This is a flyer posted in my neighborhood:
I’m not sure why there are quotation marks around the word auction, unless this is some sort of fake auction — one that has a secret agenda that is known to only a few people. If this were a TV show, people would show up for the auction, but there would also be some drug dealers in the crowd who would clamor to buy the Precious Moments figurines because each one was actually stuffed full of cocaine.
Or, more likely, someone at the auction house just threw in those quotation marks because they didn’t know better.
In spite of all the kvetching I do here about the seeming decline in correct English grammar, spelling, and punctuation, I generally feel that there are certain absolutes in life. For example, I expect that any professionally-packaged food that I find at the well-known organic grocery store I frequent will be correct and error-free.
Apparently, I should lower my expectations:
Now I do think perhaps it’s time to worry for America’s future.
(In case you’re not clear about why I am upset, I direct you to this post.)
I was sitting in the reception area of the orthodontist’s office (something I do a lot since I have two daughters currently in braces) when I saw this in a major women’s magazine:
Things like this make me wonder what in the hell is going on up on Madison Avenue. Surely someone — some highly-paid ad exec — knows that you don’t use apostrophes to make words or names plural. You add an S or, in this case, since Jones ends in an S, you add an ES.
Other than the errant apostrophe, I have no other criticisms, and the apples were delicious.
I was writing a date the other day and realized that I couldn’t remember if it needed a comma or not. Some formats require commas, while others do not. I did some research and thought I’d just lay it all out here for future reference:
- October 2012
- October 8, 2012
- Monday, October 8, 2012
- I am attending the Monday, October 8, meeting. (I have never liked that second comma and therefore never use it.) (What? You thought I’d be a Punctuation Totalitarian?)
- The meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 8, and attendees should be prepared.
- The meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 8 at noon.
I actually didn’t know a couple of these, so I’m glad I did a little research.
My 14 year old daughter and I were in Whole Foods last weekend, where she noticed an apostrophe error in the cheese department. (The all-too-frequent mistake of using an apostrophe to make something plural.) She noticed it and immediately wanted to fix it.
She is SO my daughter.
A friend shared this with me on Facebook:
I had no idea that Rachel would be so inspired by eating humans and dogs.
This is another excellent example of why commas are so very important.
I just found this excellent article in the New York Times on the most common comma mistakes. Honestly, I don’t always get it right either and, even after reading this, I’m still not sure I’ll remember the rules. All the same, it’s a good article and I encourage you to read it.