Everywhere we are inundated with the written word: store signs, menus, headlines, captions, street signs. One would think most writers of the aforementioned would have attended elementary school. However, by the looks of things, perhaps they did not.
Check out the sign on Highway 1 directing traffic to the state prison facility: California Mens Colony. Where’s the apostrophe in this publicly funded, government-sanctioned road sign?
In a recent CNN newscast, the reporter referred to one of President Obama’s daughters as the eldest. (The eldest reference was also written on the screen.) President and Mrs. Obama have only two daughters. Actually, CNN, it was the elder daughter who (not that) just celebrated her birthday.
How many times have we walked into a local shop to check out the mocha’s, the coffee’s, the soda’s, or the daily special’s? Proprietors: An apostrophe is not used when listing a plural; it’s used to show possession or omission. I recently saw a very apropos poster at Cal Poly. It read: “Poor writing and bad grammar make smart people look dumb.” I couldn’t agree more.