Ranty Friday — Apostrophes

Or more appropriately misplaced apostrophes.   That is the subject of my Ranty Friday this week.   I am sick of them.   Seeing apostrophes in the wrong place in documents produced by companies.

And it is hardly difficult.  Why do people find it so hard to get it right?

I saw this picture in a garden centre last December and it made me scream.  Not just one poster but all over the place.   Printed presumably by somebody in charge of such matters.

Since when has ANYBODY seen ideas with an apostrophe?  Never never never.    It doesn’t even look right.

It is very simple.  ‘s if it belongs to somebody, as in Tanya’s cakes.    The cakes are plural so have no apostrophe.  There is only one of me and the cakes belong to me so it denotes the possessive.

Or it shows that an i has been removed.   As in “where’s Tanya?”

That is it.  It is not rocket science.


I had this post in draft to write this week and then spotted this picture on my friend Nell’s Facebook page yesterday and I asked if I could grab it.  She had spotted this in a shop earlier in the day.



I might start carrying a marker pen so I can go around correcting these monstrosities.

There is a company near us that has sign written vans that mention “sofa’s”.     AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Then last week whilst travelling up the M6 Mr B spotted this:



There is no missing I.   There is no possession.   Shortening Leicestershire just makes it Leics.

For the love of God.   Please companies, get it right.


Other Ranty Fridays can be found here.  Do have a read and if you have written one, please link up

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  • Haha I was looking at the word “Selby’s” at first and though – huh, that looks right. Then spotted the Leic’s….arrrggh….its like people think they need to chuck a few in just for good measure. The school I went to many moons ago has now become completely “high tech” (their words on all the radio adverts) and they do every single lesson on iPads. No writing, no spelling practice…nothing hand written at all. I partly blame things like this. God only knows what those kids are going to do when they go onto college and unis and have to write with a pen or try to spell something without auto correct.

  • Gaaah. There is no excuse for companies doing this. I am a lazy writer and apostrophes are one of those things that I slip on, regularly. It’s not that I don’t know the rules behind it, or that I don’t have a grasp of the English language but I just rattle words out and I’m forever making grammatical mistakes BUT, as a small business owner, for that reason I will always ask someone, sometimes two people, to read anything I write before potential customers see it.
    When we were looking for a florist for our wedding last year/year before I received a quote from a lady whose work I liked, but the quote itself was riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes, she’d misspelt “beautiful”, “fern” and “foliage” for God’s sake – she’s a florist. I just couldn’t be arsed to give her business, if she cared so little about the impression she gave people then I wasn’t up for it. I got SLATED for this by other people! “Her ability to spell doesn’t effect how good she is at floristry” “what if she’s dyslexic” etc. but she owns her own business and if she is dyslexic, or just a crap speller surely that’s even more reason to ask someone to check your quotes before you send them out to a potential customer for a job worth hundreds of pounds?
    Ok, I’m done, thanks for the ranty platform!

  • I absolutely hear you on this. It drives me up the wall! Some people just stick them before every “s”, I think that’s known as a “just in case” apostrophe! We should all be provided with red marker pens!

  • This week I saw some polyanthus plants on a market stall marked Polly’s. Now I’m not going to suggest the stallholder should have known that the plural should technically have been polyanthi, but I was sorely tempted to ask him if Polly had given her permission for her plants to be sold. He should have stuck to greengrocery – potaoe’s, tomatoe’s and aDvo’s are so much easier……

  • It is infuriating, especially when written in a professional capacity. Something that irks me is the picture-captions on Facebook that have wrong spellings, i.e. your, instead of you’re. I know many people don’t notice but I do!

    CJ x

  • Despite the English A level and Degree I have, I think this is one of my faults. I always have to think about apostrophe placement! It is annoying though when basic grammar or spelling is wrong! Their/they’re/there errors drive me insane!

  • Aaaargh. I completely agree. Do you know Lynne Truss’ book ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves?’ It’s all about apostrophes and such stuff! She encourages us all to go around with a marker pen and correct these things. I point them out to everybody in charge whenever I can. There is even a sign on my little one’s nursery this week – Red Nose’s For Sale! It drives me MAD every time I go there – more so because they’re teachers there!

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  • This bothers me too, being a teacher! I saw a sign the other day that said open wed and thur’s! As well as a motorway tea van that was called tina’s tea’s! If ur going to pay for a sign to be printed at least check the spellings!