This is one of those things that I think I’m just a tad hypersensitive to, but it can really irk me when someone uses the totally wrong punctuation for something. For example, take this sign, spotted in a grocery store last year –
Oh boy, where do I start? First, the whole thing about capitalizing every first letter – not necessary! You’re not writing a headline in a newspaper (heck, most of the time not every word is capitalized there). Ok, so what next? See that comma? It should not be there (unless you put another comma before “Mentioned” setting off that section of the sentence). Then we come to “This Weeks Ad”, shoulda been week’s. And the last thing, you don’t put a space between the end of a word an the punctuation!
You would think that writing a sign in a grocery store would be something a person with a first-grade English understanding would be able to do, but, well, I guess not…here’s how the sign should look (at least to me) –
Attention customers: The California Pizza Kitchen pizzas mentioned in this week’s ad will not be included in the sale because they are already sold for a lower retail price of $4.99. Thank you.
The next subject is one I’ve already alluded to in the past – this beauty –
The only way they could have approved on this sign’s error record is if they would have called them tail’s…seriously, that weekend in that particular store, they had all kinds of quotation marks on everything, but this definitely takes the cake with the dashes on the two lines as well.
This bizarre use of punctuation, and especially the old quote key to the right of the home row (at least on most English-language keyboards), brings me to some convenient reminders, because I’ve seen this particular word misused so many times that it has begun to grow on me.
It’s its, and its companion it’s.
I’m not sure why this is one of the most confused usages of a word, but for some reason it is. It’s is a contraction of the words it is, and should be used when appropriate to change the two words into the contraction. On the other hand, its signifies possession. For example, my computer has its own intricacies, it’s got this ability to be a pain in the arse at times.
The same goes for when you’re pluralizing acronyms and other complex words. It’s my general guide to not use an apostrophe when talking about DVDs and CDs, but if I’m talking about a CD’s properties, then, as witnessed, I use the apostrophe.
If there’s anything that can be taken away from this rant of mine, I think that it’s a sign that I’m definitely ready for a change in seasons! 😉
Only 3 more weeks of winter to go (officially, but of course, today marks the start of meteorological spring, so there is some hope for us yet!)!