Looking Glass Language

a word bird reflects on life & language

he can’t spell yet, but he sure can wield an apostrophe…

To Mummy, have a verry verry happy Mother's day, you sansirley, from your gorgers boy I’m not sure what I love most about this Mother’s day card, given to my sister by my nephew:

  • His endearingly intuitive phonetic spelling (“you sansirley from your gorgers boy”. Bless.)
  • The gift-wrapped presents. (What’s in the tall thin parcel? A telescope? A toblerone? I need to know.)
  • The ‘I love you xxx’ pullout, or…
  • The fact that he’s mastered the use of the apostrophe at such a tender age…

If you’ve read my earlier post, Apostrophising, you won’t be surprised to learn that it’s his correct use of the apostrophe that had me dancing with glee.

Another word nerd in the family: I’m so proud!

But if a small boy can position an apostrophe correctly before he’s even learned to spell, why is it that so many grown-ups can’t?

Take this example from Shrewsbury, which I found on the Apostrophe Catastrophe Facebook page (oh yes, there are more of us word nerds out there).

When is an apostrophe not an apostrophe? When it's a comma...

When is an apostrophe not an apostrophe? When it’s a comma…

Here they’ve not only failed to understand the proper function of the apostrophe (to suggest either possession or the omission of letters or numbers), they’ve also confused it with a comma. How depressing…

.

Poor punctuation is dangerous. Just look at what the rude insertion of a punctuation mark where it doesn’t belong does to the spelling of benches, butterflies and teddies.

.

It might even be fatal. I very nearly caused a pile-up on the A303 the other day trying to take a photo of a garage sign which said:

Car’s
Van’s
Motorbike’s
Camper Van’s

Fortunately, no-one died.

.

This time.

Single Post Navigation

Comment here

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Adventures of Hal

Fran, Gareth and friends explore the world on Hal, our 35ft yacht

Things I think about while I drive to work

Random topics and conversation about how I view the world I live in

Curiouser & Curiouser

My curious little blog.

Knowingly Undersold

Selling discount truths at an exorbitant price! (Wrap your mind around that one)

David Baker's Novel Factory

Novel = New, Work of Fiction: Fact + History = Factory

A Road Travelled Twice

Twice across Europe by bike and more

Mike and the Marathon

I’m running the 2013 London Marathon for ICAN

A Few Kind Words

adventures in language and life

'er-in(doors)*

a word bird reflects on life & language

Helen Weavers's Blog

Stuff I think about...

The Seatonist

Dreaming of waves...

Where's my ruby slippers?

There's no place like home. Especially if you don't live there.

fortewinks

Letters from London by Giovanna Forte

Fromage Homage

A British Isles Cheese Odyssey

%d bloggers like this: