Shopping with my mum on Friday, I spotted two apostrophe horrors.
The first was in the ladies lingerie department of Marks and Spencer – a shop that you would think should know better!
The second horror was on the side of several recycling bins, in the shopping centre. To protect the innocent (well, misguided) I have cropped some of the details from the photograph. This was a winner in a Primary School poster competition, designed to raise awareness for the need to reduce, recycle and re-use.
As a teacher, I am disappointed that it was allowed to be entered into the competition with a) two irrelevant apostrophes – one in the heading and one further down, and b) a spelling mistake – reduse instead of reduce. I am further disappointed by the fact that it was one of the winners of the competition, and is now plastered over lots of recycling bins in the town!
It’s a shame, because it’s a nice clear poster, but surely it wouldn’t have taken much to ask the child to correct the mistakes before entering it into the competition.
I know some people would argue that the mistakes don’t prevent you understanding the meaning of the poster, and therefore should be ignored, but I think it doesn’t portray the school in a good light, or the judges of the competition. By not correcting the mistake it is condoning and perpetuating incorrect grammar.