Monday, September 01, 2008

Play's, Waltz's, Polkas

Went thrift-shopping Saturday (as we often do), and books and records were about all we found. While I didn't buy it, this was such a language trainwreck that I had to take a picture:

OK, I think they were going for "Joe Tishmack Plays Waltzes and Polkas". Let's break it down:
  • Joe Tishmack: No punctuation failures, but no difficulty: zero points
  • Play's: an apostrophe with a verb doesn't work -- "play is"? "play was"? A common apostrophe mistake, since 'plays' is a valid verb; minus ten points.
  • Waltz's: As a plural, Waltzs doesn't work: it is waltzes for either a verb or a plural noun. Again, as with above, was their intent "Waltz is", or "Waltz was"? Wifey suggested it was a posessive contraction: Waltz has. Sadly, in context, they're all wrong. Since there's no way to accidentally use an apostrophe this way, minus thirty points.
  • ...and Polkas: What, they suddenly checked Strunk & White for apostrophe usage, but couldn't go back and fix the others? They get a plus, because it could be either a noun or a verb in context (...Plays, Waltzes, and Polkas), so I'll give them +10 for getting it right despite their past efforts.
So, the net score is negative thirty. It makes me wonder if the graphic designer just took Tishmack's hand-scribbled title, put it on the album cover, and never bothered to look at what he wrote.

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