Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Grocers' Apostrophe

The grocers' apostrophe, also known as the greengrocers' apostrophe, is defined by WordSpy as "An apostrophe erroneously inserted before the final 's' in the plural form of a word. Also: greengrocer's apostrophe."

Of course it is not just grocers that have a habit of putting apostrophes where they shouldn't be, examples of this erroneous behavior can also be found at restaurants, hardware stores, gas stations and pretty much anywhere there is a sign.

What I find humorous is that no one seems to agree on where the apostrophe should go in the word "grocer(')s(') apostrophe."

10 comments:

Prashant Mehta said...

where the apostrophe should go in the word "grocer(')s(') apostrophe."


LOL

Erin Davis said...

This is my public punctuation pet peeve, but I had never heard of this name for it. I will definitely share with my students!

Pyzahn said...

Why does tomato have an "e" with plural and potato doesn't?

Language is a trip, isn't it? When I think of the origins, it completely boggles my mind.

Wordacious said...

Actually, the plural of potato should be potatoes. I think the cartoonist was just playing with different variations of incorrect apostrophe use.

Gee Man said...

I think the cartoonist is demonstrating the completely random nature of apostrophe use by those who don't understand it - "Chip's and Peas" and "Beer's and Tacos" are a couple of examples. Arguably "Cauli's" would be correct but "Cauliflower's" is Just Plain Wrong

Anonymous said...

I wrote an obituary for the grocers' apostrophe that might give you a giggle: http://obitchuaries.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/thegrocersapostrophe/

Laura Payne said...

obitchuaries - Thanks for sharing. I am giggling.

Anonymous said...

I saw a painting of a city scene, apparently in France, with narrow cobblestone streets, picturesque shops, and blue street signs in French on the walls of the buildings. In front of a little bistro was a sign reading:

"Crepe's du jour.".

And there isn't even a possessive apostrophe in French!

Anonymous said...

God bless all y'all! You have made my day.

Mark Jones said...

For the apostrophe of the grocer:

grocer's blah - one grocer
grocers' blah - many or class of grocers

at least that's what I was taught in high school English in the 60's (and _that's_ the weird use of the apostrophe in forming some kinds of plurals; there's a name for it which I fergit. "60s" would mean "sixty seconds." Again, by what I was taught, and also found in the contemporary style books from the wire services if memory is not totally shot.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...