Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson Catastrophe

Well, it was difficult to get anything accomplished today since the whole world was talking about Michael Jackson -- except for this hippie woman whom I witnessed hearing the news for the first time in Dunkin' Donuts at noon. Clearly, this woman doesn't own a TV, or even a radio. Speaking of the radio, I went to the Web site of Boston's top 40 station, Kiss 108, to see what the morning show folks had to say about the issue. Much to my chagrin, I found an apostrophe catastrophe on Matty in the Morning's homepage.

Why does Lisa's Fashion Tips get an apostrophe but Billy's entertainment report doesn't? Poor Billy. They always make fun of him on the air, and they can't even get the punctuation in his name right.

But I'll keep listening because you guys make me laugh every morning.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Macy's: A Repeat Offender

A grammatically incorrect t-shirt at Macy's inspired me to start this blog in the first place. And now the department store chain has provided some juicy blog fodder again. Lorraine, who was visiting New York City from Scotland, took this photo in the flagship store:

The Macy's in Herald Square is the world's largest store. How can they let an apostrophe catastrophe hang from the ceiling?

Thanks, Lorraine!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Don't Approve of Their Punctuation

As if I need another way to waste time on the Internet, Kate told me that she found the following apostrophe catastrophe using Google StreetView.

It's a little hard to see, but this car dealership added an errant apostrophe in the plural of Audi.

Thanks, Kate!

Keep those contributions coming, readers. Oh, and if you want to promote your own site, check out my new Scratchback widget on the right side of the page.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This Is Pretty Tacky, Even for Wal-Mart

Melissa sent in this sign from her local Wal-Mart:

She says that she thinks the sign writer wasn't sure about any of the apostrophes, so she placed three of them tentatively. Well, two out of three ain't bad!

Thanks, Melissa! And Happy (belated) Father's Day to all the fathers out there, especially mine.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Punctuation on Spin Cycle

My friend/former co-worker sent this a photo of a sign from a laundromat near his brother's apartment in Somerville:

He writes, "It looks like someone tried to edit it already. Was that you?"

Nope, it wasn't me, but I'm glad to see that there are other punctuation vigilantes in the Ville.

Thanks to Will for finding this extremely rare double-semicolon-and-comma catastrophe!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Farmers' Market for Farmer's?

FilmFather sent me an ad from the Wilmington News Journal that features an apostrophe catastrophe in the headline.

The word farmers in "Support Delaware Farmers" is plural, not possessive, so it shouldn't have an apostrophe in it. But should the phrase farmers market? The answer to that question is not so simple. According to Grammar Girl's discussion on this topic, the AP does not use an apostrophe in farmers market, while the Chicago Manual of Style does.

What do you think?

Thanks, Eric!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A New Way to Screw Up

Andrew found an especially unusual apostrophe catastrophe in South Wales.

I'll bet the sign makers had a conversation that went something like this:
Bloke 1: "Should it be your or you're?"
Bloke 2: "I'm not sure. Let's use a combination of the two to be safe."


Thanks, Andrew!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Does Your Dad Rock?

The third Sunday in June is called Father's Day, but if you're talking about several dads, leave out that apostrophe. Newbury Comics screwed this up in their e-newsletter.

Also, are they saying that the gifts are for rockin' dads or that the gifts themselves rock? If it's the former, the e-mail should say "gifts for dads who rock." It annoys me no end when speakers and writers refer to people using the pronoun that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Swine Flu Symptoms

I think someone with the swine flu came by and added apostrophes all over these signs.

He or she must have been delirious with fever. Losing the ability to punctuate is the scariest symptom of swine flu I've heard. Pass the hand sanitizer!

[Photo taken on Front Street in Hamilton, Bermuda]

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Regular Menace to Society

For the last time, readers, if you are going to get a tattoo, make sure someone proofreads the text before you get inked.

Perhaps the tattooed dude was so upset about the punctuation errors and misspellings on his arm that he wrote the following message for the tattoo artist.

That's a little bit creepy! I wouldn't dare correct that guy's punctuation. Um, dude, if you're reading this blog, your graffiti looks lovely! IM doesn't need an apostrophe!

Thanks to Matthew for sending in these disturbing images.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Red Card for Punctuation Violation

This Aston Villa fan was apparently too upset by the prospect of Gareth Barry leaving the team that he forgot how to use proper punctuation. Or maybe he's upside-down dyslexic.

Thanks to Neil for sending this one in!

A Rare Apostrophe Success

Readers, get ready to be shocked. I'm about to say something nice! My Google alerts informed me that D'Agostino Supermarkets redesigned its logo to feature the apostrophe in its name more prominently.

I love it! I would totally shop there if I lived in New York.

Kudos, D'Agostino Supermarkets!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lloyds Not Destined for Greatness

Paul wrote in to inform us that Lloyds TSB committed an apostrophe catastrophe in the documents that accompany its Term Deposit accounts. You can see it online, under Reinvestment, and on the hard copy that Paul received in the mail and photographed for us.

The apostrophe after days is unnecessary and wrong. But what can we expect from a company that is missing an apostrophe in its own name?* To quote Say Anything, "Lloyd, Lloyd, all null and void..."

Cheers, Paul! You're a smart investor, and you have a keen eye for punctuation.

* According to my Internet research, this institution was called Lloyds' Bank until 1889 when they it dropped the apostrophe.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stating the Obvious

When I saw this sign in the bathroom of the Baseball Tavern in Boston, I was less concerned about the apostrophe catastrophe in employees than I was about why the management felt the need to post this handmade sign in the first place.

Presumably there was an incident involving employees not washing their hands, which is disturbing. But not nearly as disturbing as this sign that is posted in one of my office's kitchens:

I think the grammar is fine (unless there are errors in the Spanish or Chinese versions), but it made me laugh for about five minutes when my coworker showed it to me, so I decided that I had to share it with my readers. Seriously, who would blow their nose in the sink? In an office! I hope you guys enjoy this tri-lingual classic as much as I did.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Shaken Not Stirred

Just like the title of this blog posting, the following apostrophe catastrophe is becoming a cliché.

Putting an apostrophe in martinis is a classic error. But wow, these martinis have five ounces of liquor in them?! Is that even legal? I'm pretty sure you couldn't serve that in Massachusetts. Puritans....

Thanks to Keegan for sending this one in!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bankrupt Punctuation

My friend Rob spotted an apostrophe catastrophe in the third line of a blurb about Filene's Basement.

I guess the Globe's staff is too preoccupied by the threat of being shut down to learn the difference between its and it's.

Thanks, Rob!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Susan Boyle Madness

Poor Susan Boyle. According to The Sun, the pressure of the Britain's Got Talent finale has driven the homely Scottish songbird into the hospital for "exhaustion," which we all know is celebrity code for "craziness." To add insult to injury, Ms. Boyle's neighbors welcomed her home with a catastrophe-laden sign.

That's enough to send her right back to the loony bin!

But seriously, I wish Susan Boyle nothing but the best. She seems like a sweet lady, and her voice has melted the heart of millions, even Simon Cowell's.

Thanks to Robb for sending me a link to this horrific sign.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Specializing in Catastrophic Hair

Kate sent me this photo from Cranston, Rhode Island:

I'm assuming that the pet grooming place on the left is owned by someone named Pally, so maybe the salon is owned by someone named Expression. It's possible! But more likely, this is just another apostrophe catastrophe.

Thanks, Kate!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Completely and Utterly Wrong

Stacy submitted what might be a first for this blog: a sign on which all of the words contain apostrophe catastrophes. Spotted in San Francisco, this sign has four words on it, and all four feature errant apostrophes. This has to be some kind of record.

Here's a tip for you: learn some proper grammar!

Thanks, Stacy!

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.