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{27/01/2012}   Our Abused Language – The Apostrophe Poem

Today I saw a deli announcing it sold “Panini’s”. This is wrong on three levels, which is outrageous, particularly as they claimed to be an Italian deli. Panini is the plural of panino, in which case the ‘s’ is so wrong it pains me to contemplate. As for the apostrophe? Hello? Where is the belonging in a list? Oh, unless [Mr] Panini owns the cafe and it’s [Mr] Panini’s sandwiches (interestingly no apostrophe necessary for that “s”.

Why can’t people get the apostrophe right? There are far more difficult things to learn than the simple use of an apostrophe. And why don’t the people who make signs correct the English? If I were making the Waterstone’s sign, there would be a bloody great apostrophe there. Harrod’s? Same.

Why would I sell apples, banana’s, strawberries and orange’s? It’s a list, they’re plurals, be consistent even. Just add an ‘s’.

An idea: An apostrophe song to the tune of O Christmas Tree [it turns out this is less than 500 words but a song doesn’t consist of sentences so it’s also a lesson in, erm, abbreviation?!]:

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

Why are you used so dreadfully!

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

Why are you used so dreadfully!

The sight of thee on signs around

Misplaced and added lib’rally

Why are you used so dreadfully!

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

Thou serves a wond’rous purpose:

Thou dost make plain a thing that’s mine

Good use of me makes it is it’s!

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

Thou serves a wond’rous purpose.

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

I love you used correctly

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

I love you used correctly

A letter’s missed, you take its place

But when plural you have no place
Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

I love you used correctly!

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

Don’t put me in your apple’s

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

Your presence there ain’t welcome

For seeing signs with you misused

Is oh so wrong it pains me so

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

Don’t put me in your apple’s.
Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

Your misuse is a travesty!

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

Your misuse is a travesty!

On lists of things you should not be;

Mine, his, yours, its, one’s not required!

Apostrophe, Apostrophe!

Your misuse is a travesty!

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