Last modified on 14 December 2014, at 12:08

greengrocer's apostrophe

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From the misuse of apostrophes on signs in greengrocers’ shops.

NounEdit

Wikipedia

greengrocer's apostrophe (plural greengrocer's apostrophes)

  1. The incorrect use of an apostrophe to form the plural of a word through ignorance of the use of the apostrophe.
    • 1998, Richard M. Hogg; et al, The Cambridge History of the English Language, page 121:
      It is hardly surprising that these conventions seem to be in rapid collapse, with what has been called "the greengrocer's apostrophe" (apple's 60p, Antique's, linguistic's, and perhaps even mean't, all personally attested) []
    • 1993, British Film Institute, Sight and Sound Film Review
      [] sign advertising the Pari's Hotel is less an early case of greengrocer's apostrophe than a sardonic Pascalian allusion (pari in French meaning 'bet').
    • 2004, Joy Burrough-Boenisch, Righting English That's Gone Dutch
      When applied in English it produces greengrocer's apostrophes.

See alsoEdit