or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, April 01, 2005


Ah, April Fools' Day, when a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of messy and/or mean-spirited jokes. Not mine, though. I'm not much of a prankster. All you'll get from me is a pun.

Omen #1: There is a strip club in Moncton called Miss Be Haven. That rather sad attempt at a pun is eclipsed by the sign outside, though. It's one of those ubiquitous rentable signs that permit large Day-Glo letters to be slid into three or four rows of slots to create easily changed signage. I don't remember the entire text of the sign, but the bottom row was memorable: intending to suggest that women who entered the bar could order shots of alcohol for $2, but apparently having been created to fit into a limited space and in the absence of such niceties as decimal points, dollar signs and apostrophes, the sign read


Those poor ladies! And how simple it would have been to have the sign read LADIES SHOTS 200. It still needs an apostrophe, but at least its meaning isn't open to misunderstanding and, from my corner of the field, wide-eyed disbelief. (Was it someone's honest stab at a readable, meaningful sign from a depleted pool of letters, or was it someone's attempt at a joke? Because if it's a joke, it's not an especially funny one.)

Omen #2: A large billboard in town advertising a curling event of some sort. (That's curling the ice sport, not curling the hair. Curling the ice sport is a big deal in Canada.) I've never gotten close enough to read the fine print, but it would appear to be a tour, presumably featuring Canadian curler Colleen Jones. The billboard's headline reads


They didn't say "ROAR'N", so I suppose that's a small blessing. But "JONES'"? What the hell is that?

Once and for all: a proper noun ending in "-s" takes the suffix "-es" to form the plural. Dickens: the Dickenses. Jones: the Joneses. It absolutely does not ever under any circumstances take the apostrophe, which indicates the possessive: Colleen Jones' Fabulous Curling Tour or whatever it's called.

Should I have written Colleen Jones's Fabulous Curling Tour? Some say yes; I say no. I'll talk about that tomorrow.


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