Tag Archives: English grammar

The kitsch is killing me:the mystery of the feral apostrophies

23 Apr

Kitsch: noun

[mass noun] art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.

And yet you must understand, guys, that ‘in an ironic or knowing way’ is something that doesn’t happen in Guadeloupean culture. True story. Irony is lost on people here. So I’m convinced that the kitsch I see is meant to be serious, which kills me. Which brings me to the kitschiest thing of all in Guadeloupe aside from everything you can find in the souvenir shop at the mall where no tourist ever goes. The kitschiest thing of all is the wild apostrophies. They’re everywhere. Crushed on the roadside, in your laundry pile, in the rice bag in the pantry. What are they doing running amuck like that? Apostrophies have a place. They have many places. Places they belong. In Guadeloupe they end up all willy-nilly in places they most certainly, but usually for reasons I can’t exactly precisely explain, do NOT belong. Like right by my house. There’s a rental car place. It’s pretty cool it’s like one of those little garden sheds someone made into their office – so creative and low cost right? So they have their sign which reads, “Lagoon’s Car”. Because the lagoon owns a car. Right? An inanimate godamn object owns the car. No. No it does not. Let’s think about how that could have worked out better if that crazy feral apostrophe wasn’t hanging around waiting for dinner at the car rental shed. ‘Lagoon Car’ Not especially meaningful. But still, more meaningful than Lagoon’s Car. ‘Cars that are parked by the lagoon and wait for you to rent them’. Shit! I just though of something. What if the person who put up the shed – what if his or her name is Lagoon? Dammit. I hadn’t thought of that. Investigation still open on this particular savage apostrophe.

Pirate tells me it’s to make it sound cool that the wild apostropies jump in all crazy and unplanned. Oh. Ok. So creating grammar that is so incorrect that it doesn’t even exist is cool? EYEROLL. Another example is at the very mall with the tourist store where tourists never go: A new hotdog stand. It’s called ‘Manhattan’store’.  Whyyyyyyyyy??? Oh wild apostrophies, you’ve done it again. You’ve really outdone yourself this time. I can’t even explain this one well enough. There should be a space, another s? No, that can’t be it, because why would you want to imply that the store belonging to Manhattan was …belonging to Manhattan .. .in such a weird and incorrect way? It’s not even directly translated from French even if it were split up like that – that would be ‘The store of Manhattan’ or ‘The store belonging to Manhattan’. Argh! Apostrophies be damned! They put me in the same state as when someone says something so nonsensical that in explaining it you sound even worse. …………

 

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