sadly — we have more than one grieving mother."

No, no, no!
The s isn't possessive, it's plural!
The apostrophe isn't just misplaced, it's extraneous!

*heavy sigh*

(I hope my post is error-free, or I shall die of shame.)

Becky said...

Yes, you are right about the letter to the editor. I wrote a comment on the newspaper's web site, but I didn't feel like going into it here. :)

SarahJane said...

oh my god. that is horrible.
and was there a son or daughter who managed to serve in all wars and conflicts? ouch, that smart(')s.

Anonymous said...

It's especially bad when this type of stupidity is carved in stone. I've seen it in cemeteries, but sadly, it is widely accepted and the culprits never accept any responsibility.