Ah, grammar. There a few subjects that inspire as much perfectionism (or is that pedantry?), and like all writers, it pains me to see a misplaced apostrophe out in the wild. But it isn't often we see one in a major ad campaign for one of the world's biggest brands.
A Burger King ad is under fire for its egregious apostrophe use. In the phrase “JK YOU ATE ‘EM BOTH," the apostrophe should be closed, not open, to signify that it's shortening the word 'them'. Sure, it's hardly a whopper of a mistake, but some think it's part of a growing trend of incorrect apostrophe use. (Looking for design inspiration? Check out the best print ads of all time.)
In a scathing, nay, searing peace, Washington Post columnist John Kelly cries, "Burger King, the erroneous apostrophe in your TV ad is killing me." Indeed, as Kelly insists, the apostrophe should be shaped like a nine, not a six. "Look, I don’t care if civilians get it wrong," Kelly declares. "But Burger King is a multibillion-dollar company that presumably paid millions of dollars to a big ad agency to come up with that commercial. And they don’t bother to get it right?"
So happy to see this call for proper apostrophe usage. This error drives me crazy—seeing ‘em instead of ’em. Any theories on why this is so prevalent now? Or is there no real rule? Here’s a @washingtonpost writer on the Burger King ‘em. https://t.co/IvqsRalI3MOctober 8, 2023
These sorts of typographical errors are becoming more common and more annoying. You see it all the time with political campaign materials. It should be ’23 not ‘23. The apostrophe is "scooping" away the characters before it. https://t.co/xzVRp1NhzROctober 10, 2023
We've seen quote marks used the wrong way around intentionally to generate a specific effect in the new Glassdoor logo, but Burger King has no such excuse. Still, at least it can take some solace from the fact that this is hardly the biggest fast food advertising blunder we've seen. From McDonald's crematorium-adjacent ad to Burger King's own Pride fail, we've seen some clangers in recent years.