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.