Language, Trivia

Which airline bans apostrophes?

I thought it was oil we were supposed to be running out of, not punctuation marks.

Seems the dangling possessive is just the latest artefact to be restricted on Air New Zealand flights, along with cellphones, bomb jokes, knives that don’t bend,  laptops, liquids, legroom, and decent food.

As you can see from these four screenshots from yesterday’s Air New Zealand inflight quiz, the airline now has a zero tolerance policy towards apostrophes. 

Why this possessive prevention programme has been mounted is not immediately clear.

Perhaps Air New Zealand see themselves as stewards, not just of our cabin ambience, but also of our linguistic environment.

Perhaps it fears that environment becoming polluted by overpunctuation.

Or perhaps it’s more worried about the legal ramifications of its quiz writers developing a bad case of POOS (Punctuational Obfuscational Overuse Syndrome).

Either way, Air New Zealand, it’s not on.

Punctuation marks are navigation aids. They help guide readers on their  flight path toward the destination of understanding.

They’re our linguistic landing lights. 

You’re our airline. Please show more respect for our language.  

10 thoughts on “Which airline bans apostrophes?

  1. Air New Zealand must be a member of ARSE – Apostrophes R Simply Extinct due to the number of their staff quizz writers suffering from POOS.

  2. There does seem to be a movement to abolish apostrophes by stealth, which I find disturbing.

    Is Air New Zealand a member?

    If so, I suggest all literate people fly Qantas until Henry’s, Herald’s, women’s and Orchestra’s have had their apostrophes restored.

  3. Maybe it’s not Air NZ’s fault – perhaps someone stole their apostrophes and put them in decades (80’s, 90’s) gave them to doctors (a number of GP’s) and sprinkled them round supermarkets (tomato’s).

  4. Funny, isn’t it, that the most commonly misspelled word in the English-speaking world is almost certainly it’s/its.

    Of the longer words, apparently it’s desiccated.

  5. As a programmer, I recognise the source of this problem:

    “New Zealand inflight quiz, the airline now has a zero tolerance policy towards apostrophes. Why this possessive prevention programme has been mounted is not immediately clear.”

    Dealing with apostrophes in data can be a hassle, so the cheap way is to strip them all out. I’m pretty sure the original questions contained their full daily requirement of punctuation, but these have been removed by someone too lazy to handle the data properly.

    End of nerd section.

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