Backwards Apostrophes

One of my pet peeves is backwards apostrophes, so you could imagine my discomfort when I walked into a store with these signs posted all over. I had to leave the store.

backwards_apostrophe

How does a big national chain make an error like this on such a grand scale? You’d think an error like that would jump out at the graphic artist who made the signs. Presumably a big marketing campaign has an approval chain. Did nobody spot the error?

Of course, the real problem is the so-called “smart” quotes feature of most word processors. They use a simplistic rule for trying to figure out if you intended for the apostrophe to be a left single quotation mark. The rule doesn’t work when the apostrophe belongs at the beginning of a word or a number. It’s time for real smarts in smart quotes.