The #Apostrophes of Giffnock
For a prompter who wanted me to write on “Apostrophe Abuse’s”, thus sending me into an apostrophe spin, I set off for a stroll through Giffnock to have a look at the uses and abuses of the apostrophe in the cold light of day.
First up, we have “Domino’s”: the pizzas belonging to Domino, as opposed to dominoes. Granted, the logo is a single domino, so I was happy with that.
Sad to say, the Bookie had it all wrong. At least, they had this one wrong. “Lucky 31’s & 63’s”. Ew. Skin crawling. Why? Is there a letter missing? Is there possession going on? No. Does this just bolster one’s prejudices against Bookies? Eh, maybe. I was just glad there wasn’t an apostrophe in “Bookmaker’s”. That would have finished me off.
A charity shop then restored my faith. “Volunteers’ Week”. Ahh…! Oh, the pleasure of knowing that someone knew that the Week was for more than one Volunteer! Excellent.
Next we have a more controversial one. I have expressed my unease with the Mother’s Day/Mothers’ Day apostrophe problem before. Clearly this event is intended to prompt the celebration of more than one Father, so should it not be “Fathers’ Day”? But everyone celebrating it is usually only celebrating one father, so then, arguably, this singular apostrophe is okay. But then, if one is fully engaged with the bandwagon of equality and political correctness and apostrophe obsession, should we not allow for the fact that people might want to honour their fathers in the plural?
The high point of my wander through Giffnock was MAN’S WORLD. Brilliant. The apostrophe saves us from thinking that it’s a worse plural-gaffe mistake. We know it shouldn’t be MEN WORLD. We know it’s MAN’S WORLD. (Although, if one is again operating under the banner of all things equal, the name of the shop in itself might cause one some issues. Cue Cher.) And then, under the name of the shop, joy of joys, are the words: “Boys’ & Girls’ Schoolwear”. Very satisfying.
The same attention to detail was missing from this special offer board – but the “GIRLS CUT & BLOW DRY” sounds like a good deal. Although why you would want to cut your girls before you got a blow dry is beyond me. (Sorry.)
In another charity shop was a final sign that made me very happy with its confident use of punctuation in general: the “URGENT!” with a well placed exclamation mark for emphasis; a colon setting us up to hear what they need, then a correctly used apostrophe. One could, I suppose, quibble with the inconsistent use of capitals in “Men’s Casual wear”. Why not “Men’s Casual Wear”? Or perhaps even “Men’s Casualwear”? And with the colon and the exclamation mark, I feel a little forlorn, bereft of a full stop to round off a potentially great poster.
All in all though, that ten minutes in Giffnock served to demonstrate a wide range of apostrophe use and, in general, I feel that is was a lot better than I feared it might be.
(I now await criticism of the punctuation of this post.)