Here on the ’tis beat, we have a zero-tolerance policy. As Baltimore Sun copyeditor John McIntyre has repeatedly reminded us in his roundup of holiday clichés:
“’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.
Is anyone listening? Not bloody likely.
Here’s Henry Fuhrmann, head of the Los Angeles Times copy desks, posting on Twitter. Note the date:
It is with heavy heart that I report that the phrase *'tis the season* passed unscathed through the copy desk this week. I blame myself.
— Henry Fuhrmann (@hfuhrmann) November 6, 2014
I’ve been conducting my own heavy-hearted research in the halls of commerce. Here is this year’s gallery of offenders.
Crate and Barrel sent me this email on October 20. Yes, Virginia: Christmas came early.
“’Tis the Season for New Christmas Arrivals”
But Crate and Barrel wasn’t the first ’tisser this year. Not by a long shot.
“’Tis the season for wildflowers!” Ad for Sonoma Land Trust, San Francisco Chronicle, March 29 (!).
And the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) posted this tweet on May 13.
'Tis the season — woodfish: an edible mushroom, usually a morel. [esp VA, TN]
— DARE (@darewords) May 13, 2014
“’Tis the season for perks.” Credit-card terminal, J. Crew.
“’Tis the season to stock up on essentials!” (“Tits the season” would have been better, no?)
I don’t know what “Thirdlove” is meant to convey. It always makes me think of “third nipple.”
“’Tis the season for 25% off Fly London” shoes at Planet Shoes. (OK, ’twas the season: the deal expired December 16.)
’Tis the season for science at the California Academy of Sciences. Again.
Hark! A ’Tis the Season blog! (“Where it’s Christmas all year.”)
Bath & Body Works sells a multi-product line of ’Tis the Season products.
Candle. Hand gel.
…and much more.
“’Tis the season for sausage.” Farmer John; Sunday newspaper insert.
“’Tis the season for Ralph Lauren fragrances.” Sunday newspaper insert with scent strips.
Brace yourselves for punny, year-round ’tis-the-seasoning, now that saison beer—brewed in the winter, stored till the summer months—is an acknowledged thing. See, for starters:
RateBeer.com: The case of the drifting apostrophe.
…and also The Blind Monk, Brew Professor (wrong-way apostrophe), Untappd (no apostrophe), Barrelhouse Brewing (no apostrophe), et al.
Finally (we hope), here’s John McIntyre again with a newspaper-headline hall of shame. Here’s a bummer of a headline he can add to the collection:
“’Tis the season to be swindled.” Orange County Register, December 2, 2014.
At least most of them appear to have gotten the apostrophe right, not that that absolves them of their cliche crimes.
Posted by: Jonathon Owen | December 19, 2014 at 09:09 AM