Thursday, November 20, 2008

Apostrophe Errors - Boys and Girls Restrooms

The signs on the restrooms at my sons' middle school read BOY'S and GIRL'S. Pictured above is the boys room (as one of my sons was with me, I was unable to get a picture of the girls room because he was about to "die of embarrassment."). At any rate, I wonder who the one lucky boy and one lucky girl are that each get to have their own personal restroom.

Thankfully, the Language Arts teachers at the school are always among the first to point out this apostrophe error.



Haha! Just so you don't feel bad that these apostrophe errors are at your sons' school...we have a similar apostrophe error on one of our bathroom signs at work. And I work for a NEWSPAPER. Ugh. The irony, right?

Mrs4444 said...

That's crazy! :)

Found your page via Google in a search for the proper punctuation for our schools webpages for sports. Currently, the site lists Girl's and Boy's Swimming, so I'm trying to tell them it needs to be either Girls' Swimming or Girls Swimming. I'd be interested in your opinion...thanks.

Wordacious said...

Mrs4444 -

You are 100% correct that "Girl's and Boy's Swimming" is incorrect; unless, of course, there is only one girl on the girls team and one boy on the boys team.

Out of curiousity, I just checked the website for my son's school and they have the sports listed with no apostrophe (Boys Basketball, Girls Volleyball).

The prescriptive rule for plural, possesives is to place the apostrophe after the "s".

Also, no apostrophe at all is always better than an incorrectly used apostrophe.

You might enjoy this site -

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, Mrs4444. Shouldn't you have punctuated the "school's webpages" (assuming it is just one school specifically) and I don't know any way that Girls Swimming (without an apostrophe after the s in Girls is correct.) Is Girls an adjective since it modifies Swimming? Not's either a plural noun as written or a possessive noun if punctuated correctly. It makes no sense to write it without the apostrophe.

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