Apparently Mother’s Day is neither a public holiday nor a religious holy day. Anyone who is not a believer is nevertheless a moral outcast. Even Al Capone loved his mum, one day of the year. Mother’s Day is not ancient, rather it is the brainchild of a marketing opportunist at a greetings card company. The same is true of Father’s Day.
There is a problem with both Days: where to place the apostrophe. Is it the day of the one and only mother you happen to be celebrating? If so, it is Mother’s Day. But if all mothers, from the Madonna onwards, are celebrated, it becomes Mothers’ Day. But as mothers become more numerous, sentiment is diluted. Unless you are a politician gift wrapping pre-election pork for the barrel, you can’t get teary over every mother in the cosmos.
What should make us tearful is the abuse of the apostrophe. In the fruit shop – Lovely Navel’s; in the supermarket – New Seasons Spud’s; at the pharmacy – Retread your Old Condom’s Here.