How does a giant internet clothing company get to be called Lands’ End? Even though I’m getting used to seeing it on the label of my clothes, it still bothers me.
Lands’ End originally sold sailing equipment and clothes; hence the name. But shouldn’t it be Land’s End, the same as the headland in Cornwall that marks the most westerly tip of Britain? Is there some reason why the apostrophe is put after the “s” rather than before it? Does the company really mean to use the plural of land rather than the singular (end of lands rather than end of land)?
It turns out that Lands’ End was simply a typo. When the grammatical error was discovered, the promotional material had all gone out. The company decided that it was too expensive to fix. Now it feels that the grammatical error is part of the brand’s charm.
There’s nothing charming or quaint about a grammatical error, whether it’s in a brand or any form of communication. It’s irritating to some, and just plain confusing to others.
What should we do about ungrammatical brands – boycott their products? Perhaps we should, although sadly I continue to buy clothes from Lands’ End.
And I still drink coffee from Tim Hortons. But don’t get me started.