Some of you know about my many ridiculous grammar-based hangups: peeves too petty to explain, futile boycotts, anonymous edits scribbled in anger on innocent restaurant menus. Well, as of Sunday morning, I have one less such hangup. The Sunday Times contained an obituary for Carl N. Karcher, 90, founder of Carl's Jr Hamburger Chain. Carl's Jr, I'm now ashamed to admit, topped my list of hated restaurants not because of its infamous six-dollar burger ($4.19 when it first came out) but because of that irritating and (I thought) just plain wrong apostrophe in its name. Operating on the principle that nobody knows how to use an apostrophe, I figured there was a guy named Carl Jr who owned the restaurant but couldn't be bothered to hire a copy editor. Wrong! Here's the key paragraph from the obit:
"He opened the first Carl's Jr -- named 'Jr.' to distinguish it from his full-service eatery -- in 1956."
Damn. Good old Carl! I take back all those awful things I said about you, buddy. RIP.