Grammatical error or the biggest personal endorsement deal in history?

I’ve been meaning to take a photograph of this sign for over a year. (This is a very reliable indication of my self-discipline and anti-gusto.) I thought that it would be a little ray of sunshine to my friend Jayne who is both a solicitor, and someone who would be pleased to learn that God loves solicitors. I’ve walked past the sign a couple of times per week, (I still can’t bring my self to say “times a week” in print, even though the-powers-that-be compel me to reproduce such linguistic abominations on the company website,) but until today thought of the sign merely as amusing.

The photograph was taken on my phone, which is (one reason) why it is not very good. This led me to look at their website to see if they had a better photograph I could use instead/as well.
They didn’t.
They did however tell me that the company (or as they prefer, “the firm” – very sinister,) was founded in 1919 by Louis Godlove. There is no mention of anyone else called Godlove in the potted history. I had naively reasoned previously that the company name was predicated on a gaggle of Godloves; that “Godloves Solicitors” would be an appropriate name on account of the large number of Godloves involved. If there was only one, then there is the small matter of the dropping of the possessive apostrophe.

Now, the apostrophe is confusing to many a Yorkshire sign-writer, especially in conjunction with coffee or steak, but surely not to a solicitor?


The two likeliest possibilities:

  1. Mr Godlove was so addled by coffee and Argentinian steak, (or as it is more commonly known, corned beef,) that he was unable to correctly insert his name into a common clause. (Yes I know that solicitors tended to write contracts in such a way that they did not include such niceties as apostrophes and commas so that they could not be willfully misinterpreted under the pretence of a printing error and furthermore it took them longer to write this way, so it cost more. Extending that convention to the name of your company is bordering on obsessive, and more importantly, it doesn’t work, because omitting the apostrophe changes the meaning, so nah-nah-nah-nah-nah, I can’t hear you!)
  2. Mr Godlove was so addled by coffee and steak that he had the vision and undiluted business acumen to bypass David Beckham, and go for the ultimate celebrity endorsement. I bet their “with compliments” slips say something like “By appointment to the Supreme Being” in gold-embossed letters at the bottom. Interestingly, if this claim has no basis to it, then God would have every right to sue, but if He did so, then He would likely employ some rival firm of solicitors, which at least supports the weaker premise that God has some appreciation of the role of lawyers. If we’re not careful here, then we might end up with something not a million miles away from the Babel fish argument for the non-existence of God, (which may explain why He’s so far been singularly quiet on His love or otherwise of solicitors.)

Either way, Godloves’s loose handling of apostrophes (I’m now referring to the firm, not the man, so according to Godloves’s rules I’m allowed to write Godloves’s if I want to, (which I do,)) sets an interesting precedent for just tacking an s onto the end of things for the, erm, heaven of it.

Anyone for teniss?

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~ by bouncysteve on 10 October, 2006.

2 Responses to “Grammatical error or the biggest personal endorsement deal in history?”

  1. Couldn’t there just be more than one Godlove?

  2. You may like http://literally.barelyfitz.com/ Literally, a Weblog…

    Philippa xx

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