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Say it over and over until you get it right: BOYS

June 30th, 2013 · 50 comments

Our submitter in Peoria, Illinois says one of the sales reps at his office is known for posting crazy notes like this all over the office. “He might have some anger management issues,” our submitter adds.

Don't say "I WAS calling you"..... its "i AM calling you ..." Was is past tense - meaning you already did it. Example: I was sleeping, I was thinking of you. I am is present tense NOW was is past tense!

There is no such word as BOYS'S its BOYS. Do you say girls's or kids's or any other word that ends in the letter s now say it over and over til you get it right: boys

related: If there were ever a time to hold your red pen…

FILED UNDER: Illinois · office · office cop · spelling and grammar police

50 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Mr Me

    Despite his rant, he still was able to get one wrong. “*It’s ‘I am calling you.’” NOT, Its.

    Jun 30, 2013 at 9:36 pm   rating: 66  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   TuesdayPillow

      High five for catching that. I’d love to write him a note.

      Jun 30, 2013 at 9:39 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   JK

      Also, too many dots in that first ellipses.

      Jun 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Gladystopia

      Second one, too….”ITS boys.”

      Also, technically, if the speaker was trying to create a possessive, it would be correct to say “it’s “boys’”–possessive of plural “boys” would require an apostrophe after the “s”…..or am I wrong?

      Jun 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   Aidan

      The possessive plural form of boys would indeed be boys’ with an apostrophe after the s. Though it’s not uncommon to see the ‘s after words ending in s. To my knowledge, that’s how they were originally spelled, and the s’ is a more recent way of punctuating.

      Jun 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   Poltergeist

      Also, while the notewriter is correct about boys’ not being pronounced as “boys-is,” he’s wrong to say that anything that ends with “s” isn’t pronounced in such a manner when in possessive form. It only applies to words that have been made plural with an added “s.”

      The bus’s tire is flat.

      Chris’s mom is hot.

      My ass’s name is Julio.

      Jul 1, 2013 at 1:13 am   rating: 37  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   Tesselara

      Well, whatever else he’s got going on with grammar, he’s got a thorny stick up his ass’s. :)

      Jul 1, 2013 at 6:06 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #1.7   juju_skittles

      My ass has the same name as the rest of me.

      Jul 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #1.8   FeRD bang

      I don’t love “there is no such word as”, either. I can’t say it’s technically wrong, but it seems inelegant. I’d have found a different way to express the idea, I think.

      But, really, nobody who’s going to be prickly about grammar and sentence construction should be doing it in sloppily-laid-out, handscribbled Sharpie® notes. If you’re not willing to take the time to neatly type up your objections, especially when posting them for public consumption, then it’s really not that important to you.

      Jul 2, 2013 at 2:13 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #2   Guy Paul

    I had a boss that would write BAD!!! BAD!!!BAD!!! in red ink, underlined several times on any piece of paper that had something written on it he didn’t agree with.
    Once, after finishing up with a labor-intensive filing job that I had been working on for several days, he couldn’t find something and so he took out the index cards on the file drawers and wrote BAD!!! on them.
    When I got to work and saw what he had done, I walked into his office and took the red pen off his desk. I said he could have it back after he thought about what he’d done to my filing and promised to use his pen responsibly.

    This boss sounds like he’s cut from similar cloth.

    Jun 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm   rating: 47  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Raichu

      How did he respond to that??

      Jul 1, 2013 at 11:02 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #3   H for Toy

    If a person says “boys’s” why would you think they wouldn’t also say “girls’s” or “kids’s”?

    Jun 30, 2013 at 10:11 pm   rating: 27  small thumbs up

  • #4   Pestle

    I have a supervisor who uses an “apostrophe s” in all the plural words in her markups. “ADJUST WINDOW HEIGHT’S. THESE LOOK WRONG FIX LINE’S. NOTE’S ARE WRONG FONT.”

    It’s been five years and I haven’t snapped yet, so somebody ELSE please be the grammar Nazi for this PAN and explain the difference between plural and plural possessive, and the conventional spelling of the latter when the noun ends in “s.”

    Jun 30, 2013 at 10:28 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Raichu

      How do you stand it? Five years? I’d have found some way to voice my displeasure by then. (Maybe passive-aggressively…)

      Jul 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   FeRD bang

      In… let’s see… two-weeks-ago’s episode of “Teen Wolf” on MTV (yes, I watch the “Teen Wolf” reboot — unashamedly!), I spotted what I felt was the most realistic scene yet, in 2 seasons and a bit. They showed a high school student searching the web for…

      Beacon Hills business logo’s

      *le sigh* :?

      Jul 2, 2013 at 2:21 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #5   pseudony mousie

    The very first google result for “girls’s” (with the quotes) is, as I had hoped, the hilarious “Girls’s Costume Warehouse” video. I know it’s almost entirely irrelevant to this note but I couldn’t pass up a chance to mention it. ( )

    Jun 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #6   Straightline

    Hey mister, the boys’s was calling you.

    Jun 30, 2013 at 11:08 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   We shall speak anon

      From Idaho!

      Jul 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #7   Daniel

    The first comment thread gets taken by the joy-killing grammar assholes? Really?

    Jun 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Poltergeist

      While I would normally agree, the notewriter deserves it.

      Jul 1, 2013 at 1:17 am   rating: 21  small thumbs up

  • #8   tch tch

    I hate sports commentators that use “an” before a players name – as if their mother had a multiple birth of identical octuplets. Reminds of a “Goodies” skit involving captive Rolf Harris’s…

    Jul 1, 2013 at 3:38 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   redheadwglasses

      I hate when someone uses “an” before a word that starts with a pronounced “h.” “An historic event…” NO! You say “an” when the “H” is silent. “An honorable mention.” “A historic event.”

      Jul 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #9   H for Toy

    Boys’: say it over and over or it gets the hose again.

    Jul 1, 2013 at 8:43 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #10   horatio

    Actually, there is nothing wrong with “I was calling you” either. If you are talking to the person on the phone, then you are no longer calling them. You have already called them. The act of calling refers to the act of dialing, or calling out a name, etc. If you are talking to the person on the phone or leaving a message on voice mail, then the act of calling is in the past; so the past tense would be appropriate.

    Jul 1, 2013 at 9:43 am   rating: 45  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Raichu

      yes, this.

      Jul 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #11   Lamb

    LOL people in IL talk funny. I moved to Chicago a few years ago and cringe when people say “You’s Guy’s” it’s like normal talk here.

    Jul 1, 2013 at 10:18 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   E

      Lived in Chi all my life and have never heard or used “you’s”… You may be hearing the post-college transplants that live in Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park speaking… please GTFO like all of them and give the city back to the natives

      Jul 1, 2013 at 11:47 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   FeRD bang

      Youse is an invention of the New Yawk accent, likely exported to Chicago with all of the organized crime, and it’s spelled just like that. No apostrophe needed. (The possessive is youses, because fawk grammar and fawk all youse joicks!) :P

      Jul 2, 2013 at 2:26 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #11.3   The Elf

      I’ll take “youse” over what I occassionally catch myself saying: “all y’all”.

      Jul 2, 2013 at 7:09 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #11.4   Lythande

      Despite moving to the south I’ve managed to escape picking up “y’all”; it’s still “you guys”.

      Unfortunately, the plural of “you guys” is evidently “your guys’s”.

      Jul 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #11.5   TuesdayPillow

      That’s funny – I’ve only heard that in Philly, and true natives at that.

      Jul 2, 2013 at 10:20 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #11.6   Lamb

      Um E… you can choke on a dick.. be thankful we are here to pay your unemployment…

      Jul 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #12   Geek Goddess

    I’m almost afraid to ask, but why does the tab for this page say “Very loose butthole |”?

    Jul 1, 2013 at 10:40 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   H for Toy

      Maybe because, as Tesselara suggested, he had a large, thorny stick up his ass?

      Jul 1, 2013 at 11:09 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   The Elf

      Maybe because he occassionally lets loose with the grammar equivalent of diarrhea?

      Jul 2, 2013 at 7:10 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   chelsey

      It is a quote from Workaholics. The best things are super tight butthole, bad things are loose butthole.

      Jul 2, 2013 at 10:11 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #13   Helen without the H

    We have some pretty big boneded girls on my job…in fact, they’re pretty and pretty big boneded.

    Jul 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #14   kaetra

    It didn’t play in Peoria, therefore it won’t play anywhere.

    Jul 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #15   mutzali

    Everybody else in my office uses apostrophes for plurals of abbreviations:
    These P.O.’s are out of order.
    Please issue two RMA’S.
    NCMR’s should be filed in…

    Even the boss, who graduated from Stanford with a degree in English, does it.

    Jul 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Parker

      Using an apostrophe to pluralize an abbreviation is perfectly acceptable; it just depends on style and clarity.

      Jul 1, 2013 at 5:56 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   FeRD bang

      Agreed, you can even find that in formal style guides.

      The idea, I suppose, is that because you’re not spelling out the words in the initialism to be pluralised, there are letters omitted before the plural (though you’re already omitting letters in an acronym or initialism, of course), and the apostrophe marks the point of contraction. So, much like “haven’t” is the contraction of “have not”, “ATM’s” is the contraction of “Automated Teller Machines”.

      *shrug* I didn’t say it was a good reason.

      Jul 2, 2013 at 2:33 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #16   Kat

    In the first note, it should be “it’s” not its.
    In the second note, it should be boys’ if there are….if it’s possessive, and involves more than 1 boy, as in “the boys’ locker room” ; or boy’s, if there is just one boy, i,e. “that’s my boy’s train”

    Jul 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #17   bookbug

    I thought by far the funniest part was the second note where the writer demands that we never use a word ending in s. Which, if taken to its full conclusion, means the writer shouldn’t get to use is or as in the earlier part of his note.

    Jul 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   The Elf

      You wouldn’t get very far in life not saying “is”.

      Jul 2, 2013 at 7:17 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   Crystal

      He said it again! Oh, I said it!

      Jul 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #18   Theo Bromine

    How far *can* you get without saying “is”? See

    Jul 2, 2013 at 8:27 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #19   Lythande

    I have to admit, I’m so onboard with this notewriter it isn’t even funny. If you’re working around people whose job is to call people and they say “I was calling you today…” when they mean “I am calling you today…”, eventually you’d snap.

    You know, if you cared about such things.

    Jul 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #20   OurHero

    Let’s be honest. The Apostrophe is one of the most confusing points of written english. So many rules, so little interest…

    Jul 4, 2013 at 9:32 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #21   TOSS

    An American telling someone how to speak English? Aw, dat’s cute.

    Jul 6, 2013 at 8:23 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #22   Picky Picky

    Technically… there *can* be such a word as “boys’s.” “Boys” can be used as an adjective: The boys department at Target, for example.

    Sometimes the adjective can be used as a noun… “Where does this can of oil belong?” “It’s automotive’s.” Even though it’s technically “the automotive department’s.”

    Similarly: “Where do these shorts go?” “They’re boys’s.”

    Jul 18, 2013 at 10:09 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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