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Friday, June 22, 2012

Grocer's Apostrophe - one of the main things that make me drink wine

It attacks us from the sky, from the wires under our feet, from within our cell phones, from street signs and maps and newspapers and sandwich shops and gravestones.  The world is infected by it.  Bad Grammar.  And, you know, I really really wish that I weren’t such a nerd, but bad grammar makes me want to hit things.  *she takes a long pull of wine, straight from bottle*

My absolute least favorite pervasive grammar problem is the Grocer’s Apostrophe, which is “An apostrophe erroneously inserted before the final "s" in the plural form of a word.” (

In an unsettling and widespread pandemic, people everywhere have taken to putting apostrophes in words to pluralize them.  Here are some photos (or should I say “photo’s”) of signs that use the skin-crawling Grocer’s Apostrophe:

“Pizza’s Kebabs Curry’s” 
This sign is my favorite.  Somebody actually decided that more than one pizza or curry demands an apostrophe, but somehow kebabs can roll without the extra character.

“If we’re ready to tackle swine flu, pig’s can fly”
THIS IS FROM A PUBLISHED NEWSPAPER, which, to me, just shows that this problem is perhaps more insidious than the swine flu itself.

Kanye West Twitter: “This one of our projects to be released this year called 2016 OLYMPIC's”
I decided to look for a Grocer’s Apostrophe on a celeb Twitter page, and the FIRST page I looked at revealed one to me immediately.  Of course, I picked Kanye West, who says that he doesn’t read because he can get all the education he needs from television, so I mean it’s no big surprise.  But the sad fact is that kids these days (OMG I just said “kids these days.”  I am becoming a mean old lady) emulate people like Kanye West, so his grammar will become theirs.  *she drinks more wine* 

Unlimited Food’s
This Grocer’s Apostrophe is like 3 feet tall.  Somebody spent A LOT OF MONEY on that sign.  Proofread much?

Deep Fried Oreo’s
I mean maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that deep-fried-Oreo-lovers aren’t grammar mavens, but I personally think we need to tackle this problem from the ground up. 


So, please spread the news far and wide.  WE DO NOT PLURALIZE WORDS BY ADDING AN APOSTROPHE IN ENGLISH.  An apostrophe indicates possession (something belongs to that word) or contraction (the apostrophe indicates that some letters have been omitted).

Example of how to use an apostrophe to indicate possession: If you’re going to write the phrase “Deep Fried Oreo’s,” you gotta immediately follow that word with something that belongs to the oreo.  Like maybe the Deep Fried Oreo’s ability to clog your arteries on the spot? 

Example of how to use an apostrophe as a contraction: If you’re going to write the phrase “Unlimited Food’s,” you best be ready to say that “Giving your pet fish unlimited food’s only going to lead to a messy situation for you and the fish.” 

I think we should take markers with us wherever we go, and wipe out Grocer's Apostrophes wherever we find them.  We can call it "Grammarfiti."  What you think?    

Me loves you.  Mwwwwah.

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