Despite the best efforts of grocers to prop up falling values, it seems apostrophes are headed for a long period in the doldrums.
In South Wiltshire, traditionally a strong punctuation-growing area, farmers are finding it unprofitable to harvest apostrophes, and are leaving them to rot in the fields.
“Id neverve thought Id see the day when wed be leavin em in the fields,” said James Gerund-Johnson, an apostrophe farmer from Salisbury.
“But with farm-gate prices the way theyre goin, Ive got no choice, ave I? Its not economical to arvest em.”
However, all is not bleak for farmers like Gerund-Johnson says Perkka Sjodensdottir, Chief Commodities Analyst at Iceland’s MasleniBankki.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, she told John Humphrys:
“Although prices are tumbling, there may be relief from Korea, where car manufacturer Kia is shipping thousands of extra Ce’eds in an effort to prop up apostrophe values in the UK.”
Humphrys sympathised, saying, “I was born during the catastrophic e harvest failure of 1935.”
Sjodensdottir had some canny commercial advice for beleaguered apostrophe farmers.
“We are seeing double-digit growth in newer crops such as the #, the @ and the <>, thanks to social media.
“These are ripe for exploitation, as are GMO hybrids like the RT, ROFL, FFS and RTFM.”
We give the last word to farmer Gerund-Johnson: “Were thinking of going in for emoticons. Prices are holdin up well and you can grow em with ydroponics.”