It’s hard not to.
In fact – I don’t throw this word around lightly – it is egregious.
Now that I’m a “Professional Writer” I’m rankled by the misuse of punctuation much more often.
Spelling has always been an issue. I love neologisms, can tolerate the use of deliberately jokey misspellings, and even the occasional typo. But straight-up poor spelling drives me crazy. And now that I own my own copy of Strunk, poor punctuation is that much harder to ignore. And it’s everywhere
The ‘Greengrocer’s Apostrophe‘ happens so often it’s almost impossible to tell whether they’re: willfully defying convention; so used to seeing apostrophes that they don’t know the difference between a possessive and a plural; or it’s just a massive coincidence. In effect, I think greengrocers have applied to be a collective exception to the rule.
Air France has no such excuse. When I logged onto Air France the other day and saw the commas in the image above, I punched a hole right through my computer screen, into Air France, and thrashed my arm around looking for, someone to, strangle.
This is why companies have editors and copywriters. Because these people know how to use words and punctuation. I happen to know at least one (cough cough) excellent (ahem) copywriter who is looking for work.
A copywriter who may still make some mistakes in his punctuation, sure. I’m only human. But Mon Dieu there is no excuse for that kind of offence against punctuation.
Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe.
But ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves‘ became a worldwide bestseller, so obviously I’m not the only one who cares.