Field Guide to Duluth Apostrophe’s

While PDD users are vigilant in reporting sightings of improper apostrophe use — what for these purposes we call the Duluth Apostrophe, or “the DA” — these reports are widely scattered over many different posts. I decided to correct the situation by aggregating all known examples of the DA, past and present, into a single post.

Here is the list, in alphabetical order, followed by the locations of each example.

50’s (Lost in the 50s awning*)

ATVer’s (sign outside Grumpy’s Tavern*)

Bath’s (Arrowhead Supply sign)

Brew’s (Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake awning)

Camera’s (Bentleyville General Store sign)

Condo’s (Sign on the Wieland Block building)

Condo’s (Sign outside Riverplace Condos)

CD’s (Poster at Pizza Lucé)

Dessert’s (Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake awning)

Diaper’s (Superior Walmart*)

Domestic’s (Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake awning)

Entree’s (New Scenic Café menu)

Hoody’s (Bentleyville General Store sign)

House’s (Gilbert Davidson campaign literature*)

Import’s (Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake awning)

Job’s (Gilbert Davidson campaign literature*)

Karpele’s (poster for concert at Karpeles Manuscript Library)

Ladie’s (RT Quinlan’s Saloon sign)

Lot’s (Gilbert Davidson campaign literature*)

Martini’s (Black Water Lounge awning)

Martini’s (GB Schneider’s Restaurant menu)

Martini’s (Pickwick Restaurant daily specials board)

Martini’s (Cloud 9 Asian Bistro drink menu)

New’s (Rex Bar)

Owl’s (Owls Club)

Quarter’s (Superior Walmart*)

Salad’s (Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake awning)

Shananigan’s (Shenanigan’s Bar & Grill awning; note the word is also misspelled*)

Soup’s (Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake awning)

Souvenir’s (Bentleyville General Store sign)

Tee’s (Bentleyville General Store sign)

URL’s (ShelDon Printers window sign)

* NOTE: Duluth Apostrophe sightings in Superior are included, as Duluth Apostrophe’s are frequently seen swimming across the harbor in search of new awnings.

Please post new sightings in the comments.

64 Comments

in.dog.neato

about 7 years ago

Ramo's...still good for a chuckle...and probably worth a beer or three just for the suggestion...

emmadogs

about 7 years ago

I still think's we need a Duluth vigilante copy editor, just like they have in Brooklyn.

Fitz

about 7 years ago

We're very fortunate that this is not their native habitat and that apostrophes cannot reproduce in Lake Superior. Just think of how much worse the problem could be.

BadCat!

about 7 years ago

There should be some crazy apostrophe scavenger hunt!

brow2937

about 7 years ago

Oh, Sir Ben's, that's really rough.

andrew

about 7 years ago

This is an old sign painter scam.  When charging by the amount of letters and punctuation proper grammar has a smaller profit margin.*

*NOTE:  Bullshit I made up.

K. Praslowicz

about 7 years ago



URL's - one of the oft overlooked Duluth Apostrophe's found on the ShelDon window.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

The possessive apostrophe makes the URLs more personalized.

moosetracks

about 7 years ago



RT's: keeping it classy with Ladie's night.

Ramos

about 7 years ago

Could they possibly be talking about somebody named Ladie who does karaoke at night with Jody Kujawa?

Ramos

about 7 years ago

Don't they do something called "Ladie and Jody Sing Jimmy Buffett"?

emmadogs

about 7 years ago

Ramo's and moosetracks, clearly this latest sign means that there is a local dog named Ladie, who howls along to karaoke with her mommy, Jody Kujawa.  I'm surprised no one else can see what is so clear.

wskyline

about 7 years ago

Has anyone else noticed the "Get wow'd again" Glensheen billboard on I35, right before it comes out on London Road? Is the correct spelling wow'd or wowed? Every time I drive past it I think "Get World of Warcrafted again" even though I know what they mean... And of course I'm driving 55mph and being a safe driver, so no pic.

Ramos

about 7 years ago

I would say that "wow'd" is ugly, clunky and stupid, but grammatically correct. The apostrophe is replacing the E in "wowed."

Since they're going with the stupid grammar marketing strategy, their next billboard should say, "Get wow'd at Gl'nsh''n."

BadCat!

about 7 years ago

The "Get wow'd at Gl'nsh"n." billboard would be dangerously close to summoning Cthulhu.

Ramos

about 7 years ago

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu Gl'nsh''n wgah'nagl fhtagn.
(with apologies to H.P. Lovecraft)

TheKujawa

about 7 years ago

I'm not a woman, Emmadog's.

emmadogs

about 7 years ago

Oh, oop's. Well, as David St Hubbins says, there is a fine line between clever and stupid.  I think we all know what side of the line I am on.  Again.

jessige

about 7 years ago

The Glensheen "wow'd" is "wowed" on the signage attached to the fences on the grounds.  I'd have taken a photo, but I was like driving and stuff.

Tom

about 7 years ago



Found this at Superior Wal-Mart. Can' say I'm terribly surprised.

Ramos

about 7 years ago

Nice one. A double!

davids

about 7 years ago

Ok, but if there is only one diaper inside that metal box, then they could get the first charge dismissed on a technicality, right? Did you insert your "quarter's" to find out Mr. Tom?

Tom

about 7 years ago

Sorry, didn't try it. But it did cross my mind that maybe Diaper is a person and he's trapped inside. Couldn't think of any justification for "quarter's" in that context.

K. Praslowicz

about 7 years ago

I was digging though some of my photo archives today and came across one of the sign put on The Kozy  after that car drove into it in 2010.



"Thank U!!! Grandma's For The Drive Thru Bar"

This is up for debate as to if this is an authentic Duluth Apostrophe, or if the offending vehicle was owned by Grandma's Corporation.

ps. Big version of image here.

spy1

about 7 years ago

This entry is comma challenged, not apostrophe challenged. This was a protest, using the Canal Park institution here, that other bars over-serve customers who then end up doing bad things, like driving into buildings. The Kozy had long been accused publicly of the practice, along with all sorts of things most bars go through but without the scrutiny seen at the Kozy. It was a dive bar on a challenged corner. Calls today still direct officers to "the Kozy" if there happens to be a fight or person passed out near there.

mlatsch

about 7 years ago

This is what seems at first glance to be the absence of an apostrophe (and a capital M, although that's besides the point) in the brand name of maurices. Anyone know anything on the origin of the brand name? Was it "Maurice's" at some point?

mlatsch

about 7 years ago

I've answered my own question via an ad in the copy of the "Duluth Herald" from February 1939 found in our attic. 

K. Praslowicz

about 7 years ago



This one upsets me in a whole new way.

BadCat!

about 7 years ago

WTF?? That needs to be burned in the name of all that is holy...

K. Praslowicz

about 7 years ago



Don't worry guys. Budweiser sent in a new banner to The Rex.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

Good grief. They've added a new mistake with that one. It should be Black River Revue.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

This is a photography fail on my part, with my camera taking in too much light and obscuring the details. Perhaps I'll get there in the daytime and re-shoot the offending sign, but there's just enough here to catch the blunder.



This is from the former Off the Wagon Bar in Superior (also formerly Adam's Pub, Jo D's Corner Oasis, Tin Can Alley ... and I think it was Betty Boop's before that.) According to a sign on the other side of the building it is now called Steve and Whiskey's Last Resort.

The sign above, I'm assuming, is supposed to be informing the world that there are "new owners." Instead, it reads "new owen's."

I don't know, maybe in addition to Steve and Whiskey, there is a guy named Owen involved. Otherwise we not only have a misapplied possessive apostrophe, but a missing letter and two letters reversed.

Perhaps on my next stroll of Tower Avenue I'll drop in and inquire.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

We can at least give them credit for realizing the error of their ways and rapidly taking corrective measures. Two days later I swung by for a daytime shot, and found the whole thing had been painted over.

TimK

about 7 years ago

This will heretofore be known as PDD Apostrophe Shaming.

Barrett Chase

about 7 years ago

You know, it's bad enough when a mom and pop shop makes the apostrophe blunder, but when a corporate chain designs a misused apostrophe into its logo ... well, you'd think someone would catch it somewhere along the way.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

For years and years I never noticed this one. Then Saturday it jumped out at me.

Ramos

about 7 years ago

I find it impossible to determine whether business names should or should not have apostrophes, because business names are exempt from all rules of grammar and logic. McDonald's has an apostrophe, but Walgreens doesn't. Maurice's had one once, but doesn't anymore.

To make things easy, I accept them all. For all I know, there is a Mr. Owl who decided to open a club on Second Street (and his sister, Mrs. LubePro, started a franchise of oil change shops).

[email protected]

about 7 years ago

Agree with Ramos.  I think we are drifting toward a Grammar Ninny Too Far here.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

When there isn't a possessive apostrophe in the name of a business that is named for a person, such as the case with Walgreens, it is acceptable. 

"Hi, I'm Chuck Walgreen. Let me introduce you to my family. We're the Walgreens." 

I could start Lundgren Bank, Lundgrens Bank or Lundgren's Bank and all would be acceptable.

But the Owls Club was not established by a nocturnal bird of prey or by some guy named Francis T. Owl. The founders of the order chose the name "Owls," without an apostrophe, because it wasn't controlled by a single Owl, but rather by a "society of good fellows." 

Someone added the apostrophe to the sign in error.

[email protected]

about 7 years ago

A member of the club is an Owl, no?

That is the club of each and every owl?

Therefore, could it not the The Owl's Club?

Love, db

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

You could make the argument for Owls' Club, but not Owl's Club. Either way, the organization chose the name Owls Club without an apostrophe, so adding one is wrong.

BadCat!

about 7 years ago

"Owls' club" would be considered correct (plural possessive).

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

Yes, either Owls' or Owls could, be correct, but Owls is the name the club chose, therefore it is the only one that is actually correct.

And, yes, I think this might be the nerdiest discussion ever -- at least until someone finds a debatable apostrophe on Star Trek.

Ramos

about 7 years ago

Paul, you know the name is incorrect because you have some knowledge of the club's history. Most people do not have this knowledge, therefore the name, to them, seems correct.

Duluth Apostrophe's, to me, should be instantly recognizable to everybody looking for them. If recognizing one requires some extra knowledge, like history, then I hesitate to call it a DA.

Again, with business names, which follow no sane grammatical rules, I let them do whatever they want, and then I call it correct. Life is just easier that way.

emmadogs

about 7 years ago

Ahem.

Re:  the penultimate comment--there is no comma after the italicized "could."

Re: the last comment--there should be a period after "knowledge."

Glass houses, people....

p.s.  In Star Trek, they can't even fix their own food anymore, let alone be bothered to learn arcane punctuation rules.   They have some Prime Directive violations to worry about.

Tom

about 6 years ago

There are literally probably thousands of examples you could find from local TV, but this one just seems particularly heinous.

Seriously, what's the requirement to become a Duluth TV "journalist?" A 3rd grade education?

FOX 21: Golden Oaks Assisted Living want's people to know...

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Referring back to comments from July 2013 ...



This brochure caught my peripheral vision recently and I thought at first it read: "Get women."

Now that would be an interesting marketing approach for Glensheen.

K. Praslowicz

about 6 years ago

Noticed "Kitchen & Bath's" today on the west side. According to street view history, it has been up since sometime in 2011.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago



Mr. Condo is expanding his holdings.

Ramos

about 6 years ago

I think Riverplace is a girl's name, Paul.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

I wouldn't say that to his face if I were you.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago



Welcome ATVer's what?

K. Praslowicz

about 6 years ago

Spreading to Superior.

K. Praslowicz

about 6 years ago

Hey. Lee's has Sub's.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

8th Street Auto

Via Andy Miller on Facebook we have one of the most confusing ones yet. I'm not sure if we're just posting misapplied possessive apostrophes here, but if we need to start a separate post for situations where they are just randomly inserted ...

bluenewt

about 5 years ago

Poster on the Dewitt Seitz bulletin board.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

Ben Weaver  and Kristy Marie at Karpeles

Karpeles Manuscript Library is not only hip enough to host live music, it's getting in on the Duluth Apostrophe trend.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

Dakota's

Looks like Duluth Apostrophe's are spreading across the Midwest.

Nick L

about 5 years ago

Duluth Apostrophes made it across the Atlantic in a freighter’s ballast tanks. This is my sister’s loaner car in Bedford, UK, this week. She is not amused.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

tycoons-alehouse

As Tycoons Alehouse closes this month to transition into Blind Pig, it should be noted that it was a commonly misapostrophied  name. This image is from the wall at Bent Paddle.

Paul Lundgren

about 2 years ago



I'm not sure if an improper "it's" apostrophe qualifies as a full-on Duluth Apostrophe, but since Sammy's put one on a T-shirt we better give it some acknowledgement.

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