Am I a jerk because I think this way?

This sign is affixed to the side of a local school. It’s got a lot of problems.

There is the obvious and tragic punctuation problem, of course.

“OWNERS” is missing a possessive apostrophe. Presumably someone (or hopefully many people) working at the school have noticed the mistake and decided to accept the error rather than ordering a new sign and having it replaced.

It’s not what I would do, but fine. I get it. Bigger fish to fry.

I just believe in frying a lot of fish, both big and small, and I can personally fry a lot of fish at the same time.

Also, “snow storm” is one word. I’m not sure if breaking it into two words is incorrect in the eyes of a grammarian, but it looks strange to me. I don’t like it.

But here’s my bigger problem with the sign:

Isn’t it always “prior to or during” a snow storm? I know I’m diving into semantics a bit, but as I write this, near the end of July, am I not “prior to” a snow storm?

Yes, the next snowstorm might be half a year a way, but still, this moment in which I currently occupy is prior to a snowstorm. In fact, haven’t I spent every single moment of my life either “prior to or during” a snowstorm?

I know. I’s a silly argument. We all understand what the sign means. The makers of the sign could’ve added an adjective to denote a specific time period prior to a snowstorm in order to appease someone as annoying and pedantic as me, but why bother? We all get it.

Even I get it.


Still, it annoys me. When I parked in front of this sign last week, it was prior to a snowstorm, damn it.

I think this line of criticism really says more about me than it does about the need to change this sign based upon this semantic complaint, but here’s my concern:

Is the thing it says about me positive or negative?

I worried that it’s the latter.

Either way, fix the damn apostrophe. You’re a school. The first thing a visitor sees can’t be a punctuation error.