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A National Cat-apostrophe

Despite ostensibly being the possession of a man named Tim Horton rather than some sort of coalition of men with the same name, the Tim Hortons coffee/donut chain seems to have lost its much needed apostrophe. This apparently occurred some time during the mid-90s, allegedly because of Quebec’s language laws.
Remember the whole “Eatons vs. Eaton’s” kerfuffle? Well, Timmies decided that it wasn’t worth the money to produce two sets of signs, napkins, etc. and folded like a cheap suit. We can all rest-assured that the distinct French culture of Quebec was thus saved, but now the rest of the country has to stare at an obvious grammatical mistake. Given the weed-like rate at which the coffee shops are popping up, the “error” is all the more egregious.
We’re disturbed to see the li’l guy missing and we’re not the only ones.
If you also wish the signs said “Tim Horton’s” (just like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Harvey’s and everyone else!), you can sign a petition here.
And, hey, did you know that Tim’s real name was Miles Gilbert Horton? Hmmm…


  • james

    Hmm.. My copy of Eats, Shoots and Leaves came with a “punctuation repair kit” consisting of a bunch of giant punctuation stickers to I’ve always wanted to use. Maybe I’ll make a repair on my way to work tomorrow. :)

  • Marc Lostracco

    Wendy’s has a maple leaf in place of an apostrophe here in Canadialand — except in Quebec, where it’s a regular apostrophe. Ooh, politics!

  • bob

    It’s just a tiny line at the top right of the N…
    What’s the big deal?

  • dory

    It may be a tiny line, but it has huge semantic value!

  • Him Thorton

    I appreciate the lack of an apostrophe in Tim Hortons. It’s distinctly Canadian — right down to its inclusion in the Canadian Press style guides.
    Ditto the maple leaf apostrophe in Wendy*s.
    (…and ditto the chevron in Canadi=n airlines.)
    As you know posessives aren’t constructed the same way in French as they are in English…. i.e. no ” ‘s ”
    I think it’s a positive that we here find ways to write things in a manner that can be used in both national languages.
    What PISSES me off is…. the creep of American English.
    Today I noticed on a window at the Gap on Queen: “Enamored.”
    Ditto a huge vodka sign on College with the word, “Flavor.”

  • Disparishun

    I’m with, um, Him on this one. The no comma is a sign of operating in a two-language market, and it’s just dandy with me.

  • rek

    I hear ‘zee’ more and more often now. There’s even a ‘zee-number-number-fm’ radio station.

  • amyroger

    A petition? Now I’ve heard it all. Please don’t waste precious time arguing this issue because it is idiotic. Tim Hortons couldn’t give a flying yahoo what you think about their punctuation. And if you really want to make an improvement in this world ask Tim Hortons to stop selling fat-laden treats to fat/old/sick/young people. More people die from being fat than from smoking! It’s not a non-profit organization y’know! They don’t care about you because they are not supposed to. Duh! –

  • warmflash

    Speaking of which. Where does Timmy buy his coffee from? Is he a FAIR TRADE company?