Thursday, August 25, 2011

America's Apostrophe Catastrophe: What's Up With The Abuse of That Puny Piece of Punctuation?


SHINE -- "The person who writes copy for Old Navy t-shirts has a pretty easy job. No puns, no of-the-moment cultural references, just a word about sports or summer, followed by a couple of exclamation points. It's hard to screw it up. But screw it up, someone did indeed. 

Hundreds of thousands of shirts from the retailer's new college football line have been shipped to stores with the phrase "Let's Go", sans apostrophe (see photo above). Major grammar fail. 

I can't say I don't relate. Apostrophes and commas are my left and right Achilles' heels. If only shirts were as easy to fix as blog posts." 

MP: Those pesky apostrophe's (sic), sometimes people forgot them like the T-shirt example above, but most of the time people add them where they don't belong (like the beginning of this sentence, or in 1970's and CEO's), here are five other recent example's from the comment's on CD:

1. Perhaps you really have to be in Texas to understand that it's economy is much broader than simply energy.

2. .....you have to look at a loan's underlying characteristics in order to determine it's real risk.....

3.  ….. society lived it's best decades in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s without these rules...

4.  At the time of it's fall the Soviet Union had a GDP roughly equivalent to Portugal's....

5. ....isn't that what McDonalds does to it's franchises?

10 Comments:

At 8/25/2011 12:22 PM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/25/2011 12:24 PM, OpenID davidlakeclayton said...

I'm reminded of one of my favorite comics of all time: http://www.gocomics.com/barneyandclyde/2011/01/15

 
At 8/25/2011 12:29 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

So now Professor Perry's going all grammar Nazi on us? (I worked in a correctly used apostrophe on this comment, and didn't even leave the "r" out of apostrophe.)

 
At 8/25/2011 1:15 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

The Playboy Club in Los Angeles, many moons ago, had a sign, fancy one, saying "Closed Sunday's."

Hef got laid a lot anyway, so then I decided that having money was more important than being smart.

And thats the way it's.

 
At 8/25/2011 3:44 PM, Blogger Free2Choose said...

I blame global warming.

 
At 8/25/2011 4:22 PM, Blogger Bruce Hall said...

It's Bush's fault. Two apostrophes in three words! A contraction and a possessive.

Do the shirts say, "Mad in China?"

 
At 8/25/2011 6:54 PM, Blogger geoih said...

With the way U of M defends its (it's? HA HA) block M logo, I'm betting Mary Sue has the lawyers all over this (or they're looking for somebody to hang internally).

 
At 8/25/2011 7:21 PM, Blogger Alan said...

There's nothing wrong with "1970's"; letters and numbers are two of the exceptions to the rule that you don't use an apostrophe to form a plural. "CEO's" is OK, too; I wouldn't write it that way, but doing so isn't an error.

 
At 8/28/2011 12:01 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

I knew the USA's educational efforts had fallen below even vaguely minimal standards when, in the early-mid 90s, a national TV commercial for HBO had the erroneous usage:
"Do they know its Saturday Night?" or some such term. For more than three months it aired before it got fixed.

Now, this is worse than it sounds -- how many language professionals had to see that and miss it? Copy editors, graphic editors, etc., as well as the rank and file people who ought to still be able to get it correctly. Not a one of them saw fit to fix it so they -- and their respective companies -- would not look like illiterate dumbasses.


Locally, there's a private emergency room with a big sign that says:"Walkin's Welcome".

Not sure who Walkin is, but his clinic is waiting breathlessly for his arrival.

Do you really, really want to trust your health to an illiterate bumpkin of a doctor?

 
At 8/28/2011 12:06 PM, Blogger Stan said...

Fraternities and sororities may be the worst. I don't think I've ever seen one of their homecoming signs at a college football game that didn't add the unnecessary apostrophe.

"ABC's say go team!"

 

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