Rumination No. 39: Behold the Catapostrophe!

Back in March, I had a big whinge about how people misuse (or rather, don’t use) hyphens. Whilst it was frustrating to view these cases at Aldi in person, it was good fun to write that piece.

It may seem strange to you that I haven’t complained yet about what is possibly the most misunderstood punctuation mark of all: the apostrophe.

Frankly, I thought that it would be a bit tiresome to carry on about the apostrophe, since so many grammarians already complain about it, whether in cases of contraction or possession. Many of these errors are seen on café blackboards or signs at fruit shops, for example, ‘scrambled egg’s on toast’ or ‘fresh tomato’s’. They’re just horrid to read, aren’t they?

Of course, this topic just had to creep up on me in an unexpected way, so here we are. I just couldn’t resist drawing your attention to what is quite possibly the most ridiculous misuse of the apostrophe that I have ever witnessed.

I present to you: the ‘catapostrophe’ of local takeaway food shop, Figgy Kebabs…

What you see here on this white sign is truly baffling. In the word ‘today’s’, we see the correct use of a possessive apostrophe. About whose specials are we talking? We are talking about today’s specials.

Move your eyes to the next line and you’ll see an apostrophe included incorrectly in what should just be the word ‘specials’. Are we meant to believe that this apostrophe makes the word possessive, which means that we still don’t know what today’s special actually owns? It’s unfinished!

Otherwise, are we meant to think that it’s an incomplete sentence with a contraction? That would make it: ‘Today’s special is…’. or the even more nonsensical ‘Today is special is…’. What is today’s special then?! What is with all the ‘is’es?! Nothing is complete!

The icing on the cake is that the name of this shop, Figgy Kebabs, shows the correct use of a plural. Do you see an apostrophe in the word ‘kebabs’? No, you don’t.

This, my friends, is a true catapostrophe.

Not to mention, their choice of typeface for the sign is dreadful. All hope is lost.

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