February 08, 2012
Horse 1275 - Something's Wrong And Nobody Notices
What's wrong with this photo?
Can you see it?
No, it isn't the sort of dim expression of the person behind the counter because quite frankly if you were only paid the sort of wages that they probably are, you'd have good reason for your eyes to glaze over too.
Nope, the thing which is wrong with this photograph is the word "mini's". Do you see that now? That apostrophe has been left to hang there in mid-air in state of complete despair. Not only is it plain wrong but it also looks silly.
The apostrophe has three uses:
1. To mark a contraction, as in words like "don't", "isn't", "it's" and "fo'c'sle"
2. To mark a possessive case, as in Jimmy's Kebab or the cats' dinner bowl.
3. To mark words which come from other languages for which we don't have an adequate mark in English like the Qu'ran or Fa'afafine, or the names O'Grady and d'Souza.
Some style guides will allow you to use an apostrophe for plurals of things which aren't actually words in English, such as the phrase to "mind your P's and Q's". I think that this is rather silly because you can end up with a case where an apostrophe has two uses within the same cluster, as in the '90's.
In the sign above the most obvious impression is that it's supposed to be a plural for the word "mini". It looks like it could be a contraction and there might even be a case for a "mini" to own something, if indeed an inanimate food item can own anything at all.
You'd at least think that a large firm like Hungry Jack's which itself has a possessive apostrophe in it's own name would have got this right but they've gone to the trouble of having these things printed and not one person has seen the error.
Looking silly in a formal document even if it is merely an advert poster is a bad thing for a company because it instantly rules you in line to be made fun of...
"The burgers are better at Hungry Jack's... which is a good thing because our grammar is rubbish".
Posted by Rollo at 22:36