Target’s Salute to Educators

I was just minding my own business, running my usual errands. I rushed through my neighborhood Target in search of paper towels, shampoo and hair clips for the girls, AA batteries for Sam, salty snacks, and a string of Christmas tree lights. And then, in the Holiday section, I saw this ornament and stopped dead in my tracks:


I think my jaw actually dropped. I laughed out loud. People looked at me funny.

Yes, that is an apostrophe.

This kind of crap keeps me up at night.

To make matters worse, the copy on the packaging boasts this little beauty:

10% of this purchase price goes to
Support our teachers and classrooms.

That’s right, the capital letter was right there, taunting me, in the middle of the fricking sentence. It was at the beginning of a second line of text, so some poor sap who dares call him or herself a proofreader felt it was appropriate for some sad reason, but ALL OF THIS, a punctuation and a capitalization error, ON A CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT MEANT TO HONOR TEACHERS???


I want so much to believe that it’s somehow not wrong. I have tried to make it right, in my sadly obsessive brain. I mean, the sparkly yellow thing is a ruler, so their little play on words sort of works, with the apostrophe, if you believe that the “rule” belongs to the teacher.

Except that if they meant that, it would say farking “ruler,” wouldn’t it?? I can almost stretch my imagination to buy the whole “some people call it a ‘rule'” thing, but no, dammit, we call it a ruler. And really, the whole point of the thing is that teachers are great, that “Teachers,” in fact, “Rule,” so WHY oh WHY, for the love of teacher gifts and holiday cheer everywhere, is there an apostrophe!?

I’m hoping, in a sick sort of way, that this is some brilliant, evil person’s twisted attempt to cruelly toy with English teachers and language sticklers everywhere. It horrifies, while simultaneously sending our addled brains in endless and desperate circles of hope, which try to make it, for the love of education and teachers and ugly rulers everywhere, somehow, possibly, correct. Because then it would be cruel and awful, but it would be RIGHT. Maybe.

Except… it’s not. It’s wrong. It’s all so very wrong.

*weeps for the children*


15 responses to “Target’s Salute to Educators

  1. *waaaaaaahhhhhhh…..*

  2. but if it said ‘teacher’s ruler’ there would be no joke, lame as it is… you could just look at it and say , “well, yes, that indeed could be a teacher’s ruler.”

    sorry, i can’t get as worked up about this one…but i am old enough to have used a ‘slide rule’…

    It’s okay, I realize that I have a special problem. :) -KDF

  3. Well at least I know what kind of thing keeps you up at night now!

  4. *shudders and joins in the weeping*

    A good friend of mine has a degree in elementary ed and is job hunting. I would never tell her this, but her limited grasp of the English language horrifies me. I would never want her to teach my kids.


    B, a friend once told me the story of her visit to her sister’s classroom. The sister taught 3rd grade. My friend ran to the front with an eraser and chalk after her sister wrote “supposebly” on the board, and pronounced it as she had spelled it. -KDF

  5. amending my earlier comment, the humor is just as apparent (i.e. just barely within the range of the most sophisticated measuring devices) as ‘teachers rule!’

    *snif* I appreciate your support in my time of need. -KDF

  6. *holds lighter up for KDF, who is (not whose) keeping up the good fight*

    *borrows lighter, melts ornament in effigy* -KDF

  7. KDF~ That is one of the mistakes my friend makes, too. But the one that really bugs me is when she misuses words. She’ll say a word that sort of sounds like the word I assume she means, but is completely out of context. I wish I could think of an example of what I mean. I’ll take notes next time I’m visiting.

  8. today i saw a sign posted saying how ” to better serve the students, the Memorial Student Center is extending it’s hours” and thought of you…


  9. The mistake that nearly every author makes isalong the lines of “‘Shut up,’ he hissed.”

    You cannot HISS a word without an ESS in it!

    Try it if you don’t believe me.

  10. Um, Jeff…

    ssssssssssshut up?

    *sends KDF a care package of prozac*

    THANK YOU! *snarfs ’em down* -KDF

  11. …and now, for a grammatically correct (hopefully!) salute to an educator…

    One of the finance/accounting professors at my school is awesome. I’ve had her for three classes, and she is an excellent instructor, probably the best I’ve ever had. She has an organized teaching style that makes good sense and gives students every opportunity to learn the material, whether they choose to or not. She has a good sense of humor, and makes difficult, boring subject matter simpler and more fun.

    Anyway, I had her for finance this semester, and it’s probably the last time I’ll take a class with her, so I wanted to give her a nice Christmas gift. I crocheted her a scarf and wrapped it up with one of the ornaments I made over Thanksgiving. When she opened it yesterday, she went on and on about how beautiful it was, how much she loved it, how much time it must have taken, etc. I explained that I probably wouldn’t be in her class again, and that I had enjoyed her classes very much and just wanted to do something to show my appreciation. She looked at me like she couldn’t believe she was hearing that from a student. Then she asked me if she could give me a hug. I’m sure you can guess how I answered.

    /Hallmark moment

    Aw! Bumble, that’s a great story. :) -KDF

  12. My mother and I are part of a roving band of rogue proofreaders. I think maybe you belong with us!! :-)

    Proud to be counted as one of you. *sniff* :) -KDF

  13. KDF, I feel your pain. My daughter, currently a Ph.D. student, sent me her entire master’s thesis (Investigation of the Effects of H2O on Melting of a Primitive Martian Mantle Composition) so I could make sure there were no errors in grammar or punctuation. My family is accustomed to hearing me yell at the TV commentators who mangle the language. (I do whisper when watching movies, though, to be polite.)

    It’s a sickness, I think. We should form a support group.

    Ooo, I think we have!! Yayyy!! -KDF

  14. I, too, am plagued by Proofreader-itis. I don’t even go looking for the errors – they jump out at me, waving their arms and hollering “HEY YOU! Look over here!!”
    I’ve got a theory about the misuse of the apostrophe. It all starts when someone omits an apostrophe from its rightful home. That poor little guy just floats around the universe as he waits for some unsuspecting soul to hesitate–for the briefest of moments–while writing the copy for a sign or commercial. He then takes that opportunity to hop in to a word…any word…it doesn’t matter, just so long as he gets a home.
    Yes, I agree that my theory may sound a little crazy, but I had to do something to distract myself from grabbing a red pen (or can of spray paint) and fixing all the grammar errors I find OUT THERE. hehehehehe

    Love the blog!! I’ll be back!!

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