Illiteracy hour


Can I just get this off my chest?

Where’s the bloody apostrophe? I can just about cope with the band not knowing how to punctuate (they are, after all, pretenders to the Oasis throne, whose titles include Round Are Way and Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants), or the designer of the sleeve, who’s probably in his twenties and thus a victim of the decline of comprehensive education during Thatcherism, but nobody at any stage of the production of the artwork?

Let’s assume the title means a law of nature, a law belonging to nature – then it’s Nature’s Law. If it’s a law belonging to many natures, it’s Natures’ Law. But it’s only Natures Law if it’s a law pertaining to, but not belonging to, a number of natures (ie. if it was a law pertaining to onions, it might be Onions Law). The lyric runs: “You should never fight your feelings/When your very bones believe them/You should never fight your feelings/You have to follow nature’s law.”

I rest my case, and weep for the future of mankind.


17 thoughts on “Illiteracy hour

  1. >the desinger of the sleevePresumably this is a person who goes through the files for the cover before they’re sent to the printer removing all references to the vocalist.(There’s also probably a law that demands that one who is making a comment about grammatical or spelling errors will inevitably make one themself). (And I agree completely, but what are we to do in a world where an increasing number of people believe that the second person plural in the present tense of the verb “to be” is spelled “R”. The previous sentence no doubt included my own Pedant’s Cock Up, in accordance with the law stated in the previous paragraph.)

  2. To be fair to Oasis, Round Are Way was on the single before the one with the cover of Cum On Feel The Noize. No one raised on Slade is going to be able to spell. Missing or misplaced apostrophes are annoying but we all make mistakes and at least our future isn’t in the hands of the music industry. You see those contestants on The Apprentice? They’ll be running the country in ten years. Slide away.

  3. What bothers me almost as much as the shoddy punctuation these days is the apparent lack of concern about it from the people ruining our language. They don’t seem to think that it matters, because “you can still understand it”. NO!

  4. This cover is featured in the latest issue of Creative Review. The comment on it there says ‘For single Nature’s Law the apostrophe in the title was dropped after lengthy debate as (the designer) thought it looked better without.’ So it’s all the design companies fault as apparently a nice design is more important than grammatical correctness.

  5. When I was a designer, armed with a thick wad of Letraset, the apostrophe would have been deemed “a problem” that needed “dealing with”, as opposed to “ignoring”. Young people today.

  6. When I was a designer, armed with a thick wad of Letraset, the apostrophe would have been deemed “a problem” that needed “dealing with”, as opposed to “ignoring”. Young people today.

  7. I couldn’t agree more. We need more ambasadors of punctuation trying to maintain standards in the modern world. With darkness, chaos and anarchy all around, grammar and spelling connect us with timeless values!

  8. I know I have spelt designer wrong. It was pointed out in an earlier comment. And do you know why I haven’t been back to change it? (Which I could, thus absolving myself of any responsibility and making the two comments about it look daft.) Because I’d be here all day if I did that. I can live with a typo. And if your inference is that I am in no position to criticise punctuation in a printed piece of mass-produced artwork by a number-one band on a major record label if I accidentally spell designer wrong in a blog entry, then you have me bang to rights. I am a hypocrite. How dare I?

  9. You see, I always refrain from commenting on spelling and grammar on my blog because, where I can spell, I can’t, unfortunately, type.I used to get annoyed by Rod Stewart singing “I wish that I knew what I know now/when I was younger” as I always felt it should have been “I wish I’d known…” etc. I applied for a university job recently where the job ad included the line “…be an ambassador for the university and uphold it’s high academic standards at all times.” The context helps in making that amusing.Hmm, am starting to sound like “appalled of Tunbridge Wells”. So I’m going to stop writing now…Px

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