Friday, March 25, 2011

Maybe it's Time to Invest in Some Apostrophes

I seem to have developed an inexplicable fetish for the TV show Dragon's Den--you know, the one where wannabe or fledgling entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of venture capitalists who tell them that their valuations are "insane." Now that repeats are airing daily and we've got this space-age PVR recording device, it's all too easy to score along at home while watching pitches into the wee hours.

Last night I screened a couple more eps, including one that featured a "mom-preneur" who designs punk-themed clothes for toddlers, such as this t-shirt:

Punk may not be dead, but her pitch was. The Dragons withdrew their offer of one million dollars for 10% of the company when they realized she had left out the apostrophe in what is clearly supposed to be a contraction of "Punk is." Okay, not really--they just told her they didn't see the big-time potential. But if they had taken her to task on the missing punctuation, it might have served as a warning to future businesspeople who take the language into their own hands.

Like this woman in the following episode, who was trying to get funding for her line of plus-sized clothes:

There is no such word as womens. When something is attached to a confederacy of women--women's rights, women's fashions, women's unseemly tendency to gush and swoon over the "dreaminess" of Denzel Washington while their squat, pale husbands are sitting right there--the word required is the possessive, and it is the apostrophe that is essential.