Site Logo  How not to do it
If you're trying to learn English, it might reassure you to know that you're not the only one who makes mistakes. These are all wrong. Sometimes itís not such a bad mistake, and in every case I should say itís easy to understand, but it makes you wonder...
More to follow.

Resident Clinton or Obama? And do they own the card or is it out on loan? Ownership or not, this is an association of ownership and should be marked with an apostrophe. Resident's card, I'll have you know.

Swop? Noel Edmonds would go crazy. Swap swap swap!

Tail-gateing is a term used to describe how one car closely follows another under a barrier to avoid paying. The problem is, it shouldn't be. It should read tail-gating. The infinitive (this one at least) drops the e when it changes to a gerund. I wonder if the inaccuracy of the sign could be reasonable mitigation in court. It should be.

Waterfall is one word. I wonder if the waterfall divided out of respect to the sign writer. This sign is pretty poor all round, constant capitalisation for example.

You could argue that it's in fact a delicately crafted compound noun, but most sign writers aren't so smart. This is a pretty shocking apostrophe omission. Father's Day would imply the day of the father, that being one father, which we all have. Or, alternatively, Fathers' Day would be OK as there is more than one father celebrating. In either case, the little shoulder height possession marking squiggle is an absolute must.

Apostrophe Hell

Superfluous apostrophes by the dozen, this advertising board left me fuming all the way up Edelston Road.

OK, this is a bit more difficult to spot, but two thirds of the way down we are introduced to a young lady by the name of Sold. Is this the slave trade all over again? Are Tesco offering discounts on people? Or have they added another S by mistake? Miss-sold!!! Come on, guys, have you nobody in your massive organisation that can proof read simple information? Mis-sold. The prefix implying incorrectly or badly done does not take the same form as an unmarried female, who are admittedly very welcome in their own way, but not where it involves an invasion into the conventions of good spelling.
Oh, and they forgot the question mark too.

How many Chris Austins are there? And does one of them own a butcher's? And if so, has he just given up ownership thereof? I think we should be told. Or treated to the visual feast of yet another apostrophe. Same re Queen's Head below. Maybe she lost her head courtesty of a carefully aimed axe, and the apostrophe suffered the very same fate.

So is this a verb infinitive or a destination? Hey it's a nice day, let's go to good. That should be a nice day out. The verb form is worse, we have to good things a bit. I can't come out this evening, sorry, I'm gooding. A subsequent O would set this sign off very nicely, although it still falls foul of the non-native speaker tendency to think that TOO means the same as very.

Karaoke. I'll let you off, it's a Japanese word after all.

Its is a possessive adjective. 'It is' should be represented by it's. I think that's what you meant, isn't it guys? Crisis in the economy, oh no, it's hit the grammar budget too.

Sudden breaking? Are they advertising a crash course in crashing? Perhaps they wish to offset any offence caused by a perpetually flatulent instructor. My guess is though they have been too busy reading insurance quotes and have adopted a Murphy's Law scenario. Or is that Murphey's Law? No E in braking, guys! Break, and brake. One avoids the other. I'll leave you to work out which one it is.

Another ludicrously apostrophised word.