British Grocers Fortnum & Mason Celebrate Pride With Subtle Grammatical Joke























Who knew an apostrophe could be so queenly? Brit grocers Fortnum & Mason, apparently. After decades of association with the British royal family, the posh, 150-year-old grocery store shed its image of stately majesty for an ad in Gay Pride magazine in the lead up to London Pride this weekend. 

Stephen Fry took notice and, appreciative of the grammatical expertise, tweeted an image of the ad with the comment: "See @Fortnums advertisement for Gay Pride magazine this week. Note the apostrophe & that hot bit of crumpet, phwor!"

Well played, F&M. Well played. 


  1. Robert says

    Divided on this one. While I certainly appreciate Fortnum’s effort at inclusion and acknowledgment of pride, I’m sort of put off by the cavalier use of the descriptive, ‘queen.’ Never have taken to the word; it’s often used as a negative and an insult. Guess Fortnum’s simply couldn’t resist the pun.

  2. Hun says

    It says something about the state of the English language that something as basic as apostrophe placement is regarded as “grammatical expertise”… I mean, I like the ad and all, but it’s not really *that* subtle…

  3. kdknyc says

    What would the haters have them do? I appreciate a subtle and cheeky use of grammar, that could easily fly under less-educated folks’ radar.

  4. Onnyjay says

    Given our woeful level of grammatical understanding, I’m guessing most Americans (American’s?) are puzzled by this. I think F&M knew they were taking a risk with subtlety and use of a potentially negative term, but it works, more or less.

  5. leprechaunvict says

    Time to get pedantic: F&M isn’t 150 years old as stated above, the store is over 300 years old. The Royal Warrants they’ve held (hence they really are The Queen’s grocers & hence the joke) are 150 years old.

  6. Jack says

    Love the ad. The use of “queen” is without malicious or slanderous intent but instead is used in the same cheeky manner that gays use it among ourselves. Where can I get a poster of it for my kitchen?

  7. DannyEastVillage says

    so sick of people who go out of their way to take offense at something clearly not meant in a negative way AT ALL. People offended by this remind me of the humorless, terminally politically correct lesbians from the 1970s around whom you couldn’t joke about *anything* because they felt it their duty to police in behalf of ultra-sensitive, looking-for-a-reason-to-get-their-feelings-hurt members of minority groups who *might* take a teensy bit put off by it. you girls need to GET A GRIP.

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