Friday, May 11, 2012

Worst Straight Apostrophe Ever

Those who read this blog know that I don't obsess about correct typography in this context. See, there was a straight apostrophe just then in the word "don't," and straight quotes just there as well. I also use the typewriter convention of double hyphens -- instead of the correct em dash —.

It's a habit I got into from working on websites. I became tired of seeing improperly coded special characters turning to dreck. I got over-sensitive, and decided that in this context the communication value of ' " and -- was good enough.

But real apostrophes, quotes and dashes have their places in my life. One is in printed materials, and the other is in signage. It's cringe-inducing to see a honking-giant straight apostrophe engraved into plastic:

Light blue sign with carved white letters reading MARY'S PLACE
(Or worse, stone... I know I've seen examples of that, too, but I can't find one right now.)

But I think this is the worst one I've ever seen:

Cooper's Foods sign with handwriting script Cooper and straight apostrophe
The right slant and organic shapes of the Brush Script type are completely violated by the straight-up-and-down apostrophe. It makes it hard to read the word as Cooper's: It looks like Cooper followed by two odd, unrelated shapes. Because the lower case s in this typeface is meant to connect with its neighbor, it's truncated and doesn't look like an s at all, not even a cursive one.

No comments: