You are what people see when they walk past, drive past, and ride past.  You are the only thing that many people read on a given day, now that TV guide has been replaced by the On Demand screen, and people order food from picture menus by number.  I drive past myriad signs on the way to and from work — signs for hair-braiding, vacuum repairs, corner grocery stores, nail salons, child care facilities, Chinese restaurant holes-in-the-wall (that also sell steak sandwiches, seafood, and fried chicken), real estate offices, and private ambulance companies.  They all have thing in common — they are not immune from the pandemic profligacy of the apostrophe S for plural words:

  • Michael’s Nail’s
  • Little One’s of the Future
  • EMT’s wanted
  • Two Brother’s Market, selling soda’s, milk, candy, and cigarette’s
  • Creative Corners hair braiding, specializing in weave’s, sew-in’s, and scalp treatment’s
  • And a realtor, with a huge mural-style sign on the side of a row-home, selling “home’s”

You are the sign-printers.  True, you have no editors like the newspapers and magazines have.  True, you are operating out of your basement inhaling the sweet fumes of melting vinyl, and pounding grommet in by hand.  But you are role models for grammar.  No one reads newspapers anymore, no one regulates the garbage content of the internet (like my own blog), and schools aren’t teaching grammar anymore.  You have a job, when Haver Convience Store (actual spelling of a store I pass every day) calls you for a sign, to look up the fucking word, to make sure it’s spelled as best you can.  You have a responsibility to know how to make plural nouns.  I learned this in 3rd grade.  Now I shall review with you, in case you didn’t make it past 2nd:

To make a plural noun, add S.  If it ends in S or Z, or CH, add ES.  If it ends in Y, drop the Y and add IES, unless the letter before the Y is a vowel; then just add S.  Watch me pluralize:

nail –> nails

cigarette–> cigarettes

fry –> fries

Did you see an apostrophe anywhere?  Did you see a “hyphen,” as someone once called it, when instructing me how to spell her own child’s name?  NO! 

Now you try.  Lest I open some can’s of whoop-ass on your sign’s.