Apostrophe catastrophe

Conversation with Jen as we approached Elland last week:

R: Did you see that sign just then? ‘Butty's R Us’. That was Butty, apostrophe, S! Outrageous!
J: …Whereas, you have no problems at all with the rest of the sign?

The importance of punctuation

Telegraph: Rupert Murdoch: arrested Sun journalists can return to work

This means a different thing entirely to:

Telegraph: Rupert Murdoch arrested; Sun journalists can return to work

(Unfortunately.)

"!"

Guardian: What's with all the 'quotation marks'? - in pictures
The inappropriate use of quotation marks seems to be on the rise, but one noble blog – Smosh.com – has started naming and shaming these crimes against grammar and common sense. Please, 'enjoy' our selection of inadvertently hilarious signs, notices and labels – and try not to think too hard about what it all means.

I have to say, one photo in particular made stuff come out of my nose:

Beware of 'Dog'.

Overheard in Halifax

"So what's his new bird like?"
"She's pretty good, for Ben!"

(A nice illustration of the importance of commas, I thought.)

Finally some appreciation!

Anonymous emailer Ken Keenes writes:

I am mightily impressed by gruts which I stumbled upon quite by chance whilst researching fart related material via google. Actually, that is not strictly correct as I was looking for 'trapped wind' which I suppose is quite the opposite of fart. Nevertheless, your site is wondrous to behold because of the grammatical clarity and, in my opinion, proper use of punctuation.

I despair at some of the inane ramblings which appear on the internet which are clearly written by someone a) drunk, b) on drugs, c) both, but more importantly who did not pay full attention to English lessons while at school.

Glad to see all those hours of grammatical hell in Messrs Harrison's and Stephens' English lessons weren't a complete waste of time, Ken. I rather pride myself on my punctuation: I think it's important. I make a point of methodically punctuating all of my text messages, and pretending not to be able understand anyone who uses those silly SMS abbreviations. It drives my sister up the wall.

Now all I need is some content to match the quality of the punctuation. Not much chance of that, I'm afraid.

Disclaimer quotes

The Guardian should be ashamed of itself with its punctuation: that this person was pregnant cannot be doubted, whether they are a man most certainly can be. The headline should read:

Pregnant 'man' gives birth to baby girl

Or, more accurately:

Pregnant transsexual gives birth to baby girl

(No need for disclaimer quotes at all, you see.)

The :-

Whatever happened to the colon-dash punctuation mark. You remember the thing:

:-

It seems to have gone the way of bowler hats, Texan bars and white dog poo.

When I was a kid, we were taught that we should always introduce a list with a colon followed by a dash. But nowadays, all you ever see is colons. Granted, the colons look a lot tidier without the dashes, but I wonder who it was who decided that the dash was no longer necessary. Perhaps they thought it looked a bit too much like one of those godawful smilies. A smiley without a smile.

I seem to be spending far too much time worrying about this sort of thing these days.

The colon-dash, eh? Sounds like some sort of sponsored charity event in a hospital.