Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A missing apostrophe

CBC Radio 2 is running a feature with this rationale (as stated on the Radio 2 website):

"'One of the best way to know Canada is through the depth and breadth of our artistic expression,' says Denise Donlon, Executive Director, CBC Radio. 'We're excited about the new President and we want him to be excited about us, so we're asking our audience to help compile the list of our most definitive Canadian songs!'
A total of 49 songs will be determined.So, what Canadian music do you think are [sic] the most definitive 49 songs from North of the 49th parallel?"

I heard about this feature when I flicked the radio on yesterday morning. The host, Tom Allen, referred us listeners to a website and an email address, both of which included the phrase "obamasplaylist". I bet they left out the apostrophe, I said, probably out loud, as I slammed out of bed, over to my computer to check. Sure enough.

Now, I'm no hard-ass when it comes to punctuation or grammar rules. But I do encourage my students to be at least aware of the choices they're making. So in a series of emails and website comments to CBC, I've been demanding/pleading/suggesting that Denise Donlan and her underlings at least acknowledge that they're aware the apostrophe is missing from the email and website addresses, and that, silly them, they could have just called it "obama playlist" without the s or the need for the apostrophe at all.

And this business about "knowing Canada"--impossible, ridiculous business anyway--is further undercut by grammatical errors in CBC promotional material, don't you think?

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