Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Tree Catastrophe

Melissa was horrified to discover that the tree skirt she purchased contained an apostrophe catastrophe:

She says she may embroider a red editor's mark around the errant apostrophe so visitors to her home know that she's aware of the mistake. Great idea! I'd love to see the finished product!

Thanks, Melissa!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Day Belongs to Christmas

Stephen sent me this sign from a gas station in Portland, Oregon:

He missed out on filling up his gas tank, but he scored an apostrophe catastrophe!

Thanks, Stephen! And Happy Holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sleigh Bell Is Ring

My friend Merry found this apostrophe catastrophe in the bathroom of a Somerville apartment.

Thanks, Merry!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Week's Special: Apostrophe Catastrophes

Nearly everyone who has ever gone to the Somerville Market Basket has a ridiculous story about something they have witnessed there. If you can brave the crowds, you'll emerge with a cart full of bargains.

You may also have to avert your eyes from the bad punctuation.

But the same food would cost about three times as much at Whole Foods, so you'll keep going back.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Satanic Apostrophe Catastrophe

Glenn Danzig, I don't know a lot about religion, but isn't there only supposed to be one Satan?

Clearly, the devil removed the apostrophe from this album cover. The wikipedia entry, and even the URL for the wikipedia entry, include the proper apostrophe. Being inconsistent is even worse than being wrong.

Thanks to Sam for sending me this truly evil apostrophe catastrophe!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

F1 Boston Catastrophe

I went to F1 Boston a couple of weeks ago for go-kart racing, which was a blast -- until I spotted this apostrophe catastrophe (confusing your and you're).

I am apparently terrible at race-car driving, but it was fun anyway. Also, for you bargain-hunters out there, you get to race for free on your birthday!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New York Public Transportation Catastrophe

I don't tend to post photos that have been posted elsewhere, but this one, originally posted on Gothamist, was too good not to share.

L.e.s.t.e.r. took this photo and Gothamist used it in its piece about MTA typos.

Thanks to L.e.s.t.e.r., Gothamist, and my friend Marisa for making me aware of New York's typo problem. If New York was able to clean up Times Square, it ought to be able to fix a few pesky grammatical errors.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Doctor Is Parking

This sign, which Katie spotted at Sutter Memorial Hospital, implies that the hospital employs only one doctor.

You guys should fix that, stat!

Thanks, Katie!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

County Council Catastrophe

Bradley sent me this catastrophic image from a Utah county councilman's website:

I guess our tax's [sic] aren't going toward English classes at school.

Thanks, Bradley!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Apostrophe Catastrophe on TV

Kathleen spotted this one watching The First 48.

She writes, "This sign appeared in the Crime Stoppers division of the Selby County office in Memphis, TN." Crime stopper is what?

Good catch with the DVR!

Thanks, Kathleen!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Nate couldn't believe his eyes when he found this apostrophe catastrophe at a video store in Parma, Ohio:

This movie looks so bad that I don't even know where to begin mocking it.

Nate found another cover without the apostrophe catastrophe, but apparently the $1.99 version was never fixed. I looked at IMDB and found that the movie is also called A Cat's Tale, but I guess they decided to shorten it to Cat's for the DVD. This is bizarre and horrendous!

Thanks, Nate!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Celtics Beat the Heat!

The Celtics started the 2010-2011 season strong by beating LeBron James and the Miami Heat handily. Highlights included:

  • Shaq hitting his first free-throw as a Celtic (it looked ugly, but it went in!)
  • The balcony starting an "overrated" chant
  • The sign that said "Queen James"
It felt like June, complete with hot weather in Boston! But the icing on the cake was finding these badly punctuated Heat t-shirts.

Don't worry, boys, I'm not hating; I'm gloating.

Update: I found the website that sells these t-shirts. Has no one thought to inform them that their products are grammatically incorrect?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tim Burton Catastrophe

Tim Burton may be a genius, but his grammar could use some work. John snapped a photo of this catastrophic painting while visiting the MoMA.

Interestingly, MoMA's website about the Tim Burton exhibit uses correct punctuation, thus changing the name of the painting.

Thanks to John for sending this photo!

Friday, October 22, 2010

It Takes One to Know One

I'm pretty sure that this sticker, sold by STH Body Jewelry, is not meant to be ironic.

Besides the grammatical error, the sentiment of the sticker is douche-tastic.

Thanks to Sam for sending me this catastrophe!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Have a Serious Beef with this Sign

Hannah and her husband spotted this apostrophe catastrophe at the Champlain Valley Fair in Essex, Vermont:

According to some dictionaries, the plural of beef is beeves, so beefs would be questionable even without the apostrophe!

Thanks, Hannah!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Double Nacho Catastrophe

What kind of apostrophe catastrophe is not yours?

Nacho catastrophe! Twice!

Thanks to Scott for taking this photo at a county fair in New York.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Open Days Are Here Again

Grace, who sent in this apostrophe catastrophe from Southampton University (UK), writes, "Anyone thinking of studying English there should probably watch out!"

An "open day" would probably be called an "open house" in the U.S.

Thanks, Grace!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apostrophe Castrophe for All Eternity

An anonymous reader sent in this apostrophe catastrophe from a cemetery near his/her house.

The submitter writes, "I hope Bill and Eleanor's journey into the Great Hereafter allows them to be forgiving of their next-of-kin and/or the maker of this headstone."

And I hope I am forgiven for posting this in cyberspace.

Thanks, DPV!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Is 3 PM to 7 PM

Here's another apostrophe from Jason in New Jersey:

Friday is 3 pm to 7 pm and farmer is market.

Thanks, Jason!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Big Loser Catastrophe

My friend/former coworker Amy sent in this badly punctuated book cover:

We think the exclamation point is OK for emphasis, but there should also be a question mark there. Interrobang!

Thanks, Amy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Todd Palin Angry E-mail Catastrophe

Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, apparently sent an angry e-mail to Joe Miller after Miller refused to endorse Sarah for president.

The grammar and punctuation in Todd's e-mail are appalling! The worst part is when he writes, "Put yourself in her shoe's Joe for one day."

Shoe is Joe? What does that mean?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In Reality, This Is a Catastrophe

Why, oh, why does Terrell Owens have a reality show? Clearly, the show is too low budget to hire a proofreader, as evidenced by this apostrophe catastrophe.

Thanks to my friend Merry for sending in this catastrophe! I wonder why she was watching the T.O. Show anyway...

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Unwan'ted Apostrophe

Sometimes readers send me punctuation errors that seem familiar. But this one -- my first from Tasmania! -- manages to find a unique to screw up apostrophe placement:

I think the headline should have a question mark at the end of it, and the text in white should have a period at the end. Some style guides would say that DVD's is an apostrophe catastrophe as well, but that varies based on the style guide.

Thanks to Kim for sending in this gem from a magazine about horses. She also came up with this headline! Very clever!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy National Punctuation Day!

At this bar in Washington, DC, called My Brother's Place, there's an apostrophe catastrophe for every day of the week!

Except Friday! Maybe that's in honor of the fact that National Punctuation Day falls on a Friday this year.

Here's a haiku I submitted to the National Punctuation Day haiku contest:
So many errors!
Catastrophes make me [sic]
Who taught you grammar?

What are you all doing to celebrate?

Thanks to Amanda for sending in this photo!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

National Punctuation Day Eve

Tomorrow is National Punctuation Day. I hope all of my readers have bought gifts for me! To me, NPD is more romantic than Valentine's Day.

Not everyone appreciates this wonderful holiday, however. For instance, whoever made this sign (Sid?) somehow managed to mispunctuate every single word.

Thanks to Jeremy for sending in this photo, which he took from a Silver Line bus in Boston's South End.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Walmart Sign Catastrophe

Jessie and her husband spotted this catastrophic sign at a Walmart in Oklahoma:

The cashiers are clearly not "the greatest" at spelling and punctuation.

Check out Jessie's blog here

Thanks, Jessie!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This Time, Baby, I Feel Bullyproof

Scott sent in this two-for-one apostrophe catastrophe (see the bottom left side of the flyer):

(Click the photo to embiggen.)

Not sure the kid is really yours? This is the martial arts academy for you!

Thanks, Scott!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Amish Apostrophe Catastrophe

J found this example of bad punctuation/misspelling in Mesopotamia, Ohio.

The buggy's [sic] refer to the vehicles that the Amish drive. I guess spell-checker is too technologically advanced for them?

Thanks, J!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sundae's, Sundae's, Sundae's!

My friend/former co-worker Fiona found this apostrophe catastrophe in Hampton Beach, NH:

If you look closely, you can see the same sign reflected in the glass of the freezer. It's a lovely photo but a hideous apostrophe catastrophe.

Thanks, Fiona!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trois Catastrophes

Lauren snapped this photo in Montmartre (Paris):

Quelle Horreur!

Thanks, Lauren!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Catastrophe at the Nike Store

Salvador spotted this apostrophe catastrophe at a Nike Store in the Philippines (Manila):

As Salvador points out, the lack of apostrophe in mens is exacerbated by the fact that the sign next to it just says "women." Those are some strange-looking women....

Check out Salvador's blog here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Eternal Ridicule

I feel slightly guilty posting today's apostrophe catastrophe because it is a photo of someone's gravestone. But really, if you are going to carve something in stone, you should really proofread it first.

The Bette Midler quote uses "your" instead of "you're," and it should have a question mark at the end.

Cathy, who submitted this catastrophe, came up with the "eternal ridicule" headline, and her parents, Rose and Doug, took the photo while they were on a vacation in Vermont. So, I'm just the messenger here.

Thanks, Cathy, Rose, and Doug!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Case of the Monday's

Chili's is a big, chain restaurant, but apparently no one proofreads its banners. Michelle found this apostrophe catastrophe at a Chili's in Virginia.

Sadly, it was after she had already eaten there. "We were too hungry to look up before we went in," she writes.

Thanks, Michelle!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Burned by an Apostrophe Catastrophe

Natalie writes, "Desperately bored at work today I resorted to playing Burn Notice games on USA's website. I was happily finding out what kind of spy I would be when I was completely derailed by this apostrophe catastrophe."

Feel the burn.

Thanks, Natalie!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Apostrophe Song

The geniuses at Cool Rules present "The Apostrophe Song." Prepare to have this song be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

Thank you to Cindy for bringing this video to my attention! I love it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Employee Is Only

Only one employee can climb this ladder, and she is an exclamation point.

Jason spotted this apostrophe catastrophe at a Lowe's in New Jersey.

Thanks, Jason!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Pig Breathes into a Saxophone

The slogan for Fat Jack's BBQ in Audubon, NJ, reads "Real Hickory Smoked BBQ at it is best."

Its = pronoun showing possession
It's = it is

The logo with the Blues Brothers-esque pig is pretty hideous, too.

Thanks for Jason for sending in this apostrophe catastrophe!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We Are Quite Appalled

Lauren spotted this egregious punctuation error at Harrods in London.

How shockingly un-posh! What would the queen say if she saw it?

Thanks, Lauren!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do You Recall This Egg Catastrophe?

This cartoon woman in the Fresh Pond (Cambridge) Trader Joe's should cross eggs off her shopping list. Or at least remove the offending apostrophe.

Maybe one symptom of salmonella is the inability to use proper punctuation. I still love you, Trader Joe's.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Best Authors and Parents Ever

Today's apostrophe catastrophe comes to us from my parents, who are both authors and who are both awesome, so I'm taking an opportunity to shamelessly promote them.

My mom writes, "We, Becky’s parents, were horrified (and delighted at the same time) to encounter an apostrophe catastrophe on this road sign on a rural road in Oregon. Several miles down the road, we saw that the punctuation lapse was not made by the restaurant itself but by whatever state department is in charge of road signs. However, we still consider the spelling of Becky as Beckie to be a minor catastrophe."

Here's the road sign followed by the restaurant sign:

Check out my mom's website here and her latest children's book here. And here are my dad's books on Amazon.

Thanks, guys! <3

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Driving to work one morning, I spotted an apostrophe catastrophe much like the one in this photo:

I was on the phone with my mother at the time, and I gasped. I would have hung up on her to snap a photo of the catastrophe (sorry, Mom!), but the truck turned, and I was devastated to have missed it. I did a Google image search for Taylor Rental trucks, but nothing came up. I resigned myself that this Taylor Rental apostrophe catastrophe would be my white whale.

Miraculously, just a few days later, I received an e-mail from Lindy with the above photo attached! It made my day, and not just because she signed the e-mail "one of your many loyal readers."

Thanks, Lindy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

That's a Wrap!

Alan found this apostrophe catastrophe at the Parsley Mediterranean Grill in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

When Alan went inside to alert the staff that their sign contained an egregious punctuation error, an employee said, "You came in here just to tell me that? Go [expletive] yourself!”

Thanks, Alan! And I'm sorry for the verbal harassment! Check out Alan's full account of these events here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bad Punctuation Is A-Brewin'

Melissa E. spotted this apostrophe catastrophe in Morris, IL:

She decided not to stop there because she decided that their bad punctuation was probably indicative of bad coffee.

Aside from the bad punctuation, I think Brewed Awakening's is a bad name for a coffee shop in general because it's a pun on rude awakenings, and I don't really want to be rudely awakened by coffee. Coffee is a beautiful thing.

Thanks, Melissa! Check out Melissa's blog here.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It Takes One to Know One

This is one of the best catastrophes we've had in a while:

Scott, who uploaded this photo to the Apostrophe Catastrophes Facebook group tells us he had to stare at this guy's t-shirt for 40 minutes while waiting in line for baked potatoes at the Big E in West Springfield, Mass.

Oh, the level of stupidity in this world never ceases to amaze me.

Thanks, Scott!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Someone Needs to Be Pun-ished

Sara sent me this apostrophe catastrophe that her four-year-old son brought home with him from summer camp.

The watermelon art project is cute, and the cheesy pun doesn't bother me, but you're/your confusion is unacceptable.

Thanks for the juicy catastrophe, Sara!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Funs Are Out There

Carrie spotted this apostrophe catastrophe at the Granby, Colorado, 4th of July Parade:

Not sure about funs', but bad punctuation is certainly out there.

Thanks, Carrie!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Punctuation Hospital

I don't believe anything that the Tray Valet claims. It says it would be perfect for a home or a school, but the only place where it belongs is a hospital. And speaking of hospitals, someone needs to fix the punctuation on the third bullet point down. Stat!

Chair's and sofa's? This thing is hemorrhaging bad punctuation.

Thanks to Katie for sending in this catastrophe from a CVS in Tyler, TX.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Automatic Urinal Catastrophe

In a classic e-mail to Apostrophe Catastrophes, Scott writes, "I found this on an automatic urinal in Jerusalem."

So, the machine doesn't work on the sabbath, which makes it kosher, I suppose, but does that mean you can't pee into it on Saturdays?

This blog entry is dedicated to my brother who loves automatic urinals and is going to Israel soon himself.

Thanks, Scott!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

All Age Is Dance Club

This dance club in Seattle was apparently shut down by the apostrophe police.

Too bad! It looks like it was quite the classy joint!

Thanks to Becky for sending this one in.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kentucky American Is...

Mark, who sent in this apostrophe catastrophe, thinks maybe there is only one Kentuckian with a disability.

Well, if the inability to use proper punctuation counts as a disability, that one Kentuckian designed this logo. And doesn't the whole concept of Kentucky American's [sic] seem redundant?

Thanks, Mark! Check out Mark's blog here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

These Pretzel's Are Making Me [Sic]

Free coffee and Auntie Anne's pretzels? I'm there! Please hold the apostrophe catastrophe, though.

Thanks to Jerome for sending this in!