Saturday, March 10, 2007

Apostrophes and corn

I sometimes like to write letters to companies whose products I use and admire. In August 2005, I wrote a letter to the Morris Reisman, president of Pro Sales Industries, manufacturer of some well-made, handy kitchen tools:

Dear Mr. Reisman:

I write as a happy user of your vegetable and corn brushes. It's a pleasure to use products such as yours, which work as advertised, are designed to last, and are made in the United States.

I have one small suggestion for improvement. The back of the corn brush package reads "That's when your corn is at it's peak of freshness." The word it's (meaning "it is") in that sentence should be its (possessive pronoun). The mistake is a small blemish on an otherwise great package. When the time comes to print a new batch, I hope that you can make this change.

In closing, I wish you continued success with your products.


Michael Leddy
Yesterday a package arrived in the mail bearing a mysterious mark: RATTLE OK. Inside I found a letter of thanks from Morris Reisman and some sample products: a Rinse-No-More Mushroom Brush, a Scrub n' Wash Fruit & Vegetable Brush, a Silk Away Corn-on-the-Cob Brush, and a Nature's Way Banana Keeper. Cool!

And the text on the back of the Silk Away package has been revised:

Its, not it's: the best gift of all. Thanks, Mr. Reisman!

Apostrophes aside, these brushes really are wonderful -- the ones that I bought in August 2005 are still good as new.

[Morris Reisman died on November 17, 2009, at the age of seventy-six.]

comments: 5

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I send "its" vs. "it's" emails quite often but I've never received a gift in response! Maybe I should write hard copy instead. Of course, I don't do it for the thanks. I do it for the apostrosphere. - KH in Manhattan

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, KH, for apostrosphere -- that's great!

flexnib said...

Why has it never occurred to me to write to apostrophe misusers??! I'll be doing that next time I find a misplaced apostrophe.

JuliaR said...

Oh such fun! I love it when karmic influences make themselves manifest.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for the comments, CW and Julia. If anyone contacts a company or institution about an apostrophe and then writes about it, please let me know -- I'd like to read and link.