I sometimes feel as though I am waging a one-woman battle against the poor spelling, inaccurate punctuation, and general incomprehensibility that seems to be taking over modern communication. But I'm very pleased to report a minor, yet very personal, victory.
In my local shopping centre, there's a shoe repair/engraving shop which featured signs saying "KEY'S CUT". This used to send me into a lather of indignation. These weren't handwritten signs you understand, but professionally made signs someone had ordered and someone else had made up like this. I would pass that stand a couple of times a week, and every time I did a voice in my head would exclaim, "KEY'S CUT? KEY'S CUT!!! It's a plural, not a possessive!" I mean, key's what cut? Does key know you're cutting their stuff?
Then last weekend I was out shopping with some friends, who wandered over to the shop to look at possible christening presents. I followed, saying in a voice that was just possibly a tad too loud, "Oh no you don't! Look at their keys cut sign. Until they learn to punctuate properly they're not getting one red cent out of anyone!"
So I can't tell you how gratified I was to walk past the shop again yesterday and see that the offending apostrophes have been removed. The signs now read "KEY S CUT"
but I'm sure that will be rectified shortly. It's a great victory for anal retentives everywhere!
Anyway, I'm sick of hearing that spelling and punctuation don't really matter, that the basic message is what's important. Compare these sentences:
A woman, without her man, is nothing.
A woman: without her, man is nothing.
I think we all know which is the truism here.