Monday, August 31, 2009

Movin' into an Aptm'

Today and tomorrow are among the busiest days of the year in Boston as students and young professionals move in and out of their Sept. 1 apartments. I know at least 20 people who are moving or who have recently moved, including my friend Paul, who moved into a building featuring a bizarre abbreviation/apostrophe catastrophe.

Apostrophes can indicate missing letters, so ap'tm's might be OK, but Aptm's strikes me as very odd. I don't know if I could live there!

Thanks to Rich for taking the photo. Good luck with moving!

Friday, August 28, 2009

If You Own Up

I was hanging out with my friend Amy last night, and I brought up Apostrophe Catastrophes as we were looking at the menu, and sure enough, the menu contained a glaring grammatical error.

Firefly's web site makes the same mistake, among others. Incidentally, have you ever walked around Boston on a Sunday morning between 9 and 11 a.m.? There are very few early birds around; most people are still sleeping it off.

Grammatical errors aside, Firefly had excellent food. We had some delicious strawberry and spinach salad and spicy portobello mushroom pizza.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

John Bonham, on the other hand....

This shop in Indianapolis would like to remind us that Robert Plant is still with us.

Molly, who sent in this catastrophe, said she has always wanted to go in and ask who Plant is. I think she should do it and report back to us, right?

Thanks, Molly!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Punctuation Breakdown

Look at the bottom of this screenshot for a unique way to misuse the apostrophe:

I'll bet the Service Honda folks didn't know the difference between your and you're so they decided to split the difference.

Thanks to Kim for sending in this catastrophe -- and to her brother for finding it while shopping for parts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Which Witch Misuses Which Apostrophe?

Lorraine found this apostrophe catastrophe in a craft shop in Monymusk, Aberdeenshire (Scotland):

I don't want to criticize it too much because I'm afraid the Witch might put a spell on me. And why is Witch capitalized?

Thanks, Lorraine!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kid's for Sale

This store in Cordova, Tenn., appears to be selling futons, kid's [sic], and beds.

I wonder if anyone ever goes into the store and asks to buy a kid.

Thanks to Lisa for sending this one in!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Do You Say Catastrophe in Swedish?

At the Charlotte IKEA, Michelle noticed more than just the low prices.

Perhaps they're saving money on ink.

Thanks, Michelle!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Heart Attack on a Stick

Unlike most of the food being sold at the Wisconsin State Fair, the strawberry crepe's [sic] didn't come on a stick.

As tempting as cheesecake on a stick sounded, I went with bacon-wrapped water chesnuts. Seriously. And now I am seriously on a diet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Chosen Catastrophe

If you're tweeting about religion, it's probably wise to spell the names of Biblical figures correctly. Shame on you, @JewishTweets. To you I say the opposite of mazel tov.

Besides the apostrophe catastrophe, this tweet also contains a comma calamity because Moses had only one brother. So, it should read, Moses' brother, Aaron.

Thanks to Adina for sending this one in. As the Black Eyed Peas might say, l'chaim!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

America's #1 Selling Ball. Period!

My friend Rich e-mailed me this photo with the subject "This is not a sentence."

He's right. Also, what's a "selling ball"?

Thanks, Rich!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Steak's, Cocktail's, and Baby

Mmm... nothing like a delicious meal of steak, cocktails, and baby, with two sides of apostrophe catastrophe.

Thanks to Brian, a frequent contributor to Apostrophe Catastrophes, for sending in this photo that his sister took in Cesky Krumlov, in the Czech Republic.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Carwash Antenna Apostrophe

This carwash in LA seems very concerned about antenna's [sic].

Thanks to Ben for sending in this double apostrophe catastrophe!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Twitter Fail Catastrophe

So, apparently, Twitter wasn't working this morning, which caused all kind of chaos on the Internet, including apostrophe failure over at

Credit goes to Tom for sending the above screenshots and coining the phrase "grammar fail whale." In case you don't get the joke, it's clever Twitter humor. I still don't entirely understand what DDOS means, though.

Speaking of Twitter, you can follow Apostrophe Catastrophes at

Thanks, Tom!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Add an Extra 'S' for Savings?

Remember those Mattress Discounters commercials that said to "leave off the last 's' for savings"? Apparently, this mattress place in Aberdeen, Scotland, takes the opposite approach with its branding.

Thanks to Lorraine for sending this one in!

Public Service Announcement: Did you know that you can haggle when buying a mattress? It's just like buying a car. The sticker price of the mattress that I recently bought from Sleepy's was $1299, and I ended up paying $483 for it (plus delivery charge). Readers, it would be a catastrophe to pay too much for your next furniture purchase.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Yankees (and Mets) Suck (at Punctuation)

The Metropolitan Transit Authority is so complex. They are able to use semicolons correctly, but they don't know the difference between its and it's. See the last sentences of each of the blurbs below.

Thanks to my friend John (a.k.a. my friend Stephanie's fiance) for sending this one in!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Who Is Reality?

Vireya spotted an apostrophe catastrophe in the online version of The Age, which she says tends to be Melbourne, Australia's, "better newspaper."

Who is reality is it anyway? That's deep, man...

Thanks, Vireya!