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Apostrophe

by Adam Zack — August 22, 2018

Picture of Adam Zack

It’s the details that matter.

I have been watching the incredible documentary Vietnam by Ken Burns (about 18 hours long, perfect to watch hour by hour on train commutes).

I’m almost done, and episode 8 focuses largely on the protests in America over the war and the militant like organized protests of the Nixon administration and the war.  For those of you old enough to remember 1969, you’ll recall the marches of hundreds of thousands of people to show their opposition to the war and how they were largely organized at college campuses across America, especially in New York, Chicago, Berkeley and San Francisco.  For you youngsters who don’t remember Vietnam at all, it’s an enlightening and interesting history lesson.  As an American, I support everyone’s right to peaceful assembly and free speech.  I am a stickler for grammar and the one thing that really stood out to me on the footage of the protest marches shown was the pervasive misuse of the apostrophe on their protest signs.  “Bring home our GI’s!”  “We support our POW’s and MIA’s!”  “Bring our Troop’s home now!”  I mean these were college campus protests, largely supported by the liberal faculty, and they couldn’t get punctuation right?  No wonder they were so divisive.  The conservative protectors of spelling and grammar were off put right from the start.  Of course the issues were the real conflict, but man it sure made me wonder if all the protest marches were scheduled during English class?  It reminded of the importance of proper spelling and punctuation.  It’s visible on all of the signs, ads, websites, menus and bag-stuffers we do.  As grocers, it is a direct reflection on our competence and credibility with our customers.  Someone has to be the proof-reader in your organization.  For the eight customers who don’t notice the Banana’s 49 cents sign, there are two others that are thinking “The Banana’s what is 49 cents?  Someone doesn’t know their possessive punctuation.  Are these guys a bunch of dumb%$#s?”  It circles back to the fact that especially in retail, it’s the little things that matter.  The cleanliness of the restrooms, the dust on the top shelf, the gunk built up on the mop bucket.  We all want to be better every day, and it’s the detail’s* that matter.  

*Murder of apostrophe intended.

Read More – Nature

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