Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Poor Abused Apostrophe

Doesn't it drive you NUTS?!

Is it really that hard to remember how to use an apostrophe correctly?*

I recently went shopping and decided on the way home to read the message on the bag:

Well. As great as the message is (and it really is great - saving the world one bag at a time) I just couldn't get past the its with no apostrophe! And I had to wonder if they did it on purpose so that people like me will have a reason to remember the message on their bag, or if they just don't know how to write English!

In case you're in any doubt as to how the poor, much-abused apostrophe should actually be used, do check out the Apostrophe Protection Society. (Yes, this poor, innocent little piece of punctuation has been so abused that a society now exists to protect it!)

Does this bother you as much as it bothers me?
Or do you really not care that much?

*If I have offended anyone, I do apologise. I know how easy it is when typing in haste for the little apostrophe to find itself hanging in odd places! And if you ever see me misusing one, feel free to beat me over the head with something. Hard.


Jodi Henry said...

Miss use of this little guy bugs me.

The one I saw three times a week for thirty-two weeks last year at my morning coffee stop on the way to school still gets me:

Windsock's for sale. (As in multiple windsocks for sale) it was on a hand carved and beautifully painted sign and used completly wrong. But at least the owner was consistent with her mistakes and used them in her other ads for different coffee drinks.

THE OWNER! How do these pople get business liscenses?

Nice post.


C. N. Nevets said...

I'm not sure if I'm more bothered by the abuse of apostrophes ("apostrophe's") or by the mis-use of quotes.

I "think" I the latter more. (grimace)

But I share your general anger.

The Golden Eagle said...

I don't like it either when people misuse the apostrophe. It really isn't so difficult to remember, if you think about what you're trying to say.

Quinn said...

This is something that is easy to miss when you're typing along quickly. They just slip in or refuse to appear sometimes. But that's no excuse for something like this (the message you posted above). With something like that, it should have been edite and looked over by various people.

It annoys me, but ... I can understand it sometimes.

Kristina Fugate said...

That would just kill me. I'd have to go through with a pen and put the apostrophes there myself.

Marieke said...

It bothers me. But I'm a bit of a grammar geek anyway - I'd be there next to Kristina to change it! ;)

Abby Minard said...

It's one thing to forget an apostrophe when typing a quick message or a status on facebook. It's quite another to forget one when printing out millions of bags for the public. And, I do get annoyed when people don't use it correctly or don't use it at all and the whole meaning of the word changes. Biggest pet peeve on facebook: saying "your" instead of "you're". I know a couple people that do it ALL THE TIME. Okay, if you forget once, that's fine. But seriously. Not all the time. Okay I admit, I have a huge problem with it.

Grandpa said...

Rachel, I share your pain. I'm glad a society now exists!

And I agree with Abby - "your" instead of "you're" is very common. I think they go by the sound

L'Aussie said...

Ooh, Rachel, we blogger's will be too scare'd to write comment's 'cause well be afraid our apostrophes' will not be in it's place.

Sorree, but those bags were most probably printed in a foreign country and apostrophes would be way down on the list of important English grammar. However, it is annoying to walk/drive around and see apostrophe abuse - restaurant menus are a great example.

Just gotta turn a blind eye sometimes, grr...

Anonymous said...

It's one of my pet peeves too, and I'm not even a native speaker. But if I can tell my its from my it's and my there from my they're and their then (and not than) so should native speakers!

Yes, it bothers me a lot.

Ellie said...

There should be laws against it!

Rachel Morgan said...

Ha, ha! So glad I'm not the only one ticked off by these errors!

LadyJai said...

Oh My Gosh! I can't believe I now know I am not the only one who is a stickler for proper grammar, especially when you print it for the world to see! :D

Julie Hedlund said...

Not only does it bother me, it is one of my BIGGEST GRAMMAR PET PEEVES. Secretly, whenever I see a misuse, I start to have doubts about that person's (see how I used that apostrophe) intelligence. Yes, sometimes it's a typo (again the apostrophe), but that doesn't explain your (possessive) vs. you're (contraction). Come on, there's (another apostrophe) a whole extra letter on the contraction!

Rachael Harrie said...

Tee hee, I spent a year in Japan and some of the sayings they have on bags and T-shirts over there are HILARIOUS! They're meant to be in English, but they don't...quite...get there :)


Adina West said...

Love your photo Rachel. They didn't just get it wrong once, they did it again, and again, and again. Oops.

At least they're consistent. But is that a good thing in this case?


Brooke R. Busse said...

-twitch twitch- Why did you have to make me look at that? Why?

My biggest thing is you're and your. It makes me want to cringe.