We take your point, but we’re still going to judge.

Written By: admin - Sep• 10•12

GrammarTroika sister #2, Shannon, saw this on her Facebook feed and sent it in with the cheerful comment “Hey, if YOU’RE happy together, F- the English language!”

I’m with you, Shannon, you know I am. But I’m pretty sure you’re not going to get super-positive feedback from your friend, you know?

Also, yes, “GrammarTroika” is a thing now. Also also, don’t click on the picture and view that Tumblr if you value your grammar-sanity. Let’s just say this is not the only picture that merits red ink.

Good news, bad news.

Written By: admin - Aug• 24•12

The good news: it’s Friday. (For YOU, that is.)

The bad news? All of this crap.

You know, I joke about defacing things, and the whole red pen thing. But I don’t DO it very often. In this case, though, I really don’t think I could have helped myself. It’s chalk, so correcting it wouldn’t even have been very costly to the sign-owner. So I would have corrected it, informed the sign-owner that s/he had personally ruined my weekend, and then cried quietly into my meatball’s.

Please tell me that’s how it went down, Lisa?

Crunchy, delicious apostrophe mutilation, and braaaaaaaains

Written By: admin - Aug• 20•12

Colleen cheerfully wrote, “A little Etsy find for you!”

Yiiiiikes. To me, the “yikes” is more about the conviction with which this is written. I will admit — nay, I willofferthe fact preemptively — that I am not good at spelling. There are a lot of words I have to stop and think about. I even replay grammar rules in my mind now and then. And sometimes, when I’m writing and I’m feeling lazy and I’m not sure of something?I don’t use that something. That’s right… I find another way to arrange things such that I don’t have to invest any further energy in determining the correct spelling or usage.

What I don’t do is blithely go ahead when I’m not sure.

I mean, they could have gone with “pizza,” you know?

And speaking of “taco’s” on Etsy — or rather a singular taco with no egregious apostrophe abuse — I am seriously attracted to the taco below.

(You can click either picture to go to the respective stores, if you find yourself in need of shabby chic housewares or crocheted zombie food. Yes, there’s zombie pizza too.)

On Bewilderments of the Eyes and other things Cave-related

Written By: admin - Aug• 13•12

For some reason I cannot fathom, a goodly number of my contributors and readers share an alma mater, which appears to be a fairly selective liberal arts college somewhere in the American wilderness. As such we’ve already had a couple of submissions featuring signage from (or about) that institution.

Apparently this lovely school has a pub-like music venue called The Cave, located in the basement a of a truly beautiful old building which has come, over the years, to have a permanent and no longer truly subtle Odeur de Party. Once upon a time this dorm was for ladies only, and it was named after an alumna whose last name was Evans.

The good news, I guess, is that Evans is being renovated, which will mean that future reunion-goers who stay there will not have to relive their college years quite as viscerally.

The bad news is self-evident.

Thanks, Jessica!

(Again, first poster with the source citation gets 10 RPB points.)

Reporter #1 Goes On Vacation

Written By: admin - Aug• 10•12

As always, I can mostly leave this post up to Reporter #1 herself. First, a picture from Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mt. St. Helens.

The ants go marching one by one, hoorah, hoorah. The ants go marching one by one, hoorah, hoorah! The ants go marching one by one until the side of their mountain fell down and then it erupted in a way that geologists and vulcanologists had totally not anticipated, leading to the loss of 57 lives and the biggest landslide ever recorded. So that’s why there’s a monumant.

Actually, Reporter #1, you might be having too much fun with this.

I got nothing. I’m just sad.

That’s more like it.

I got things! Sorry, thing’s. My favorite is the list of good and bad attributes at the bottom, which lead me to believe that this workplace would be approximately my personal nightmare. Also, Manager who likes to Give Direction, Randomly Capitalize, and Never Let Your Employees Take Breaks? “Unlike” is not the word you wanted. Ahem.

Reporter #1’s new guidebook!

Written By: admin - Jul• 02•12

Okay, this isn’t a done deal, but I’m pitching it here and now. It’ll be irreverent, hip, young — and all about the best typos in Buffalo!

First among the many fine places you must visit in Buffalo is the Buffalo Zoo, where members are only appreciated two nights a year. Or three, or six. It’s tough to tell, but it’s obviously not very many nights.

If you’re sticking around Buffalo for a while and have children, do make sure you check out the summer reading program, focusing on the consumption of writing without being particular about punctuation.

On the other hand, maybe Reporter #1 is limiting herself geographically a bit too soon.

Link, in the vain hope that they’ll see this and FIIIIX IIIIIT.

Something in my brain is broken.

Written By: admin - Apr• 14•12

Happy Friday! In my head, it’s Friday, because I got to work on Friday, even if an hour later it was Saturday. Clearly I’m not normal. So perhaps that’s why I’m unimpressed by Hollywood’s new belief that trailers generating excitement for trailers makes sense! Whatever.  Today, the (actual) trailer for Looper was released, and as far as Google allows me to tell it’s impressed its target audience.  Ooo, did you see how I used both “it’s” and “its,” which are different words with different meanings, in that sentence?  Good, it was warm-up exercise for this.

Time travel? Joseph Gordon-Levitt growing up into Bruce Willis? Okay, I’m on board. I’m all about suspension of disbelief. But I can’t QUITE shake the suspicion that what they wanted here was “loopers’ guns,” since we know there are “many” loopers and since the one we see depositing a gun is, well, only depositing A gun.


Oh hai Sony. You have me a mite worried.

I’m KVELLING. (Look it up.)

Written By: admin - Mar• 29•12

Seriously, I don’t use Yiddish often, but there is no better word for what this little story from Reporter #1 did to me.  Tweaked only to change the kid’s name, because she deserves better than to be a minimized version of her mom. 😛

This evening, Reporter #1’s 8-year-old  7-and-a-half-year-old (sorry! I do words, not math!), CubReporter, bellowed from the bathroom while she was brushing her teeth.

R#1: What?
CubReporter: There’s a mistake on my toothpaste.
R#1: What’s the mistake?
CubReporter: It says “kid’s toothpaste” with an apostrophe.
R#1:  Yes, it does.
CubReporter: They made it a possessive noun.
R#1: Well, doesn’t it belong to you?
When she finished brushing her teeth, she came back to our room…
CubReporter: But it could belong to more than one kid!
R#1: Do you know how you would make it a plural possessive?
CubReporter: No.
R#1: Well, how do you make “kid” plural?
CubReporter: Make it “kids”.
R#1: And then where do you put the apostrophe?
CubReporter: *shrug*
R#1: On the end, after the “s”. And high five for your very first* submission to Red Pen Brigade.

Are you not just DYING? I have been waiting for this day since, well, since August 25 of 2009.  And yes, this error is all over Crest’s website, too.

*Of course I also have to point out that while this might have been the first error she identified herself, this is actually not CubReporter’s first appearance on this blog, as both her lovely mug and her less-lovely ceramic mug appeared here in January of last year.


Written By: admin - Mar• 17•12

I won’t say this is my PET peeve, but it’s a peeve.  Fortunately, it’s Colleen’s pet peeve, so I’ll let her take it from here.

A few days later, Colleen forwarded this with delight.  Well, delight at her husband, I mean, not delight at the typo, and probably not delight at mega-grocery store Albertsons.  And while we’re on the subject, Albertsons — your “about” page informs me that you were founded by Joe Albertson, and that makes me suspect that you probably want an apostrophe IN YOUR OWN NAME, but OKAY


And just a day later, Colleen sent this, which she received from her sister.  The whole family is vigilant!

CHALLENGE:  How many wrong examples of this can YOU find today, Dear Reader?

BLOG NOTE:  I’m working overnights.  I won’t say I’m in a permanently bad mood, but I’m permanently confused about days and times.  Posts may be sparse until my next shift rotation…

DAILY HEADDESK: “I don’t need no stinkin’ apostrophe” Edition

Written By: admin - Feb• 28•12

Submitted without comment, by me.

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