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There are two meanings of the word “lets”, with two different ways of writing it. (Okay, three meanings if you count the TV prop potato chip brand “Let’s,” which spoofs the “Lay’s” brand.)

First, you have a verb that means “allows,” e.g. “He lets his son eat too much candy.” This meaning should never have an apostrophe.

Second, you have a contraction of the words “let us,” as in “Let’s all go to the lobby.” This meaning should always have an apostrophe.

You know what’s coming next: examples of bad writers breaking the rules of “lets.” Let’s get this over with.

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Possession is one of the most problematic categories of BA that I find in the wild.

In a HitFix interview about The Americans:

kicking dudes heads Bad Non-Apostrophe

kicking dudes heads

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No diggity.

Here’s another bunch of incorrect “its” examples.

From an NPR story about a new type of clock:

NPR - Maybe its because Bad Apostrophe

Maybe its because

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You’d think that I’d eventually run out of poorly pluralized problems, but as long as people keep writing, they’ll keep coming up with them.

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Spotted in the title of a YouTube video posted by the official Olympics channel:

Katie Ledecky Win's Bad Apostrophe

Katie Ledecky Win’s

Seen on an listicle about Google and privacy:

Google let’s you export Bad Apostrophe

Google let’s you export

I admit that possession gets a bit tricky with “its,” but in general, it’s not too difficult. You wouldn’t know it based on this crop of possessive-related BAs and BNAs.

From Gizmodo:

Gizmodo - this years award Bad Non-Apostrophe

this years award

From Wired Science:

Wired Science - confirm it’s legal status Bad Apostrophe

confirm it’s legal status

From FastCo:

FastCo - it's message about addiction Bad Apostrophe

it’s message about addiction

From Studio C (the second time we’ve had to call them out):

Studio C - freshness at it's freshest Bad Apostrophe

freshness at it’s freshest

From the cover to The Aquabats’ album Myths, Legends, and Other Amazing Adventures, Vol. 2:

The Aquabats - The worlds best super buddies Bad Non-Apostrophe

The worlds best super buddies

And finally, from my new mortgage servicer’s paperwork:

Seneca Servicing - banks ABA routing number Bad Non-Apostrophe

banks ABA routing number

On the town

Spotted on a local Mazda dealer’s flyer:

Mazda - bank's Bad Apostrophe


Of course, car dealer Doug Smith uses the same ad for its Trunk or Treat that it has for the last several years, including the same dumb Bad Apostrophe.

Doug Smith - lot's Bad Apostrophe


And another “pizza’s” from Tenney’s Pizza, whom we’ve called out before.

Tenney's coupon - pizza's Bad Apostrophe


And spotted on a taco truck at Salt Lake Comic Con:

T'aco's Bad Apostrophe


“Taco’s” I understand — lots of people do it. But “T’aco’s”? Wow. Just wow.

Kid Snippets is a series of silly videos produced by Bored Shorts TV that I’ve enjoyed watching for years. Recently they started producing Kid Snippets News, where the kids talk over viral videos, with pretty funny results. The only thing that I’m not laughing about are the “lower-third” graphics that they add to the phony newscasts. Every instance of the word “it’s” has been rendered as “its”.

One in their “Viral Sports Clips” video (2:24)

Kid Snippets News - Its so easy Bad Non-Apostrophe

Its so easy

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