Spelling / Punctuation / Grammar / Proper Usage Posts

Duluth Brand Parodies: Derogatory Wordplay in Dull-youth

It probably happens everywhere just as much as it happens in Duluth. Someone intentionally replaces the name of a well-known person, place or thing with a similar sounding word or words, almost always in a belittling way, and other people think it’s funny and repeat it.

There should be a list of those, right? Well, here it is.


Duluth’s NorShor Theatre is a bit of a copyeditor’s headache. People often misspell NorShor as “NorShore” or they fail to render the S as a capital letter. And since its proper name uses the British version of “theatre” and Americans prefer “theater,” we end up with numerous ways to screw up two words.

Apparently NorShor was being spelled wrong right from the start — or “NorShore” might have even been what was planned for the original spelling before someone decided to shorten it up — because an old sketch of the building, shown above, includes an E that never made it to the building’s tower or marquee.

Unnecessary Quotation Marks: COVID-19 Edition

Another one for the collection of unnecessary quotation marks in Duluth.

So, are we limited to 2 or “2”?

Brewing or Brewery? A Guide to Proper Beer Nouns in Duluth

With all the breweries popping up in Duluth and surrounding communities, it’s hard to keep the names straight. In casual conversation, no one really cares if you say “Earth Rider Brewery” or “Earth Rider Brewing,” but if you are one of the last copy editors in town who still has a job, for example, you might consider it important to distinguish which brew-suffix goes with each entity.

The pizza-like item at Duluth’s airport

Ten year’s ago today, May 3, 2008, Duluth was featured on the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks. “Megan saw this at Duluth Airport,” the post noted. “Given some of the bad food I’ve eaten in airports maybe it is a pizza-like item. Or maybe the menu isn’t actually printed ON a pizza.”

The post failed to mention one thing a commenter noticed. The person who wrote the sign also misspelled the name of the place.

The Afterburner Bar & Lounge at the Duluth International Airport closed several years ago and was replaced in 2014 by the Arrowhead Tap House.

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.

The Largest of the Duluth Apostrophe’s

I don’t remember if this one has been added to the database yet here. I took this photo about a year ago, and noticed the sign is still up this week for all of I-35 traffic to see.

Perfect Duluth Day Spelling, Punctuation and Proper Usage Police

From time to time the geeks who comment on this website will get into arguments about grammar, spelling and so on. It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does it kind of excites certain people while it embarrasses and annoys others. Some people just love to show off their mad English skills, while others don’t care if their capable of getting there sentences from here to they’re properly.

With that in mind, this post has been created as a bitching ground for uptight word nerds.

Don’t let this post stop you from creating your own post to showcase public blunders in the future, it just seemed like this type of stuff needs a home base.

Here are some related posts from the past:
Really? And I had my hopes up …
Need Fun!
Great food. Bad punctuation.
Unnecessary quotation marks are sometimes disturbing
A Small Request

To help this discussion along, we’ve started the “Perfect Duluth Day Writer’s Guide,” as a handy reference to Duluth-related nouns that are frequently botched.

Let your ranting begin.

Unnecessary Quotation Marks


I would feel a lot more comfortable eating food at the DECC if it came from a catering kitchen instead of a “catering kitchen.”