Saturday, 31 May 2008

Dearly Beloved

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Dan's Stag, originally uploaded by Gez D.

This angry young man is GrammarBlog's very own Dan. He's getting married today in the fair city of Edinburgh.

I'm sure you would all like to join me in congratulating Dan and his lovely bride, and wish them all the happiness in the world.

I, along with fellow blogstodians Tom and Paddy, will be there to enjoy the 'craic' (as I believe they say in Scotchland) and I'm sure a merry time will be had by all.

The above photo was taken in Stansted airport on the way out to Valencia for Dan's stag do, an account of which can be found over at Paddy's personal blog.

I have quite a number of photos from that trip that are worthy of GrammarBlogging, but I haven't quite got round to it yet.

I should say, before Dan objects, that this is not the most flattering picture. He really is quite handsome when not scowling.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Mail box's

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Apostrophe catastrophe, originally uploaded by Clive Murray.

Thanks to Clive Murray for this gem.

Apparently this shop can be found on George Lane in South Woodford, London.

Clive adds, "I cannot tell you the name of the shop as I was too busy vomiting, and only managed to pause just long enough to take this picture."

We understand.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Customer Support

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Today Tesco Customer Support provided me with this juicy number:
"I'm sorry that the item you received an email referring to a refund for your recent order."
I don't care who you are, that's some astonishing gibberish. In case you're wondering what the man was trying to establish, it was, in fact, that we had been mistakenly refunded for some items that we hadn't actually bought. Well done them.

Bappy hirthday

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Happy birthday, GrammarBlog. One year old and still indignant.

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Saturday, 10 May 2008

Grammar Abuse in Signage Part 16

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Nothing to add here. Disgusting.

Friday, 9 May 2008

A single conclusion?

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Last week I asked a question: how should those silly folks in the Apprentice have punctuated their card? National Single's Day, National Singles' Day or National Singles Day?


We had quite a few responses in line with my first reaction, such as this one from Andrew.

Singles', because it's both possessive and plural. I don't see why this is hard!

So it's easy. Or is it? I remembered some confusion similar to this during the writers strike (note the lack of apostrophe). I did see one paper refer to it as the "writers' strike" but most took the view that the act was a strike and the word "writers" described who was striking. We all know that a word describing a noun is an adjective and adjectives are not possessive. No apostrophe.


Grammar Girl (whose website is now my primary reference for a sensible and informed opinion on all grammar matters) has this to say.

I believe it's pretty clear that the writers don't own the strike, and that the word writers is there to tell us more about what kind of strike it is. So I'd leave out the apostrophe.

On the other hand, I'd include the apostrophe in homeowners' association, at least when the homeowners actually own or control the association that manages their property.

So the question is, does the day belong to the singles or not?


My view is that National Singles Day is a day to celebrate singles, such as Pancake Day is a day to celebrate the pancake.  So no apostrophe is required.


There are many examples of possessed days; These are usually singular: Valentine's day, St. George's day, Mother's day (contentious I know, but you've only got one Mum). There are also examples, as pointed out by Binary Tales, of plurals owning a day. These include National Parks' Week World Teachers' Day and International Women's Day.


The point here is that the contestants in the apprentice were inventing a new occasion. So they can call it what they choose; National Singles' Day is acceptable. However I prefer National Singles Day, especially in the context of a greetings card, for both logical and aesthetic reasons.

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Fuelmyblog blog of the day

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We're blog of the day over at fuelmyblog. We even get an award to display.

I'd like to thank Dan, Tom, Paul, Paddy, Stephen Fry, A.A. Gill, Lynne Truss, MRP, the Engine Room, Paul Brians, Grammar Girl... sorry I'm getting a bit emotional. Oh, I almost forgot to thank my parents and God.

Uh oh, the music's playing.

Fuelmyblog users can vote for us here.

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Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Love thy neighbour (even if he's a high fullutent)

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If none of these people is going to heaven, I don't want to go there either.


Apart from the spelling and apostrophe abuse, this is priceless. Why pick on freelancers, emos and sports nuts?

Found here.



I've just found another picture of the same banner. It's not freelancers; it's freeloaders.


Thursday, 1 May 2008

Single's, Singles' or Singles?

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A clip from last night's Apprentice in which the contestants debate the placement of an apostrophe for about 3 hours.

Should it be "National Single's Day", "National Singles' Day" or "National Singles Day"?

After consulting a couple of style guides I think I know the answer but I'll open it up to you guys to discuss first.

So what do you think?

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