To not buy a product due to erroneous apostrophes?

(203 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 18:10:57

It is an otherwise appropriate product and to be fair, there is only one misuse of apostrophe. I can even see why they have placed it; if in doubt add an apostrophe, right? Wrong.

But, it makes me think they have not had their website proofread, which then leads me think they are not such a professional business. This in turn concerns me should there be a problem with the product in terms of customer service and aftercare. And, if I am completely honest, it makes me feel a little bit irrationally grumpy.

Am I Being Unreasonable? DH thinks I am being so.

Nanny0gg Sun 23-Jun-13 18:11:56


PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 18:12:08

I can see several issues with my own grammar, but a) this is not my business b) this is not 'pedants' corner' and so I don't need to be perfect myself wink

You are being positively reasonable. Phoning them up and telling them why you are not using their company would also be reasonable. A petrol bomb would probably be slightly unreasonable.

YA definitely definitely NBU!!

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 23-Jun-13 18:49:13

Yanbu at all. I once marched up to John Lewis customer services to complain about a 'DVD'S' sign. They looked at me like I was barking, but who cares. This is John Lewis we're talking about. It's an outrage.

primallass Sun 23-Jun-13 18:50:34

YABU not posting a link.

superlambanana Sun 23-Jun-13 18:51:00


Kitten, I alway get annoyed about that too. However, my mum aka grammar pedantry personified grin says that this is correct.

Can anyone clear this one up?

superlambanana Sun 23-Jun-13 18:51:31

To clarify - apparently it's correct to use an apostrophe after an abbreviation.

I also think YANBU; I wouldn't buy from them either.

I was recently annoyed to see 'this will effect your wireless connection' on the EE website.

YANBU, I was never allowed anything from toys r us because of the terrible spelling and grammar.

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 23-Jun-13 18:55:40

It is not correct. I was an editor for 20 years. If you are using an apostrophe after an abbreviation, logically you would have D'V'D's as all of the words are abbreviated. Why not have an apostrophe after DVD in that case. Rubbish. Very cross now.

treaclesoda Sun 23-Jun-13 19:00:33


Your reaction seem's reasonable to me. See what I did there? wink

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sun 23-Jun-13 19:02:49

Come on - you might as well tell us what it is, you know you'll have to eventually grin

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 23-Jun-13 19:03:17

The only reason to use an apostrophe after DVD would be if you were using the possessive, i.e. if you were talking about something that belonged to the DVD, eg, the DVD's jacket.

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 23-Jun-13 19:06:41

I'm so wound up I had to have a cigarrette.

lashingsofbingeinghere Sun 23-Jun-13 19:18:03


We must stamp out apostrophe abuse wherever we find it.

Scholes34 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:21:42

One of my favourite sentences is "It's on its way".

LittleMissGerardButlerfan Sun 23-Jun-13 19:25:24

Inappropriate apostrophe use makes me angry

If they are slack on things like that, imagine what else they let slide?

I am also intrigued what the product is

tupuedes Sun 23-Jun-13 19:38:26

DVD's is ok on the basis that apostrophes can be used to clarify the meaning of the S, is in this case it shows the s is not part of the initialism.

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 23-Jun-13 19:44:46

No, it can't. Wrong wrong wrong. If you want to clarify, put DVDs.
Where does it say this? In the crappy guide to crappy English?

primallass Sun 23-Jun-13 19:44:51

KittensoftPuppydog It is not correct. I was an editor for 20 years. If you are using an apostrophe after an abbreviation, logically you would have D'V'D's as all of the words are abbreviated.

^^ This. I am an editor now grin

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 23-Jun-13 19:45:32

And I think you mean acronym.

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 23-Jun-13 19:47:20


kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:49:53

Seen in Sainsburies in Selby.

Police Officer's patrol this store. (An official North Yorkshire police sign)

It annoyed me - especially as I'd just done a lesson on possessive apostrophes with year 5.

tupuedes Sun 23-Jun-13 19:54:28

Initialism is the correct term for DVD.

I'll retract what I said about DVD's being correct, having reviewed the source it seems to suggest that is wrong, but apostrophes can be used to clarify the structure of unusual words.

EleanorFarjeon Sun 23-Jun-13 19:56:04


Geordieminx Sun 23-Jun-13 19:56:12

I complained to Head of HR this week as our company job board always has "Edinburgh and Lothian's" as a location.

It makes my teeth hurt.

mirai Sun 23-Jun-13 19:58:41

DVD's is NOT correct.


snooter Sun 23-Jun-13 19:59:43

I avoid a local greengrocer because it sells potatoe's and strawberrie's - worse IMO than potato's and strawberry's which are at least correct in some circumstances. The other greengrocer can spell.

Seen in Sainsburies in Selby.

Marrow Sun 23-Jun-13 20:00:54

YANBU. I frequently boycott companies and products that can't be bothered to check their grammar.

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:01:59

FFS I always do that.

I just want to change "Y" to "ie". I can't help it. It's the primary teacher in me.


snooter Sun 23-Jun-13 20:02:33

Sainsburies - yes, funny - might have been in all of the Sainburies though rather than the one Sainsbury grin

lol kim it's compulsory to provide an amusing grammar error in a thread about bad grammar.

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:06:47

I always spell that wrong. Not that I spell it often but when I do, I spell it wrong.

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:08:09

Kim. Do you mean Sainsburys?

TheRealFellatio Sun 23-Jun-13 20:08:25

YANBU. We must have standards goddammit, or the world will fall apart.

Does anyone remember those crispy snack things being called Crinkly's when they first came outt? They were made my McVities I think, who really should have known better. After a while I think they dropped the apostrophe (presumably to appease a rabid bunch of pedants who thought the sky was falling in) but they still called them Crinklys which is barely any better.

If I ran McVities I would make sure heads rolled and someone went without a reference and a pension over a mistake like that. I can't believe it got that far and no-one noticed. Not ad-men, not graphic designers, not copywriters, not printers....shock Shocking.

Nanny0gg Sun 23-Jun-13 20:11:58

Um. Surely Sainsbury's is correct as it refers to Sainsbury's Supermarket.
Otherwise it is Sainsbury.

And well said KittensoftPuppydog

Anyone arguing, do we say MP's? No. So we don't say DVD's.

Tesco, however isn't sure, as their big aisle banner says DVDs and the small one on the section says DVD's...

tupuedes Sun 23-Jun-13 20:12:35

Maybe they were invented by Mr Crinkly from the R&D department?

AmIthatSpringy Sun 23-Jun-13 20:15:42


oh and angry at DVD's.

Of course it's DVDs, with the small "s"

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:15:44

According to website, it's Sainsbury's.

I don't shop there any more.
I go to Morrisons. Or is it Morrison's?

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:15:55

I used to teach literacy to adults and it always depressed me that so many people not only didn't know how to use punctuation correctly, they didn't see it as important.
Usually got a laugh when I wrote 'Dicks in tray' on the board though.
(As opposed to Dick's in-tray, obv).

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:17:05

So Sainsbury started Sainsbury's.
And WM Morrison started Morrisons.

<But no one started Sainsburies>

Don't get me started on Tesco's and Asda's.

tupuedes Sun 23-Jun-13 20:20:19

It's always quite interesting that people get so anal over grammar but then have a good laugh about how they "can't do maths". When maths is in fact a vastly more important skill.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:20:30

There's a Beauty Parlour/Hairdresser near here called "Your Beautiful".

Your beautiful what??

Your beautiful waxed twat?
Your beautiful eyebrows?
Your beautiful fringe?

How did this get past a Sign Maker - that depresses me - someone whose job is words

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:21:10



That would not fill me with confidence

SueDoku Sun 23-Jun-13 20:21:23

Sadly, Sainsburys have now officially dropped the apostrophe from their name thus losing my custom for ever , so Sainsburys is now correct (DVD's on the other hand, most definitely is not...!) hmm

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:22:06

Tesco and Asda brands don't add possessive s , though. I think Debenhams doesn't have one either.

According to their website, Waitrose are selling nappie sacks.

It didn't stop me pressing the "place order" button as I have a £15 voucher. Even pedants have their price.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:23:26

Because Tesco isn't a person, nor is Asda, whereas Mr Sainsbury was

Tesco stands for Something Company (or Co.)

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:23:59

Hairdresser in our town has sign in window offering Ladie's Cut n Blow.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:24:19

Why isn't it Morrison's?

SueDoku Sun 23-Jun-13 20:24:24

Sorry, sorry - have just realised that it's Waterstones that have dropped their apostrophe, not Sainsbury's...... Will google before posting next time blush

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:24:39

Tessa Cohen.

Sue - they still have the apostrophe in its correct place on their website. Perhaps all is not lost and you can continue to shop there?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:25:21

Ah thanks Darcey

I was wrong

So it should be Tesco's then?

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:25:59

Nappie is in same league as auntie.

Nanny0gg Sun 23-Jun-13 20:26:01

I did once write to M&S querying why they'd dropped the apostrophe on their Mother's Day display banners (it's back now). I was told it was for 'aesthetic' reasons.

Crikeyblimey Sun 23-Jun-13 20:26:19

It makes me sad that some of the supermarkets (and other companies) have dropped the apostrophe for "ease of signage" or some such bollocks. IMO it should be Sainsbury's as it is the supermarket that belongs to Mr Sainsbury.

Not an apostrophe one but I love "good punctuation saves lives - let's eat, grandma vs let's eat grandma" smile

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:26:37

jamieandthemagictorch You'll have to ask the Morrison family about that.

Optimist1 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:27:54

Agree with you 100%, Pavolv! If you don't pay attention to the details in your promotional material, what sort of attention will you pay to the detail of your product/service?

Some companies have a thing about the possessive apostrophe- I work for a company ending in S and we are not allowed to use it. I weep a little inside every time I read our terms of business.

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:28:51

Jamie - companies use their names as brands, so it's Tesco and Asda. They spend loads of quids on consultancies to decide such things.

RinseAndRepeat Sun 23-Jun-13 20:29:34

Waterstone's tried to ditch its apostrophe and there was an outrage!

DVD's is categorically wrong. Unless you're talking about something belonging to the DVDs.

And DVD is technically an initialism, not an acronym. Acronyms spell out words - like RADAR. Although 'acronym' is widely understood as describing both acronyms and initialisms. So its use is becoming more general.

I live for this shit btw.

apostropheuse Sun 23-Jun-13 20:30:57

Pavlov Of course you are not being unreasonable...but then I would say that. smile

tupuedes Sun 23-Jun-13 20:31:28

The name Tesco is derived from T.E Stockwell and Cohen who founded it.

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:31:46

Rinse - this isn't shit, it is pivotal to civilisation.

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:32:32

its and it's.

I still can't believe people get those wrong. I like teaching grammar BTW.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:32:41

You could argue that it should be Mothers' Day

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:33:04

Where did Tessa come into it then? Thought she was Cohen's daughter.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:33:41


The cat licked its tail is a bit hard for young children because it is a possessive.

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:34:25

What about Magistrates' Court or
Magistrates Court?

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 20:34:29

Wow, this thread has taken off while I did the bedtime reading with my children!

I, in fact, found several of the same error in different sites. It was via Amazon, although I have now reassured myself that it is not Amazon at fault, apart from them allowing those companies to promote their products with such appalling use of apostrophes. The word is:


FFS. Just thinking about that, and how MANY companies have done this, along with some other bad practice has made me quite cross. I might not be able to buy products from anywhere at this rate.

I have been confined to limited movement for a short while and my friend bought me 'Eats Shoots and Leaves' which is a fab book about pedantry. I would expect the majority of those posting here would have read it, but if not, you will be reading about your good selves in it wink

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:34:40


Oh yes, I have had that dilemma.

Mother's day or Mothers' day. When I'm doing cards with children, I have this internal debate about what to do. Then I think most people probably wouldn't notice - except some who might post on MN.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:34:42

It should be D.V.D. but no-one can be arsed.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nanny0gg Sun 23-Jun-13 20:35:49

JamieandtheMagicTorch "You could argue that it should be Mothers' Day"
Indeed you could. But either way, an apostrophe is required.

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:35:57

Its - no apostrophe - is always possessive.

angeltulips Sun 23-Jun-13 20:36:28


I think there was a scramble to de-apostrophise when corporate websites first came in and companies assumed consumers were too stupid to be able to find them online if their names had characters that weren't permitted in URLs. Doesn't make it right, but there you go.

Incidentally, a lot of people I know say "TESCOES" and I've often wondered whether in their heads they think its tesco's

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 20:36:39

Round ere it's Asdas anyways. innet.

angeltulips Sun 23-Jun-13 20:38:17

Cross post



<dies of horror>

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:38:22

angel - it's tesco's?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:38:46

Darcey I know - what I meant is this: children learn "the cat's tail", then they have to learn that strangely when you use the possessive pronoun "its" it doesn't have an apostrophe. I can see why the confusion arises in that one

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:39:36

At school, we usually teach the contracted apostrophe first.

So children recognise "it's" is it is.

Then they just have to learn its as being possessive.
Still doesn't stop random apostrophes appearing all over the place.

TBH, full stops and capitals are probably more of a concern for some.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:39:52

No it's Tesco

Except if you are my mum, who adds an s to everything:

John Lewises shock

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:41:05


I have PM'd you

(or is it PMd?, or P.M.d?)

tupuedes Sun 23-Jun-13 20:41:12

What some people will never get over is that rules change due to general usage changing over time. So in 20,30 years time apostrophes for plurals may well be accepted usage. The people who refuse to accept this are the same as those who insist "the media" is a plural and still use the word datum in place of data.

I once read that DVD's is correct in American English but not in British English. I have no idea whether or not that's right.

Sainsbury's still has an apostrophe on its consumer website. Technically the company is J Sainsbury plc so no trailing s of any kind and hence no apostrophe. "Sainsburys" is incorrect under any circumstances.

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:43:21

Jamie - Young minds need to be schooled in the rigors of pedantry. Earlier they start, the better.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:44:01


Good point, but I'd rather have no apostrophes that sling them into plurals . That's just an eyesore

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:44:17

When you go shopping, do you say you are going to Tesco or Tescos?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:46:06


Don't get me started on the use of the word "awesome" left right and centre to denote something"really quite good". I have been met with bemusement when I ask them to define awesome and then tell them that a good film is flipping well not akin to a Seventh Wonder of the World

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:46:13

American English is a misnomer. Color, gotten, dove (dived)? Shudder!

queenofthepirates Sun 23-Jun-13 20:46:38

Come the revolution where I am at the helm, there will be a grand lining up against the wall of anyone misusing the apostrophe. At the front will be market traders who, in my opinion, are the worst of all offenders.

If I were more of a pedant (which considering I harbour pseudo-homicidal tendencies towards market traders may be difficult to develop), I would call trading standards and insist they call them to order.

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 20:46:45

tupuedes I can never envisage a time when mattress's will look right. It won't ever be. I cannot be <wring hands>.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:47:58


I say "I'm goin' Tescos" grin

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 20:48:00

Grammar is very different from a typo, alright?

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:48:34

Also, everyone says 'hopefully' in the wrong context.

Almostalwayshappy Sun 23-Jun-13 20:48:46

DS goes to an 'outstanding' school. Last month the newsletter, which is sent to all parents and students, invited us to the Year Eight Parent's Evening. I called the school office to inform them it was impossible all 240 children had one parent, especially as my son is an only child. They were thrilled to hear from me. The school office staff love me.

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 20:48:55

all right?

MissStrawberry Sun 23-Jun-13 20:49:49

Op - what age for Eat Shoots..... please?

An ' is to show a missing letter so technically aren't they correct? Thought obviously that are wrong - mattresses.

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:50:47

I think many market traders misuse the apostrophe in an ironic, self-deprecating way. Our fish stall sells 'Guilt-head bream.'

Optimist1 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:50:48

Now that Pedants' Corner is quorate, can someone tell me whether I should be upset about the apostrophe in (the clothing retailer) Lands' End? I wouldn't want to leave them off my mental blacklist if they deserve to be there!

thompson369 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:51:20

Spotted today...

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 20:52:11

darcey same as 'very' (especially being used in duplicate); Instead of saying 'very very sad' say 'miserable' or something similar.

Probably best not to add Ocham's razor theory to the mix...

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:53:18


Ooh never noticed that one

Hmm - "the end of lots of Lands" - don't make much sense do it?

Lands' Ends makes more sense 9or something)

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:54:22

Pavlov - can I say very, very sad?
Having so much fun on here am tempted to miss episode three of The Returned.

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 20:54:25

blimey I am getting so wound up I am not even spelling right! Ockham (or Occam). I love that theory. I use it whenever DH waffles grin

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 20:55:23

<slaps D'Arcy>

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Jun-13 20:56:04



That has reminded me. Must turf (?sp) DCs off the TV where they are watching a deeply crap Star Wars prequel film

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:56:15

I just want to add "absolutely" to the list.

I hear it so many times on the Today programme when someone is being interviewed.

missstrawberry An apostrophe is used to show a missing letter(s) in a contraction where there are two words.

E.g. I've - I have.

It's not used when there is a missing letter in a plural such as tomato's. (tomatoes).

garlicnutty Sun 23-Jun-13 20:57:20

Pavlov - it would be "the mattress's cover," wouldn't it?


VonHerrBurton Sun 23-Jun-13 20:57:27

Definate no to buying from idiots.

It may or may not surprise the lesser pedant that I drive a mile out of my way to avoid having to pass, and therefore look at, Jayz Nail's. Only it doesn't end with the signage gem, the windows are covered with neon, star shaped, childish, hand written signs such as 'spesial offer's', 'too for one on gel's', 'high power bed's'. I kid you not.

My family photograph the window of Jayz with monotonous regularity and send the picture to me. They think it's funny! I have an overwhelming temptation to ring the place and let rip but I know they would just think I was a nutter. So I drive out of my way. Sigh.

DarceyBissell Sun 23-Jun-13 20:57:49

Off to join the zombies.

MissStrawberry Sun 23-Jun-13 20:58:18

I never knew that/had forgotten, kim147. Thank you.

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:58:29

I just need to add comma splicing to the list. Someone I know will not listen to me about comma splicing and still uses it in professional reports.

It's ok on forums where you're chatting. But not in reports.

Optimist1 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:58:43

Thmpson - the performances by that high energy kid are legendary, doncha know?

garlicnutty Sun 23-Jun-13 20:59:44

Oh, god, I'll have to google comma splicing now.

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:00:14

Oooh - possessive apostrophes with words ending in "s".


I used to work at St.James' Hospital. Except it's St.James's Hospital.

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 21:00:24

garlic 'bunk beds complete with two mattress's' was the wording. or something like that. So, they have absolutely no leg to stand on.

LetUsPrey Sun 23-Jun-13 21:00:40

Can I throw in DS1's target on one of his literacy target cards? This was printed by his teacher.

"Target: to work on the correct use of apostrophe's."

I saw it whilst we were waiting at parents' evening. I ummed and ahhed and then crossed out the '.

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:00:48

Comma splicing.

I went to the shops, they were closed.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:01:47

Argh, Kim! Googled and squirmed grin

I do it now because I think it looks pretentious to use colons & semicolons. But I always hate myself for doing it!

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:02:52


Please say you're joking grin

I think some teachers would fail the SPAG test.

Here is the test if you are interested.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:02:54

Pavlov - grin at bunk beds with no leg to stand on.

Or should that be leg's? <run's & hide's>

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 21:04:49

I use comma splicing for informal stuff like here; semi colons for formal work, and ALWAYS when writing to MIL.

OK, how about a comma after 'and', when writing a list?

It was red, yellow, and blue.
It was red, yellow and blue.

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 21:06:01

before, not after.

grin <tired> <head spins>

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:08:53

That's the American way of doing commas.

LetUsPrey Sun 23-Jun-13 21:09:11

I remember it fondly now kim147 grin. It was a couple of years ago. I put it back in his tray at first under all his workbooks, but I couldn't ignore it so I crossed it out. I was a bit of a wimp because I only used a pencil for the crossing out and not a red pen.

Teacher was otherwise excellent and I think it was a one off grin

OP - YANBU. I've had many WTF faces from DH when I've refused to buy stuff because of random apostrophes.

Shakey1500 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:09:52


Regarding your post about "Your Beautiful*

Exactly the same reason I stamp my feet when that Emile Sande/Labyrinth song is aired. Even DS (5) now says "Beneath your...*what*?

Hat? Fringe? Scarf? Coat?


PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 21:12:21

kim which one?

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:15:01

The comma before the "and".

We teach it like this.

I went shopping and bought naice ham, Pom bears and Fruit shoots.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:20:10

... although it's correct to put a comma before 'and' or 'but' when they begin secondary clauses.

I went shopping, but they were out of Pom bears.

I think it depends on whether your 'and' is part of a list. Somebody even more pedantic will be along to explain properly.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sun 23-Jun-13 21:22:24

"Target: to work on the correct use of apostrophe's."

LetUsPray - I hope you have a red pen these days grin

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:25:11

It gets better.

Commas and connectives grin

Now gets is interesting.

She gets a drink.
She get's a drink.

Who is getting the drink?

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 23-Jun-13 21:26:00

Pedant needed? And here I am.
Should have a comma, so that lists are clear, eg, tesco, next, and marks and spencer.
Though I will let this one go.
Some stuff I will go by the style guide of the organisation I'm writing for. Other stuff, I won't budge.

kim147 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:26:53

Think I should have previewed.

I think I'm confusing things.

SueDoku Sun 23-Jun-13 21:27:42

garlicnutty what's pretentious about semi-colons? They are very useful (even if my children moan when I use them in texts... grin).

The wonderful 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' has a great section on the use of commas - with special reference to the Oxford comma.....

badbride Sun 23-Jun-13 21:30:30

YA soooo NBU. Apostrophe abuse is unforgivable. Getting it right is hardly rocket science; getting it wrong belies a sloppiness that may well translate into other aspects of a company's business.

Sloppy punctuation doesn't exercise me as much as sloppy grammar, though. DH has to physically restrain me in the supermarket every time I see the "Five items or less" sign. Gah! It's FEWER, goddammit. Just let me at it with a marker pen...

He's no better, mind. Anyone who dares to use "due to" where they should say "because of" is treated to a rant about how "due to" is an adjectival prepositional phrase and therefore cannot modify a verb. He should probably get out more grin

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 23-Jun-13 21:34:19

I would say that we should all get out more, however I did a course where we learnt about mistakes in grammar and punctuation that had caused serious accidents (flight manuals etc). It really is important.

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 21:46:56

kittens there was a huge misunderstanding in some war - it was in 'Eats Shoots and Leaves'. I don't have to hand right this second, but it was something along the lines of meaning 'get here right this second' or 'whatever dude, we don't want ya here', depending on the placement of the apostrophe. The newspapers posted the apostrophe in the wrong place, and some bloke plodded along and was told to take a hike. Or, the other way around.

So, it can actually be Really Bad.

My understanding of commas before 'and' is that if it's a list, it is ok, however, I find some people don't like it (maybe don't understand it?) and so I get myself a little confused with it. I also find it used a lot with 'and' generally, which irks me somewhat.

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 21:49:01

Sue - is the Oxford Comma the comma before 'and'? I have not got that far. Or, rather, I am dipping in and out, reading about pedantry leading to violence, laughing a lot then putting it down. It's a great book.

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 21:50:03

kittens it is really important for another good reason: without it, there will be a lot more pedants with heart conditions.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:57:11
Birnamwood Sun 23-Jun-13 21:58:31

There's a tanning salon in my town called...

Tan "ya" hyde

Spelt exactly like that.

I have to avoid looking at it every time I drive past angry

Nanny0gg Sun 23-Jun-13 22:04:31

<cough> definIite <cough>

garlicnutty Sun 23-Jun-13 22:08:55

Birnamwood, I'm guessing the tanning salon is owned by one Tanya Hyde? And that Ms Hyde really loves a crap pun.

One of the local hairdressers is called Kut's 4 U.

I sighed and asked BigDD if it couldbe any worse.

Yup, mom, they could've put a "z" in place of the "s" <<rolls eyes>>

I love my DD.

When in A&E the other day (twice this week, if you're counting), I was highly amused by a door that was for "Personel only".



PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 22:17:03

Oh those have reminded me of an appalling name for a shop, which also had a double entendre which was highly inappropriate in a soft play area; advertised on their tv screens. I can't remember the name. It's going to bug me now. It was like 'tan ya hyde' but not that. I might have to go and google it somehow now.

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 22:18:53

I remembered. It was the slogan that was wrong. It was grammatically correct, just fucking appalling grin

let us nail you shock

garlicnutty Sun 23-Jun-13 22:19:00

I agree with whoever said we should be pedantic about numbers, too!

If only people got that % is the same as "pence in the pound", it would be a good start.

I've seen numerous filmed experiments, where shoppers' brains stop working on sight of a "25% off" sign ... and choose the one with "20p off" instead [rolleyes]

garlicnutty Sun 23-Jun-13 22:21:15

Pavlov - maybe there is work for small-time copywriters, after all!

Let us nail you? confused

Was this an ad for a manicurist?


PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 22:24:40

garlic yes it was. It was something like 'Nails 4 U'. I pointed it out to the manager as it was in a child's soft play zone and she was like 'meh'.

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 22:27:22

garlic and yes, there is. I have a business card wink I am actually quite rubbish at my own work, but largely as I don't proofread my own stuff (lazy, don't like reading my own words back, lazy), but others' errors? drives me insane! typos are different to actual businesses that should be reading and re-reading their business signs, websites and advertisements. If they know they are not perfect in their grammar, then pay someone to give it a once-over at the very least.

PseudoBadger Sun 23-Jun-13 22:28:00

In my line of work we deal with many premises. A singular premises is the same as multiple premises. It is not a premise.
For some reason many many professional people who I work with (across the whole of the UK) use premise for one premises. It drives me absolutely insane.
I once sat through a powerpoint presentation given by a legal professional regarding Premises Licences. The slides were correct. Every time he had to read the word premises he amended it to premise grin

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 22:29:06

pseudo no way! what a tosser! (him, not you)

Nanny0gg Sun 23-Jun-13 22:32:55

I wish I had a pound for every time I've proof-read school reports where 'practise' and 'practice' have been misused.

amicissimma Sun 23-Jun-13 22:41:17

tupuedes, a post about me! I love 'datum' (on the rare occasions there is only one; too often there is a surfeit of them). I'm also keen on 'stadia' and I'm trying to teach myself to say 'amn't I?'

Apostrophitis brings me out in a sweat, and I use semicolons in texts.

<slinks back to Pedants' Corner where my attitude to grammar looks relaxed>

PavlovtheCat Sun 23-Jun-13 22:42:37

man lays on the couch of his psychiatrist and says, "I have an irrational fear of 'and', 'or', 'but', and 'if'". 'Ah!' says the doctor, 'Conjunctivitis!'

<belly laughs>

amicissimma Sun 23-Jun-13 22:44:39

PseudoBadger, isn't a singular premise a type of proposition?

PseudoBadger Sun 23-Jun-13 22:57:14

Yes amici, I'm not denying that 'premise' exists as a word. However it does not mean one Pub, or one factory for example.

RevoltingPeasant Sun 23-Jun-13 23:12:24

Coming late to this, but we just had to have pest control round (sodding previous owners' cat's fleas) and they left us a typed set of instructions, including

no hovering for at least a week

It cheered me up no end.

Crikeyblimey Sun 23-Jun-13 23:14:25

Oh, I am trying to say amn't too smile. I thought it was only dh and I who felt this way smile. Let's start a "movement".

RevoltingPeasant Sun 23-Jun-13 23:14:46

Ami- we used to be taught at school that technically "ain't I" was correct as it is a contraction of "am I not".

Not sure if true or not though.

fuzzpig Sun 23-Jun-13 23:19:12

I found an "it's" instead of an "its" in a children's book yesterday. I was shock

apostropheuse Sun 23-Jun-13 23:27:16

Someone on this thread used the non-word "definate". How can you do that? Do you just ignore the wee squiggly red line that tells you that there's a spelling mistake there?

It's definitely definite. Honestly.

On most browsers you'll only have a squiggly red line if you've installed the right add-on.

Pseudonym99 Mon 24-Jun-13 05:34:07

In Tescoes once on their self-service till: "DOES NOT EXCEPT £50 NOTES".

TheRealFellatio Mon 24-Jun-13 05:46:24

Definate windes me up no end. It's so common as well, even among otherwise good spellers. Same with loose/lose.

TheRealFellatio Mon 24-Jun-13 05:47:15

haha - law of sod always applies on Pedant threads. I meant winds obviously.

DarceyBissell Mon 24-Jun-13 08:07:03

On Radio 4 this morning ad guru Martin Sorrell said
'..appeal to people like you and I'.
Should be 'People like you and me'.
You hear it all the time. Basically if you can leave out the other person and it still makes sense, that's OK.
Wouldn't say '....people like I.'

DarceyBissell Mon 24-Jun-13 08:10:56

...and what about the signs that say 'This door is alarmed'?
Or ' police were called to a theft from an insecure shed.'
And 'thank you for your recent inquiry'...
Need a lie-down and it's only 8am.

TheRealFellatio Mon 24-Jun-13 08:27:14

Arf at 'this dorr is alarmed'. I've nver thought of it like that before. Next time i'll be tempted to take out a big fat marker pen and draw this shock on it.

TheRealFellatio Mon 24-Jun-13 08:27:43

sorry for all the typos, in a rush.

cardamomginger Mon 24-Jun-13 08:34:13

YANBU. I almost didn't send DD to an otherwise excellent nursery because the name of the nursery involved the wanton (and deliberate - which somehow makes it worse) misuse of 'z' in place of 's' and 'k' in place of 'c'.

PavlovtheCat Mon 24-Jun-13 08:45:34

I have to consciously make an effort to write 'definitely' correctly. I know how to spell it. I know there is no 'a' in it, yet, my finger puts it there without me looking. Same as 'ie/ei'. I know which way these need to be used and when, yet, I type them the wrong way every single time, knowing it's not the right way and then having to change it.

The problem with pedantry threads, is you have to be perfect in your own words to avoid the hand rubbing and cackling of others. It's almost impossible, once you have typed on a pedantry thread to get through the rest of it without making at least one error in your typing. I have had to proof my own writing on here badly

'the door is alarmed' has just made me chuckle out loud.

Nanny0gg Mon 24-Jun-13 08:48:44

police were called to a theft from an insecure shed.
Aw bless.

PseudoBadger Mon 24-Jun-13 08:50:04

Can I just mention the increased use of 'expiration dates' Arrrrggggh!!!

Tuftysquirrel Mon 24-Jun-13 08:54:24

An advert for a 'Villains and Heroe's Party' at a local sports club.

Still makes me irate months later.

KittensoftPuppydog Mon 24-Jun-13 09:03:54

Council signs in Sussex 'no BBQ's and no 'HGV's'. Dh loves to point them out to see me froth at the mouth.

PavlovtheCat Mon 24-Jun-13 09:37:39

I've just had a conversation with DH about this thread. He has made me quite, quite angry He said <tries to breathe> that as long as the point is understood, it DOES NOT MATTER if there are erroneous apostrophes and incorrect spellings. He said that using the word 'except' instead of 'accept' was fine, 'do you know what they are trying to say? yes! so, what's the big deal?'

He also did this hmm when I told him the signs about 'insecure shed' and 'door is alarmed'. He was not amused by that and said he 'despairs' of my pedantry.

I mean, I knew he was not a pedant (his grammar and spelling is appalling) and he likes to take the piss out of my own pedantry from time to time; but this is just, just, well <blusters>

DarceyBissell Mon 24-Jun-13 09:46:41

Pavlov - LTIB (the I is fir illiterate) smile.

DarceyBissell Mon 24-Jun-13 09:47:06


PavlovtheCat Mon 24-Jun-13 09:47:50


Archetype Mon 24-Jun-13 10:00:20

ooo I know why Tesco is Tesco, the founder was Jack Cohen and the first product he bought was tea from t.e. stockwell.

Lovecat Mon 24-Jun-13 10:13:13

Definitely LTB. grin

There is a sign at our railway station that gives me the rage every time I see it:

"Please don't run on the stairs - its better to miss your train than break your leg"


Also at the brand new hospital nearby someone has made engraved signs for all the assessment rooms, spelled 'Asessment' hmm I mentioned this to the nurse in charge as it gave my inner pedant the screaming abdabs and she was entirely 'meh' about it. <dies inside>

Regarding something someone said earlier in the thread about signwriters making these signs with horrible typos and errors of grammar, until she retired last year my mother used to work for a sign makers. She was meant to be the book keeper but she was unable to keep her innate pedantry in check and ended up correcting so many mistakes that she was also the Company's official spell checker...

After a particularly arsey client insisted they made a sign that was misspelled, however, they brought in a rule that the client had to write out exactly what they wanted and sign to say that they accepted this was how they wanted the sign, as what tended to happen was they would make a sign as the client had demanded, then about 2 weeks later when the town's pedants had pointed and laughed, the client would storm back and demand a new sign gratis as they had made a 'mistake' on their precious sign...

(I'm sure that paragraph sentence is entirely ungrammatical but hey...)

Oh, Pavlov, I'm so sorry. That must have come as a terrible shock to you.

I hate to raise it, but... do you think there could be a genetic element to it? Perhaps you should get your DCs checked over by a grammarian as a matter of urgency.

Earthworms Mon 24-Jun-13 10:21:43

tupedos totally agree.

I work in a mathematical/ semi technical environment and it depresses the fuck out of me that some colleagues think it is funny not to be able to do fairly basic maths.

My grammar isn't great, but I am embarrased enough about that to be working on it.

VonHerrBurton Mon 24-Jun-13 10:42:57

Ok, ok so I spelt definite wrong.

Sorry everyone!

florascotia Mon 24-Jun-13 11:12:21

Amn't I is still quite common usage in parts of Scotland.

This link discusses how we might have arrived at today's possessive apostrophes:

garlicnutty Mon 24-Jun-13 15:29:53

Earthworms and tupedos - Programming! One misplaced comma or semi-colon and your procedure is fucked. One failure of conditional logic and your programme will throw out wrong results to the end of time. One mathematical misunderstanding and your app debits its users' accounts by 'NaN' pounds.

Yet ... Programmers are among the worst communicators imaginable! Misplaced grammatical bits, meaningless statements and illogic abound on the forums! It makes me come over all "outraged of Sidcup"!


DarceyBissell Mon 24-Jun-13 16:28:58

At the roadworks near here is a big red sign that says 'CATS EYES REMOVED.'
Now, even ignoring the missing ' , don't you think it reads like a special offer, a company that removes cats' eyes?

PseudoBadger Mon 24-Jun-13 17:04:31

I saw a photo of that sign outside a vets grin

learnasyougo Mon 24-Jun-13 17:39:12

A tanning salon on my way home from work (right at a traffic light so I'm forced to stop and look at it) had large letters on their window inviting you to Look like a million dollars.
Look LIKE a million dollars? no thank you. The expression is to 'look a million dollars.

But don't get me started on everyday vs every day. A beauty salon advertises you could be Special Everyday.

So quite ordinary, then.

And I once wrote training materials for a company in which I referred to customers, sometimes customers' expectations and what a recently served customer's experience had been like (for example). During their (final!) review they kindly pointed out to me that with the word customers they had noticed inconsistent apostrophes. Could I please make these consistent?

Well, you can have them correct or you can have them consistent.

MissStrawberry Mon 24-Jun-13 18:22:57

Please can someone tell me about the Eats, Shoots, Leaves book as it sounds like it is a useful book to have but I am wondering if my children are too old/young for it now?

garlicnutty Mon 24-Jun-13 18:34:42

Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. Never too old for it!

MissStrawberry Mon 24-Jun-13 19:23:54

Thank you garlicnutty. It is on my shopping list.

PavlovtheCat Mon 24-Jun-13 19:29:25

oh yes, it's a fabulous funny book; a must-have on the bookshelf of any wannabe pedant.

MiaowTheCat Mon 24-Jun-13 19:45:46

When DD1 was born we got the usual gifts from people and I refused to put her in a babygro that said "Little bear's like to walk in the woods" on the grounds that if the unwanted apostrophe was contagious I didn't want her to catch it.

MissStrawberry Mon 24-Jun-13 19:59:30

My 9 year old would love it.

grin MiaowTheCat.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now