1 EAGLETON NOTES: The Apostrophe

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Saturday, 29 July 2017

The Apostrophe

One of CJ's favourite places for breakfast in Heswall near where he lives is a rather lovely café which calls itself Isabelles (sic).  We went there for breakfast when I was staying with him a few weeks ago.



Last time we went there was last year and I got into trouble for inserting an apostrophe on the place mats:


Under strict instructions not to disgrace myself this time I'm afraid that I was unable to resist.  They didn't throw me out.

29 comments:

  1. It was very tempting wasn't it? I don't think I could have been that brave. Beware your card has been marked!

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    1. Spesh I suspect that I've not been the first person to do that and I shall make a habit of it if I can. It's a lovely place for scrambled eggs for breakfast.

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  2. You matched the font quite nicely so nobody will even notice!
    All the trendy cafes around here are decorated in the industrial style which I like but Isabelles has a more timeless sophistication.

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    1. Kylie there is certainly nothing industrial about Isabelles. It is a flash-back to the old tea rooms and cafés. No bacon rolls either but you can have smoked salmon with your scrambled eggs for breakfast.

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  3. I wouldn't have given you any trouble for doing that.
    ...however, there should be no 'their' there.

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    1. Sanna I'm hanging my head in shame. Thank you. I have gone back and corrected it.

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  4. what a nice spot, think i'd enjoy sitting outside with my coffee and watch the world go by.

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    1. Amy it's one of my favourite occupations (and doing crosswords of course).

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  5. That's one kind of vandalism that meets with my hearty approval. If we don't stand up for the beleaguered and much abused apostrophe then who will?

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    1. Absolutely YP. I've given up on prepositions at the end of sentences and even on split infinitives (usually) but the apostrophe can be such an important part of understanding, or misunderstanding, the meaning of a sentence.

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  6. I'd probably be your partner in crime if I went along with you to Isabelle's, Graham.

    Is a bell on a bike? Isabelle's bell is!

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    1. Thank you Lee. We had a similar saying.

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  7. Maybe the café is run by two ladies called Isabelle?

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    1. Good point Cro. An apostrophe would still be appropriate but just in a different place.

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  8. I find it is usually the overuse of apostrophes that gets me... it can change the meaning of things entirely, not only that it is so often very obviously wrong I can't understand why some people think they have to insert an apostrophe before every single 's'.

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    1. Serenata I think that the problem stems from the fact that the use of apostrophes is just not understood properly. We can all make the occasional mistake (its and it's being mistyped seems to be a particular problem) but education about grammar seems to have little importance today.

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    2. I agree and I wasn't talking about the occasional mistake ;-) but with people who are of an age where I would have not expected such errors, putting apostrophes as I say before every single s. I don't think grammar is taught at all today. I remember commenting on a piece of work my son had done at primary school and saying how it was full of mistakes. The teacher said 'oh we just like to encourage them to write', spelling and grammar isn't so important. What?! Before this son went to this school his writing, spelling and grammar was pretty good for his age...needless to say it deteriorated because he knew not a lot was expected.

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    3. Serenata I agree that standards have fallen miserably but I had similar responses to those of your son's teacher from a former (very well educated) colleague nearly 40 years ago. I sometimes wonder if there's any hope.

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  9. GB - I have no problem with you correcting the menus. Then again, back when I was a flight attendant, I used to take the pictures in my hotel room down and add fairies to the gardens...

    As for the misuse of grammar and punctuation, it always makes me (sic).

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    1. Mrs S as always a most amusing comment. CJ and I sat here cracking up at the idea of all the pictures with fairies added. I've just been round the spare bedroom checking....1

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  10. Looks to be the sort of café that I would enjoy and where you would find me sitting on the outside smoking my pipe :-)

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    1. Ah Heron that comment took me back more than a couple of decades when I, too, occasionally smoked my pipe (which spent most of its life actually just living in my pocket or on my desk).

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  11. I would have done the same thing. IT'S only right!
    NOTE: We still have a roadside sign that says "SLOW CHILDREN PLAYING".
    Of course, I want to put a comma after the word SLOW!

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    1. Kay we have the same signs and, when it relates to old people, I keep saying that it's discriminatory. Of course no one listens.

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  12. You're a man after my own heart, Graham. And were you "sat" at the table while you were doing it (this is another of my particulat dislikes)?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Frances much as I admire you and, yes, love you as a friend I'm not sure that J would be happy with me going after your heart. (I love the English language.) I was, of course, sitting at the table. I'm not quite sure how the use of 'sat' in that context arose but I'm not at all keen on it.

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    3. Graham was "stood" at the table.

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