Apostrophes – learn how to use them.

This is just painful.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • http://fengardice.wordpress.com Fabio García

    Not all hope is lost, though… at least they got the apostrophe on “Jehovah’s” right.

    Also, “high fullutent”? Look, English is not my native language, but I think I can recognize a real word when I see it.

  • Daniel Schealler

    You missed an opportunity there.

    Apostrophe’s – learn how to use them.

  • http://metapeen.blogspot.com Elly Pemberton

    “Effeminate men” and “loud mouth women” made me laugh. Also “Emo’s” ROFL

  • José

    Bahi’s? I suppose they meant the Bahá’i Faith. Oh and “Loud Mouth Women.”

  • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    The Apostrophe: Learning how to use it is not hard. Failing to do so for more than, say, 30 years, is a sign of intentional ignorance.

  • invivoMark

    I think it was Dave Barry who said that the use of an apostrophe was to warn the reader that an “s” is coming up.

    Also, P.K’s? I love that inconsistent punctuation, but, what is a P.K? Player Killer? Psychokinetic? Penalty kick?

    • Val

      Usually that refers to “pastor’s kids.” Not sure why that would make list.

    • Nicole Youngman

      Maybe “Promise Keepers”? Bit of intra-fundy warfare there?

    • Ted Seeber

      I think in this case it might refer to Promise Keepers, if so, he’s certainly an equal-opportunity offender. Must be part of one of those 1% Christian sects who think they are the whole religion.

      • anteprepro

        Holy shit. Did Ted Seeber finally say something worth saying, that wasn’t illogical or amoral? I think this calls for a celebration.

  • Randomfactor

    “Sophisticated swine”?

    And how did they manage to get “druggies” correct?

  • Randomfactor

    “Also, P.K’s?”
    Promise Keepers. That one’s for real–those guys are going to hell for sure.

  • Trebuchet

    I think I’m going to have to call Poe’s Law on this one. Too over the top. A little context might make it clearer.

    • Nicole Youngman

      Nope, I suspect they got it here: http://officialstreetpreachers.com/Main%20Page.html
      We get ‘em down here in New Orleans at Mardi Gras and Southern Decadence etc.

    • http://twitter.com/nicoleintrovert Nicole Introvert

      They are for real. I saw the same sign at Reason Rally.

  • Lurker111

    I’ve found from experience that the more religious a person, the less they’re able to handle grammar and punctuation. I don’t know why this should be so, or if it is only confirmation bias on my part. Has anyone ever done or seen a study?

    As for apostrophes, here’s an article:


    BTW, having said what I’ve just said, there HAS to be a blatant grammar or punctuation error in here somewhere …

  • onamission5

    Sport nut’s? Government recipient’s?

    Nuts who play sports, and people who recieve govenment. So, Mr. Peanut ambassadors, repent, repent!

    This is tens times more apostrophe fail than the student center snack bar sign *at my college* which read, “Expresso’s.” Le sigh. Yes, my (yet uncompleted) English degree is in fact worthless, thanks for asking.

  • iknklast

    I spend a lot of grading time removing excess apostrophes, but also putting them in where they belong. It seems the reverse of the problem is that there is rarely an apostrophe if one is actually needed (though here, I will have to admit, they did manage Jehovah’s Witnesses half right).

  • Carina

    Well in that case I will just get my “loud mouthed” female self into a repentant state.
    Yeah right!

  • Lucrezia

    Why do *I* <3 the devil? Because s/he knows how to use an apostrophe. ^_^

  • Drakk

    What the fuck is a “High Fullutant?”

    • GBJames

      I think it is “High Fullutant Sophisticated Swine” which, of course, makes a lot more sense.

      • Zme

        Highfalutin sophisticated swine. I suspect the signwriter means people who know how to use apostrophes. (Or perhaps that should be “apostrophe’s”.

  • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com Ubi Dubium

    Dang, I only seem to fit eight of his “catagorie’s”. I’m also puzzled by “high fallutent”. Is that some new kind of tent to hold revivals in? Or perhaps he means “high-falutin” in which case I don’t qualify for that one because I prefer to do all my falutin completely sober.

    I also thought “P.K’s” meant “preacher’s kids”. I guess because my dad was a preacher’s kid.

  • anteprepro

    They oppose Wifebeaters!? If that’s not just a random fashion preference, that is dangerously liberal, right thar. But at least they hate effeminate men and loud mouthed women. That’ll make up for that.

  • otrame

    It’s the little grammatical things that drive me crazy. I once lived near a movie theater which had been gifted with the phrase “Anarchist rule” in spray paint on one wall.

    I spent the three years I lived there actively suppressing the urge to go get some spray paint and add an “s” to one or the other of those words (preferably the first one of course, but I was willing to accept the other–with the proviso that “Anarchist” was a proper noun, of course).

    • Nentuaby

      Hate to burst your bubble, but “anarchist rule” is perfectly grammatically correct. “Anarchist rule” = government by anarchism.

      • John Horstman

        Indeed. On a note related to the above post, I do see a shocking number of Christians dropping the “s” from “atheists” when referring to us as a group, as in, “Why do atheist hate Christians so much?” Does anyone know if that’s an encoded meme or simply a failure of education with respect to the English plural modifier?

  • Epinephrine

    You should send them a copy of The Oatmeal’s poster

    • DSimon

      I love that site so much. They’re like Grammar Nazis but not Nazis. I guess that just makes them Grammar People, which I think should be the name of the Village People-themed band that produces exclusively educational songs about sentence construction that I thought of just now.

      Also, I learned that I’ve been using “i.e.” incorrectly my entire life.

  • MovableBookLady

    Dorothy Sayers said it best: “I can’t think why fancy religions should have such a ghastly effect on one’s grammar and syntax.” I think I’ve got that right. There’s more to the quote in “Gaudy Night.”

  • Anonymous

    Okay, so based on apostrophe usage, this is decrying druggies who belong to homos, effeminate men who belong to abortionists who themselves belong to P.K. persons (whatever that is) who themselves belong to environmentalists who themselves belong to democrats who themselves belong to new-agers who themselves belong to atheists who themselves belong to wifebeaters who themselves belong to Catholics who themselves belong to Baha’i people who themselves belong to drunkards who themselves belong to Buddhists who themselves belong to Mormons who themselves belong to feminists who themselves belong to gangsters, loud-mouth women who belong to pagans who themselves belong to idolators who themselves belong to perverts who themselves belong to Jehovah’s Witnesses who themselves belong to Muslims who themselves belong to gamblers who themselves belong to thieves who themselves belong to fornicators who themselves belong to adulterers (presumably there’s a BDSM relationship there) who themselves belong to recipients of government (whatever that means) who themselves belong to emo kids who themselves belong to Scientologists who themselves belong to racists, high fillutent (?) that belongs to liberals who themselves belong to freeloaders who themselves belong to liars who themselves belong to agnostics, sophisticated swine (I’m imagining a member of Sus scrofa domestica with a monocle and top hat right now), and some unspecified thing belonging to sports nuts. Given that the qualifiers of possession effectively restrict the described groups to non-existent populations, the sign is really only condemning those pigs who are members of the 1% and drug addicts who are in master/slave relationships with other people of the same sex/gender (or perhaps subject non-consensual possession/ownership). That’s one of the most specifically-targeted messages for salvation I’ve ever seen.

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com Ubi Dubium

      Here’s a Sophisticated Swine, but I can’t tell if he’s High Fullutent:

      • DSimon

        He certainly is. Just look at that bowtie! I mean, maybe without the hat he’d be Medium Fullutent, but the whole setup definitely reaches High territory.

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