There’s an apostrophe in there somewhere

Here and on Language Log we post every so often on errant apostrophes (and, not infrequently, on non-errant apostrophes, in cases where there’s some variation in the standard and therefore some question about what the prescribed usage should be). Not very long ago I posted a photo illustrating the There’s An Apostrophe In There Somewhere theme (with THER’E for THEY’RE).

Now Ann Burlingham contributes yet another: COOK’IN, on this sign:

(That’s Forrest City, Arkansas.)

This is clearly intended to be down-homey (note OLE for OLD), and the apostrophe is one of the, um, marks of that tone. I’m guessing that the person who wrote the sign realized that the word called for an apostrophe, but felt that apostrophes belonged inside words (as, indeed, they often do), so located this one in a likely spot, separating meaningful parts of the word. (I’m not claiming to understand the writer’s actual motives — I very much doubt that the writer would be able to bring these to consciousness — only making a guess as to how the spelling might have happened.)

7 Responses to “There’s an apostrophe in there somewhere”

  1. Philip Says:

    How about the other sign: “Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ . . .”?

  2. mollymooly Says:

    @Philip: that is indeed the King James Version. Others differ. Perhaps use of such a marked form indicates support for the King James Only movement

  3. Philip Says:

    I should have guessed that the odd preposition came from the King James version.

    The capitalized “The” on the sign also seemed odd, and, sure enough, it is. When I clicked on your link, I found that it should be lower case.

  4. Jens Fiederer Says:

    Not a felicitous juxtaposition.

    Needing to believe in a savior does not give one much faith in that “Southern Cook’in”. I’d rather have a trustworthy health inspector.

  5. SDT Says:

    I’ve never seen a posting on “Carl’s Jr.” Maybe there is nothing to be said about it, because it is just an arbitrary tradename with a meaningless apostrophe, but I wonder if it supposed to be a variant of “Carl Jr.’s”

  6. arnoldzwicky Says:

    To SDT: here’s what the Wikipedia entry says:

    Carl N. Karcher got his start in the food industry in 1941 by owning several food stands in Los Angeles, most notably on the corner of Florence and Central in South L.A. By 1945, Karcher owned a stand-alone restaurant in Anaheim, California called Carl’s Drive-In Barbecue. In 1956, Karcher opened the first two Carl’s Jr. restaurants in Anaheim, California and Brea, California; so named because they were a smaller version of his drive-in restaurant.

  7. SDT Says:

    That make perfect sense. I’m a little disappointed, though, that it’s not a quirky as I thought.

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