Sunday, January 21, 2007

Apostrophe Day

I. Interesting piece in the Times today (mysteriously appearing under the "Modern Love" banner) by Suzanne Paola, whose 8 1/2-year-old son, Jin (a Korean adoptee), insists on going by the name "Penguin S'Ice."
The "S" stands for...I don't know. But the apostrophe is equally vague but definite.
This reminds me of the author Breece D'J Pancake—though I suppose his surname really was "Pancake." Samantha Hunt explained it all in a 2005 Believer piece:
The strangely enjambed initials are not his birthright but rather a typographical galley error made on “Trilobites” (1977), his first published story, by the Atlantic Monthly. Pancake liked the oddity of D’J and its nod to a skewed aristocratic membership. He adopted D’J as his own. He’s an invention, his own best character.
Best use of the word "apostrophe" in a song lyric?
D world destruction
O ver and overture
N do I need
apostrophe T
need this torture?
—They Might Be Giants, "Don't Let's Start"


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