Comment o’ the Week, Sponsored by Grammar Nazis

Elyse nominated this week’s winner, posted in a Quickies thread concerning the Catholic Church’s decision to OK belief in aliens. I debated this (internally) for weeks days multiple minutes before deciding to agree with her and hand over the award with one exception. Read on!

teambanzaiNo Gravatar // May 15, 2008 at 11:16 am

Way to get with the times Catholic’s, the Space Pope said it was okay to believe in humans decades ago.

Congrats, TeamBanzai. You were going to receive a prize of $500 and a trip to the Vatican, but your prize has been rescinded due to improper use of an apostrophe. Sorry, but that’s just the way we roll here, and if I allowed such poor grammar to make it through unscathed, my friend Jeff would travel to the Internets to forcibly correct the typo.

So, instead of the trip to the Vatican, enjoy this related space/pope item courtesy of one of my fave webcomics, Overcompensating!


PS, Bostonians: I’m heading across the river to see Carl Zimmer speak at the Harvard Book Store tonight at 7pm. His new book is Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life. If I’m in a good mood afterward, we can all get drinksies! Chicagoans, don’t forget that you guys are getting together tomorrow. I am not jealous. Fer realz. Those of you in the rest of the world, keep your eye on the Skepchick events calendar!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

Related Articles


  1. I think I rank apostrophe faults slightly lower than mistaken use of scare quotes in terms of faults offensive to my inner grammarian. Like the sign in a lot near UConn which read: “No” parking. Will “tow.”

    I think I’m gonna try to go see Carl Zimmer as well. See some of you there if I do ;)

  2. For me, Expatria, distinguishing between a misused apostrophe and misused quotation marks is very much a similar dilemma as to whether I prefer a dog turd taco, or a dog turd fajita.

    I try not to jump to hard on folks in real time, but I rant privately, and have a “wee quiet word” if the opportunity arises. I am more of a Grammar Socialist Dictator than a Nazi, per se.

  3. A misplaced apostrophe is probably a typo, misplaced scare quotes are a conceptual error. While the former can be a conceptual error, it’s often just a case of flying fingers.

  4. I am both honored and shamed. While I could blame the misplaced apostrophe on a typo, or even better a elaborate story on how I suffer from a rare disorder that causes random punctuation errors I just have to be honest and say I was tossed out of 8th grade english durring that crucial time where proper punctuation was discussed, and ever since I secretly type everything in Word and let it correct my mistakes. With the exception of the above Comment.

  5. Quite right, Donna. I make apostrophe errors through typing mistakes all too frequently. I have a similar record with “their”, “there” and “they’re”. I know the proper usage of each one, but sometimes the fingers pay no heed. I’m just a very mediocre typist in general.

  6. Oh my goodness I was just all stressed out from listening to Alex Jones (research) and then checked my Cracknorati and saw that Rebecca linked to my creepy little cartoon and I swear I was nearly overcome with the vapors! Perhaps a little St. John’s Wort will clear that up.

    Thanks, Rebecca. I am fond of what you do!

  7. sheriffpony, you are rad, keep doing what you’re doing. And thank you for “I’m gonna believe in the shit out of some aliens.” You’re local, so I hope we can meet some time. Carl Zimmer’s tonight, and Skeptics in the Pub is coming up March 26!

    teambanzai, your shame pleases me so I offer this tip: when in doubt, claim inebriation. That’s how I explain away every other blog post.

  8. May 26 I assume you mean I will see if my boss lets me off (self-employed humor). I could use some good train time anyway (good for writing).

    We spent a good bit of time at Asgard a few weeks ago at ROFLcon, it’s a good place to get kind of shitty, to get your slant on and talk too loud!

  9. Oh oh, sorry, we’ve officially outgrown the Asgard and will now be rocking out on the top floor of Tommy Doyle’s in Harvard Square. Info is up at! Plus I’ll post a reminder here next week.

  10. sheriffpony should be made aware that Galileo’s Ghost! (replete with exclamation point) would make the top three of any list of Most Awesome Names for Awesome Bands…Ever.

  11. Awareness made! Although none of my band names ever make it (my friends rejected “The Articulate Nubians” recently)

    If I make it I’ll bring you one of these Rebecca you need to rock one of

    If not I’ll send you one but I’m really gonna try though because it seems like a place where I feel like my constant rambling about how insane Alex Tsakiris is will not be met with blank stares.

  12. Oh, sheriffpony, I have a serious addiction to awesome t-shirts and I really would be your BFF if I could get that one in a chick-size large! Also I’d pay good hard cash for a Dino Comics shirt. The only reason I don’t own one now is because every time I try to buy one I can’t decide between “Kissing is boring,” “I’m made of meat,” and “Return to the moon.”

    If you bring them all, we can barter like my mom at a yard sale at 3pm when they’re packing stuff up!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button