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Correcting Your Behavior Since 2017

Our Declining Language (part 4 in an endless series)

Here we go again. This installment of Our Declining Language highlights examples of the widespread misuse of the little curved mark that, when used correctly, serves as either an apostrophe or a single quotation mark. Behold the disastrous state of our mother tongue.

Did William Shakespeare write your sign? No? Then we'd prefer you not invent contractions

(particularly where no letters have been omitted, which is what makes something a contraction).

Best in the Dakota's what?

It is quite an accomplishment to violate this many rules in a two-word phrase. First, why is "just made" capitalized when the other selling points aren't? Why is it in single quotation marks (which are only for quotes within quotes)? And anyway, why would "just made" be in quotes to begin with? Is it an expression? An unproven allegation? A reference? Finally, is there some sort of subtle difference between the claim "just made" and its neighbor, "freshly prepared"? Or should Pret A Manger also advertise that their food is "recently created" and "newly assembled"?


The Doctor's what?

(I don't think I'll be calling for "A" appointment.)

What is a Survior's Welcome, exactly?

If apostrophe is the name of your product, perhaps you ought to know how to use one.

(And by the way, there's no extra charge for a capital G or a period.)

We close out this photo essay with some old friends from previous installments of

The Weekly Curmudgeon which offer still more examples of apostrophe abuse:

I'll be back next week with another complaint about people's behavior.

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