The lights, the carols, the shopping-mall Santas: verily, ’tis ’Tis the Season season once again. The ’tis-ing started early this year (mid-October!) and shows no sign of abating. In fact, this year I discovered a Tis the Season store—correction, “Christmas Shoppe”—in Millersburg, Ohio. (The apostrophe on that Tis is mysteriously missing.) And if the website design is any indication, this is a place to shoppe till you droppe in a queasy stupor.
Cliché: check. White-outlined letters: check. Olde Englishe spelling: check. Busy background photo: check. Squiggly clip art: check.
Misspelled “its”: check.
So that’s where the apostrophe went!
It’s been two years since my last ’tis-the-season-palooza, so my sleigh is full. You have been warned.
And in case you’re wondering why I bother, here’s Baltimore Sun editor John McIntyre once again on this ubiquitous holiday cliché. He addresses his admonition to his fellow newspaper editors, but it’s equally relevant for copywriters:
“’Tis the season”: Not in copy, not in headlines, not at all. Never, never, never, never, never. You cannot make this fresh. Do not attempt it.
He adds: “’Twasing is no more defensible than ’tising.”
This year’s hall of shame: