Mighty Red Pen

October 6, 2014

Dont feed the animal’s

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe,Overseen,Perilous punctuation — mighty red pen @ 7:54 pm

My eye’s! My eye’s!

It might hurt the tummies of the livestock if you feed them. It certainly hurts word nerds to see this unwanted apostrophe in Tummy’s (to say nothing of the mysterious capitalization).

hurts our tummy's






Overseen at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts.



October 30, 2012

Spooktacular apostrophe

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe — mighty red pen @ 6:41 pm

Great googly-moogly, this ghoulish little apostrophe sure puts the “trick” in “trick-or-treat.”

This Halloween, don’t be haunted by the grocer’s apostrophe. When forming a plural, no apostrophe is needed.

September 17, 2012

Its, er, It’s a typo!

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe — mighty red pen @ 6:41 pm

H/t to the Mighty Quinn (no relation to MRP), who spotted this little tidbit in Vermont:

Ah, these sign makers have taken the good old it’s/its confusion (which is, as we know, near and dear to MRP’s heart) to a whole ‘nother level.

Okay, here’s the deal. As a contraction of the words it is, the apostrophe is placed thusly: it’s. When it’s possession you seek to show, that’s its, as in Barbecue At Its Best!

If you find yourself putting the apostrophe after the whole shebang, as in its’, then you need to reevaluate and start all over again. Brians’ Common Errors in English Usage can help, as can The Oatmeal.

August 12, 2012

Heavenly typo

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe — mighty red pen @ 1:35 pm
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It may be true that God loves you.

However, this extra apostrophe in loves may need a divine intervention.



May 12, 2012

Because we’re worth it.

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe,Overseen — mighty red pen @ 6:07 pm
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What does this mom want for Mother’s Day? A pair of apostrophes for this sign (isn’t, Mother’s Day), that’s what.


February 8, 2012

The kids’s are all right

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe — mighty red pen @ 5:41 pm

What do you do when you’re making a word possessive and you can’t decide if the apostrophe goes before or after the “s”? Well, one strategy—which I do not recommend—is to put it both before and after.

The silver lining to this moment? Hearing S. (age 8) say, “That’s not written right, is it, Mom?” No, no it isn’t.

February 5, 2012

The secret lives of English teachers

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe,Overseen — mighty red pen @ 5:25 pm
Tags: ,

Mister MRP is an English teacher, so I’ve been to a couple of English faculty parties over the years. Let me tell you, as fun as they are, they don’t even approach the level of rowdiness shown here.

H/t to Dave Blazek.

January 22, 2012

Exercise your apostrophe use

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe,Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 6:00 pm
Tags: ,

I happen to know that Camp Retirement, the active seniors living community where I spotted this sign, actually has many, many residents.

Okay, here’s a quick refresher: If only one resident is allowed to use the water fitness equipment, the apostrophe goes between the resident and the s: resident’s. If you have many residents using the equipment, the apostrophe goes after the s: residents’.

Somewhere, someone should have been using their noodle when they reviewed this sign.

August 29, 2011

Keeping the streets safe from bad grammar and punctuation

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe,Mad marketing,Perilous punctuation — mighty red pen @ 6:37 pm
Tags: , ,

Well, you might have heard we had a bit of weather up here in the Northeast U.S. in the form of a visit from our (now dearly departed) friend Irene. As a farewell party favor, she left La Casa de MRP without power for a bit over a day. It’s amazing to realize how not dark what passes for darkness actually is.

In any case, of the things that happened today, among the best were the turning back on of the power (yay, warm showers!) and the arrival of my Old Navy now-limited-edition “Lets Go” typo tee. Ta da!

As you may have heard, these tees have now been recalled and will be reprinted, so unfortunately, if you did not grab one while the grabbing was good, they are all gone. H/t to @Stefaniya for noting that Old Navy now has this notice on their site thanking the “Grammar Police” for pointing out the error:

If we’ve learned nothing else from this experience, I think it could be that a good proofreading by a member of the Grammar Police Squad can save one a boatload of cash. To protect and serve, my friends. To protect and serve.

August 22, 2011

Old Navy’s performance typo

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe,Perilous punctuation — mighty red pen @ 7:54 pm
Tags: , ,

Well, nothing gets the word nerds on the InterWebs more a-twitter than a typo of absolutely epic proportions. And, yes, Old Navy has delivered just such a typo. Behold, the “Let’s Go!!” t-shirt line. Or, as they actually say, the “Lets Go!!” t-shirt line:

I love these typo tees because they come in umpteen different colors and represent many, many different teams. The eight that are pictured here represent just a fraction of the available options.  The only problem I can see is that I’m not sure how I’m going to decide which Old Navy typo tee is the right one for me. So many typo tees, so little time!

H/t grammargirl and these guys.


Bonus MRP moment: It was a banner day for bad typos. H/t to grammarsnark for spotting this product from Downy called ‘Unstopables.’ Memo to Downy: Those proofreaders Old Navy recommends? Yeah, no, don’t.

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