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Game of Signs Episode 3: oop's!

We collect signs because it’s fun to analyze them—a mini exercise in clarity. It turns out making a clear sign is not so easy. We’ll post ones we find every so often. But keep your eyes peeled—send us ones you find, and we can write them into our blog.

Can you spot the problem in this sign?


business advertising sign/

The problem is...
…a pretty big boo boo, considering the industry they’re in. It should be the plural “signs” (not the possessive “sign’s”).

It’s probably pretty obvious and comical here, but it’s actually a mistake we see a lot in workplace writing. We’ve come across giant billboards for “downtown condo’s in the low 300 000’s!!” and high-level reporting documents with sentences like “The VP’s decided on option A.”

The exceptions to the rule (of course there have to be exceptions!)
Use an apostrophe only if the word could be confused with another word. For example:


check no

Dot your  is  and cross your  ts 

check yes

Dot your  i's  and cross your  t's