The dirty little secret

Written By: admin - Apr• 05•13

MAJOR NATIONAL CHAIN Victoria’s Secret, via Shannon, would like you to contemplate this.

Shannon was upset, as one should be, about the apostrophe, but also about the “scare quotes.” And I’m not sure I entirely agree with him. In fact, I can kind of see how the minds behind this ad got here. The name of the line is “Body.” The tagline they were going with requires a plural, but I assume the branding people didn’t want them using “bodies” when that’s not the name of the line. So… they did this.

I’m saying I can see how they got here. I’m not saying I’m okay with it. Because I’m not.

I’d split the difference with Shannon. I’d take “You’ve never seen ‘Body’ like these.” I would even accept — for the sake of branding and whatnot, although I would have cringed mightily — “Body”s, as long as it was very clear they were using quotation marks and not apostrophes. In that case, in fact, the quotation marks would have been exactly right, indicating that they knew they were doing something a grammatically iffy and that it was deliberate.

If I’d been the ad designer, I would have gone with only one model and “You’ve never seen a ‘Body’ like this.” But then, of course, we would have only had half the nudeariffic nudity, so. And we wouldn’t want that.

How did this slip past the media?

Written By: admin - Apr• 01•13

There’s been so much excitement about the size of beverages in New York recently that apparently the national media completely missed it when the New England Legislature passed HR24601-42. It’s now illegal to serve clam chowder on Fridays, except at Pano’s restaurant.

…or should we say that all media except Reporter #1 missed it?

I personally am outraged at this discrimination against all non-Pano restaurants. Let’s start a petition.

How not to get my money.

Written By: admin - Mar• 27•13

Part of my decline into Oooooold has involved an increase in the number of pills I take a day. I gave up last year and bought one of those pill cases that has not just a compartment for every day, but two compartments for every day, so you can fit in the breakfast pills and the bedtime ones in different compartments. So I saw these from a distance and thought that they might be right up my alley until OH NO THEY DIDN’T.


First of all, can we talk about the fact that “pod” is a real word, not an acronym, so it actually doesn’t need to be in all capital letters? I mean, aside from the blisteringly obvious THAT IS NOT HOW YOU USE AN APOSTROPHE.

And fear not, RPBers. I did the dirty, dirty job of checking the prominently advertised website to see if the error is reproduced online and wasn’t just an extremely unfortunate typo on product packaging (which you really, really should double-check, if you make a product).


But this is where it gets interesting. Let’s break this down for a minute.

At the RED ARROW, we have improper capitalization and an improperly used apostrophe.

At the BLUE ARROW, we have the improper capitalization, but the apostrophe has been spared.

And then we have the part I’ve underlined in pink, which features a properly capitalized acronym with¬† acceptable use of an apostrophe!

I can only conclude that the copywriters at have decided to cover every single punctuation base they could imagine. Well done!

I can feel the hives a-comin’.

Written By: admin - Mar• 25•13

My father found this one, and sent it to me because apparently he wants me to cry. So props to my father — and to Starbucks!

You know what’s kind of funny? When I look at this, I actually am additionally upset — I mean, beyond the onset of the hives, and the weeping, more than that — at the randomly incomplete set of quotation marks in Tuesday’s tea items.

Why does “tea” only get one unnecessary quotation mark? Why? What does it mean?

Your zen moment for this Wednesday

Written By: admin - Mar• 20•13

I just don’t even with this one.

Reporter #1 notes “It’s not just the weirdness, it’s the inconsistency.”

You certainly have a point, Reporter #1. But it’s also the weirdness. I’m so confused. Does anybody have any light to shed on this?

All KINDS of exciting possibilities going on here

Written By: admin - Mar• 15•13

Eric A. found this sticker in his lab. That’s right, his lab, where dangerous things occur… things like WEAR-EYE and BODY PROTECTION. Also FACE.

You want to be very, very careful in a place like this, Eric. Stay safe.

You can lead a horse to water

Written By: admin - Mar• 13•13

Reporter #1 was playing my game of trying to explain away the horror on some signage. Surely there must be an excuse. Right? RIGHT?

I was ready to make the case for this being right because it COULD be saying that “panini is italian for sandwich”… except for the pesky quotes… and the fact that they apostrophized it in the rest of the text as well.

You can’t make them drink, Reporter #1. You just have to let them figure it out.

Also, the capitalization annoys me!

RPB and automotive safety

Written By: admin - Mar• 04•13

It cracks me up how many of the pictures on this site were clearly captured in cars. I just hope they’re not moving cars, peeps.

So this beautiful photo comes from GrammarTroika Sister #2, Shannon. She was worried that the photo wouldn’t clearly show the half-use of quotation marks. Which leads us to an eternal question: what’s worse, random incorrect use of quotation marks, or half incorrect use? We’ve got one of the former and two of the latter issues here…

New words still have rules, y’all.

Written By: admin - Mar• 01•13

Reporter #1 did the circling here, and she’s absolutely right. I don’t care if you can find the word “crockpotting” in your dictionary or not, it still is obviously going to need two of the letter t. It’s not even completely out of left field! One pots a plant, and that’s plant potting.

So there’s that. But Reporter #1 says the bad spelling “litters the site.” She’s highlighted some more for us.

I don’t know if Reporter #1 missed it or was just too tired to continue weilding her, ahem, blue pen, but there’s a little abused apostrophe in “photo’s” up there too!

But… they make poffertjes! and wooden shoes!

Written By: admin - Feb• 27•13

Colleen submits this on behalf of Diane.

Diane spotted this gem in The Reporter, the newspaper for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

I’ve been to the Netherlands. Even if you’re going to go with “Holland” instead, they deserve better than a misspelling and a missed comma!

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