Saturday morning found me as usual in the local supermarket, idly looking at the delicatessen counter. My attention was drawn to a notice which informed me that the olives “may contain olive stones”. I admire the store for their attention to detail, for their desire to spare me any shocks or surprises, for managing my expectations so effectively. If they had just warned me of the presence of stones, I could have travelled home in eager anticipation of finding plum stones or apricot stones in my olives. This would be great for me – I do not want to turn my small garden into an olive grove, but another plum tree would be nice. Imagine my disappointment to find only olive stones!
The situation could have been worse. At least the store did not fall victim to the misplaced apostrophe – that would have been a catastrophe. I would have spent the rest of the day wondering about Olive Stone’s contribution to the marinated olives.