Hi, Friday Folliers! Today the Grammar Cop treats you to no less than five boo-boos, all gleaned from the Opinion (letters) page of our popular weekly, The Suburban. Without further ado:
- “For childrens’ sakes, fix the snow and ice clearing in NDG!”
- “It’s front wheels were turned into the sidewalk…”
- “…every summer weekend at Expo 67′, even though…
- “Pavillions / pavillions / Pavillion / Pavillions / Pavillion”
- “…it was Buck Roger’s home base on…”
Okay, granted, these errors were ‘just’ in letters. To the editor. Signed. I don’t know about you, but I for one sure wouldn’t like to have my letter published in a newspaper (albeit a local weekly) with my name, if it included mistakes like those. Corrections:
- The word children is already a plural form. Therefore when you want it to be possessive, as in for the sake of the children, you should either say it like this, OR it should be for the children’s sake. No need to pluralize sake, by the way. Also by the way, this appeared in the caption under a photo that the page’s editor so helpfully added. Grrr.
- Unlike most English words which take an ‘s to show possession (as above – children’s), the word it is a BIG EXCEPTION. I harp on this because it’s (note: it’s = a contraction for it is) a mistake that shows up so often. The possessive form of it would be: its. No apostrophe.
- There is no reason for there to be an apostrophe after “67” here. I think the writer was confused as to how to write the short form of the year, 1967. In a date, the apostrophe should go before the two digits, as: ’67. This indicates that it’s short for 1967. Also, note that if it’s a curly apostrophe, it should resemble a closing single quote, not an opening one. By single quotes, I mean: ‘this.’
- You’re probably wondering: What’s with all the “Pavillions/pavillions”? Well, I’ll tell you. The letter writer, who was writing about Montreal’s Expo ’67, mentioned this word no less than FIVE times – and it’s spelled wrong every single time. (At least she was consistent!) Pavilion should have only one ‘l’ in it.
- The same writer as in #4 wrote this. She must not have been a fan of Buck Rogers. 😉
I will leave you now with these words: It’s been fun, but for the children’s sake, don’t let them get into Buck Rogers, a character invented way back in the ’20s. One day we should build a museum – of Pop Culture. I’d go there.