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September 14, 2004 12:34 AM

Broken: Nail salon sign

DSC00896OK, just one more apostrophe error, I promise. (For now, anyway.)

This one has to win the award for the highest number of misused apostrophes in a single storefront. I count fourteen fifteen apostrophe errors. The store, based here in Manhattan, is called...

    Nail's by Deca

Unless the proprietor only works on a single fingernail, this is broken.


I count 15 errors.

Posted by: Moi at September 14, 2004 12:52 AM

There ARE 15 Apostrophe's! :-))

Posted by: Chief at September 14, 2004 12:55 AM

Maybe the owner of the store has the last name Nail. Is there a store or landmark named "Deca" nearby? It would then make sense as it would be Nail's [store] by Deca...

Or maybe I'm just optimistic.

Posted by: Alden Bates at September 14, 2004 06:17 AM

You're right, there are 15. My counting was broken.

And yes, Alden, you're extremely optimistic with that guess!

Posted by: Mark Hurst at September 14, 2004 09:09 AM

The Yahoo! Yellow Pages listing loses the apostrophe but gains an ampersand: "Nails & by Deca"

I can sort of understand sign painters who don't copyedit. You can always paint over mistakes. But you'd think a neon sign maker would at least ask before adding the extra glass for the apostrophe.

Posted by: Steve Williams at September 14, 2004 09:24 AM

At least Deca is consistent. Would be worse if it sometimes had the apos'trophe, sometimes not.

Posted by: Adam at September 14, 2004 09:49 AM

My favorite was when my school cafeteria advertised


We were all kinda hesitant with those quotes...

Posted by: Jim King at September 14, 2004 03:18 PM

Even if they only did one nail, it would still be wrong. The way the apostrophe is used there, the unabbreviated version would "Nail is by Deca".

Posted by: Ilan at September 14, 2004 06:06 PM

There's a sign in a nearby town that says "Tacos to went". Always cracks me up when I drive by.

At least there's no apostrophe.

Posted by: Patrick at September 14, 2004 10:29 PM

Wow, you have too much time on your hands. Who cares? It's a typo. It happens all the time.

Posted by: ugh at September 15, 2004 09:36 AM

Well, here you potentially have three sign makers: one for the neon, one for the awning and banner (same material), and one for the decal running across the window. It could be one shop making one big mistake, or three shops perpetuating that mistake.

I'm betting the customer insisted on the Nail's spelling, and the sign shop(s), exasperated with yet another ignorant customer, let the mistake go. They still get paid, and the irrascible customer gets stuck with an horrific sign for all eternity. That, my friends, is how it usually works.

And for what it is worth, those are vinyl letters on the awning and banner. The apostrophe could easily be removed, the s nudged over slightly, and few would be the wiser.

Posted by: Collin at September 16, 2004 01:23 AM

Its about time the apostrophe was abandoned. Its not used in speech, and in writing only developed from a printers mark and originally was only used on plurals (where the fun really lies). The rules are simple enough but the fact that pronouns operate in exactly the opposite way to other nouns means its not surprising that even educated people get them wrong.

Posted by: Simon Trew at September 16, 2004 08:30 PM

There's something about nail salons in NYC - maybe its a Korean thing, but nail salon names are often rather strange...

Posted by: Alex Yourke at September 17, 2004 11:09 AM

I hate it when I see price signs that say something costs ".50¢". To me that means half a cent, not 50 cents

Posted by: DonnySpi at September 21, 2004 01:28 PM

In answer to the "Who cares" comment, every incorrect use of this or any similar aspect of communication that's done in public makes it that much harder for those who want to communicate correctly to know what to do... which makes communication more difficult, which leads to more frequent broken items in life.

I hate the proliferation of using apostrophes in random places, and other similar practices that seem to suggest that if the writer isn't sure, s/he throws in anything that might possibly go in. I've begun a correction campaign -- wherever I see such an error that I can reach and fix, I do. My wife is horrified, seeming to think that I'm vandalizing and/or doing something akin to leaving graffiti... but, if it's fixing something, how wrong can it be? :)

I don't leave proofreaders correction marks or anything like that (though I've been tempted at times). It'd be fun to leave a note showing the corrections made and why, but I suspect it'd be pointless... and would take up valuable time that could be used fixing other such errors! ;)

Posted by: yada at September 21, 2004 03:16 PM

My favorite quotation mark "misuse': A sign I saw at a grocery store advertising "large" eggs. And this was no small shop, this was a major grocery chain in my area.

Posted by: Justin at September 21, 2004 10:13 PM

Actually, if foreigners can get this right, so should every American of average intelligence. I know there's something wrong when I (as a German) can spot spelling or grammar errors like these.

Posted by: Foo at October 2, 2004 08:39 AM

My favourite quotation mark abuse was a sign in a shop window which read:




I wonder what they really were, and what their actual condition and frequency of delivery were....

Posted by: Les at November 2, 2004 06:26 AM

In line with all the other errors on this site: if people have problems using it, then it's broken. Except it's not the sign that is broken but English.

Perhaps if we can't use the apostrophe properly, we should abandon it. This is the evolution of language. Just aks anyone. ;-)

PS. I know a guy with a tatoo that has an apostrophe on the plural (from his Navy days, of course).

Posted by: Andrew at November 19, 2004 04:57 PM


I actually need help naming my nail salon... opening in 2006. Does anyone have any ideas?

email me if you do.

Posted by: TIna at December 13, 2004 01:44 PM

Well, Donny, here's my ".02¢". ;)

I think that there are 16 apostrophe errors if you count the illegible graffiti. That's bound to have spelling or grammatical errors in it. Either that, or it's making fun of the salon's name.

Posted by: Shadyman at December 22, 2004 12:55 AM

Foo, I do not mean to offend anyone but an American being of average intellegence is not saying much, especially in rural areas. And we should be able to speak our own language correctly, but sadly many of us cannot.

Posted by: Brian at January 14, 2005 08:52 PM

It's not 15 errors, it's one. Just because that fool decided to put there name in more than one place on their storefront doesn't make 15 errors

Posted by: no one at May 26, 2005 06:01 PM

I am looking for a name for my upcoming nail shop as well- help me out, everybody!!

Posted by: Noon at June 28, 2005 01:31 AM

no-one: I think you mean "their name".

Posted by: monk at July 19, 2005 03:26 PM

good one!

Posted by: rachel at February 25, 2006 02:20 PM

DATE: 09/14/2004 02:32:57 PM
In my college town of Syracuse, there was a hair salon called HAIR TREND'S. And in Hoboken there's a food cart near the train station with a big sign for HOT DOG'S. My favorite signs, though, are the ones that say: PLEASE "RING BELL" FOR SERVICE. Completely unnecessary punctuation is a pet peeve of mine.

Posted by: Captain Obvious at July 6, 2007 08:11 PM

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