Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wrongest Plural Ever

As spotted hanging above the seating area outside Caffè Ritazza, Bristol International Airport, on Friday:


There are at least three things wrong with this plural. Can we name them, fellow language pedants?

30 comments:

james henry said...

It should, of course, be spelled 'Banana's'.

Tim Footman said...

Or 'Sanwitch's', as I once saw in a convenience store in (I think) Leicester.

Vicus Scurra said...

Footman, it were never in Leicester!
Of course, no one could ever manage more than one, could they?

pleite said...

Shouldn't it be paninii?

extemporanea said...

It would be kind and charitable to assume that it's not actually a plural, and that one Mr. Panini is proudly proclaiming his ownership of this fine food stall. Otherwise the triple-layering, now with bonus translation malformation and added apostrophe crime, is indeed terrifying. I hope your eyes have stopped bleeding now.

The Bureauista said...

As I recall there's a cafe in Bristol airport by the name of 'Soho Coffee' or somesuch, with the somewhat incongruous motto of 'gurt lush' splashed all over the walls. Perhaps I have misunderstood the meaning of 'gurt lush', as the coffee was among the foulest I have ever had the misfortune to taste.

LC said...

>>>Blending a culture of innovation with a Six Sigma mindset.

That just caused a keyboard/beverage interface malfunction at my desk.

GreatSheElephant said...

I can only see 2. My career is over, clearly.

Matt said...

isn't panini already a plural? I think the singular is panino (no idea if that's right, just thinking graffito vs graffiti).

I think this sign is the real reason you burst an ear drum - sudden build up of typographical rage!

scroobious said...

I'm with GSE, I can only identify two errors, and am hence Mightily Distraught at what this means for the future of my career as a language pedant.

Tim Footman said...

Yeah, me too. The redundant plural, and the redundant apostrophe. Go on, we give up.

Lettuce Hater said...

bristol international airport?

*giggles*

(although to be fair i do vaguely recall flying to turkey from there back the days when it looked like a glorified military airbase)

Smat said...

ooh, think I've got the third - it it the capital P, please miss?

patroclus said...

Oh bums, perhaps it isn't three. i was thinking:

1) The assumption that 'panini' is a singular noun, when in fact the singular, as Matt rightly pointed out, is 'panino'.
2) The redundant pluralisation of 'panini' (which is already plural) by adding an 's'.
3) The addition of a superfluous apostrophe.

LC: I'm glad that made someone else laugh too. I read it in an IBM white paper on my first day back at work, and it filled me with equal amounts of despair and glee.

Tim Footman said...

So 1 and 2 are essentially the same.

I feel cheated. Cheated, I tell you.

I wish you'd blimmin' stayed gone. ;-P

Smat said...

and I was so proud of myself too. Damn.

patroclus said...

I don't think they're quite the same thing, because if they were, the sign would read 'panino's'. But I could be wrong.

I feel like a terrible fraud coming back after all the nice things people said. It wasn't that I wanted to stop blogging, but I didn't seem to have any time.

extemporanea said...

No, I completely agree, I also read it as a three-part error: (1) assume word is English and pluralise by adding an S; (2) assume the word is singular when it's already plural, and (3) add abominable apostrophe.

But then I get to deduct marks per student grammar error, so perhaps I'm cheating ;>.

patroclus said...

Ah Extemporanea, thank you - that was very elegantly explained. Ten out of ten and a smiley face for you.

extemporanea said...

Yay! I've had the kind of day where a smiley face is a great leap forward.

Arabella said...

"I feel like a terrible fraud..".
No, no it's ok really. We just won't be buying a used car from you anytime soon.

I jest.
wv - fisess

realdoc said...

Does this mean that the singular of spaghetti is spaghetto?

If it was an Italian sandwich outlet owned by the Panini family would it be OK?

chuffy! said...

Paninis would be acceptable if they sold both toasted sandwiches *and* football stickers. The apostrophe would still be a problem though.

I imagine the sound of a thousand gesticulating arms from the Bristol-Milan check-in queue drowns out all other airport noise.

Tim Footman said...

It could be argued that 'panini' has become a de facto singular in English (like media and agenda). The problem for the signwriter is that, without the apostrophe, you'd have 'Paninis', which might look a bit rude.

Of course, if 'panino' were properly absorbed into English, we'd be arguing whether the plural was 'paninos' or 'paninoes'.

Let's call the whole thing off.

The word verification is "rilin", which is Ritalin, as said by someone who hasn't taken his Ritalin.

Dave said...

I feel cheated. I haven't bothered to come here for a week or so because you said you were dead, and find I've missed a post about Scottish Pixies, after I took those special photographs of inscriptions when I was in the Orkneys too.

Oh, and did you see the engraved stones I photographed with you in mind in Ireland? (My post of September 19th, including [as a mother you'll no doubt be more interested in this bit now] burial mounds looking rather like the Teletubbies home.)

nuttycow said...

Well I'm too bloody late. If it makes you feel better (it certainly does me) I got the right answer.

Hannah said...

This post makes me happy. I love that there are fellow pedants wandering the world, irked by hybrid Italianate mis-punctuation.

Sylvia said...

Oh yes, the Panino/Panini issue. Why can't we use the word sandwich and be done with it?
At least we're using it to mean a sandwich - the Italians are now using English words when they have their own perfectly good ones, such as bibita for drink, and often they get the meanings absolutely wrong - can't think of any examples at the moment.
Rant over.

cello said...

*weeps*
Like Dave, I just take a quick look back here, expecting to find only tumbleweed a-blowin', to discover you have made both a Pictish and a pedantry post. Two of my absolute favourites. Bugger.

Slight compensation that you are back, I guess...

Have been just a bit busy. In fact I have been under 'turess' which is the wv.

rockmother said...

Oh bloody hell - I've got tons of catching up to do now! Glad you are back.