A Lesson in Apostrophes

I walked into a classroom the other day and, as you do, went to have a look at the random mumbling comments on the whiteboard. What I found, changed my understanding on apostrophes forever.


So for those of you who’ve never understood those weird upside down commas which float above certain words, you have now reached enlightenment.

Indiscernible Graffiti

We’ve all seen graffiti, be it on the inside of a train tunnel or on the walls of a school toilet. In fact now days I don’t pay much heed to graffiti, however this particular piece was noticeable to me for many reasons.

Graffiti 1

First and foremost, it was written in pencil. Pencil! I’m no graffiti expert or anything but surly anyone can realise that if you’re gonna do graffiti in pencil, it won’t be hard to get rid of, and I’m hereby making the assumption that artist wants their work to be a permanent as possible. In fact if you look at the left hand side of the piece, somebody’s made a good start at removing it. So who is this madman, going around graffiting in pencil? Well firstly they’re an amateur for, and again I’m daring to presume, seasoned graffitists would prefer more professional utensils (*cough cough* sharpie).

So what else caught my attention? Well obviously the meaning, or lack of. What on earth does it mean? A question, in fact, that others had asked before me.

Graffiti 2

Let’s analyse closer, the first character seems to be a ‘H’, although its half-cleaned appearance makes it hard to tell. We’ll keep the letter ‘U’ as a possibility. The next letter is more discernible; a lamda (ᴧ). Now a seasoned student of classics like myself knows this to be a reference to the Spartans, who carried the mark of a lamda on their shields (anyone else would take this to mean wavelength). This interpreting is easy; ‘H’ or ‘U’, then a lamda.

The next letter is easy; a capital ‘T’, however character number four confuses me. Hours of scrolling through word’s list of punctuation and I have finally found it: ‘ʇ’. An interesting but obscure choice I think. On the one hand it does look quite nice, but on the other it does mean a ‘dental click’, a feature of articulation which I do not for the life of me understand. The final figure is a ‘˩’. If anybody knows what this character is don’t hesitate to tell me.

So what have we got? Either ‘HᴧTʇ˩’ or ‘UᴧTʇ˩’. Ok, my analysis has told me nothing.

So we’ve gathered that this piece caught my eye due to its lack of meaning, and the fact that it was written in pencil. But thirdly, and lastly, it came to my attention because of the words written underneath it. firstly the question ‘What does this mean?’ and then the words:

Graffiti 3

Hmmmmmm, what originally seemed to be harmless scribblings go a lot deeper. Satanic even. Who is the Eypt Devil? What place does he have in my school? Is this just some kid who can’t spell Egypt? Maybe we will never know, or maybe this is proof that the illuminati exists!

Roaming the empty school

Like the nice and dedicated little student I am, I have just come back from a second day of my half term spent in school trying to catch up on coursework.

Well I say catch-up, I was never given the chance to do it in the first place as I am doing six hours a week of science instead of the mundane five meaning that I am left with half the time everybody else had to do a whole ICT GCSE.


But that’s not the reason of this blog article. I just want to say how absolutely amazing it is being in school during the holidays. Everywhere is empty. The classrooms, the corridors, the halls. Its spooky, as if everybody has died and the school is now haunted. Dotted around the place are cleaners who are evidently idylling away their days cleaning the walls (why would you need to clean walls?).

There are also the teachers who have stupidly given up their time to help us with this; I think they’re mad personally.

Anyway, must do this again. I wonder if the school will be unlocked tomorrow.