In Hindu tradition, Father’s Day coincides with the new moon day, or Amavasya, during late August. In Thailand it is customary to honor thy father with a Canna flower. And in Germany, Vatertag is celebrated on the Thursday forty days following Easter. In the United States, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June, however this was not always the case. What is the disastrous event that inspired the holiday? And what’s up with the incorrect placement of the apostrophe in the holiday’s name?

Perhaps inspired by the first celebration of Mother’s Day a few months prior, Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton organized the very first observance of Father’s Day on July 5, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia to honor the lives of the 210 fathers lost in the Monongah Mining disaster. Unfortunately, two years later Mrs. Clayton was upstaged by Sonora Dodd who organized her own Father’s Day celebration and  petitioned Congress to establish the day as a national holiday. Ms. Dodd’s efforts finally paid off when in 1972 President Richard Nixon officially signed into law an annual day honoring fathers.

Whoever created the first petition to establish the holiday was not much of a grammarian. The name is understood as a plural possession as in “day belonging to Fathers:” therefore the apostrophe should follow the /s/ and read “Fathers’ Day.” Ms. Dodd makes proper use of the apostrophe in her original documents but somewhere along the way the punctuation was placed incorrectly denoting singular possession as in “day belonging to Father” – “Father’s Day.” The grammatical misstep continues to don cards, mugs, and t-shirts to this day.

Father Time has offered many iconic father figures throughout the years. Our Founding Fathers enacted the framework of this country’s government by establishing the United States Constitution and declaring independence from Great Britain by signing the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

On a darker note, perhaps George Lucas was dropping a hint in Star Wars Episode IV by calling the antagonist Darth Vader. While the exact origin of the term ‘darth’ does not exist, many sci-fi theorists believe the literal translation is ‘dark.’ However, another theory holds that the term is a contraction of  “dark lord of the sith.” What we do know is the use of ‘vader’ is quite telling. Vader is Dutch meaning ‘father.’ The German word for father is ‘vater,’ however the Dutch pronunciation is most commonly used. Perhaps we should not have been surprised when we heard Darth Vader speak those immortal words to Luke: “I am your father.”

Can you think of some more iconic father figures? Share them in the comments below.

New mantle cell lymphoma research from University of Toledo, Department of Radiology discussed.

Blood Weekly April 22, 2010 Fresh data on mantle cell lymphoma are presented in the report ‘CT and MRI findings with histopathologic correlation of a unique bilateral orbital mantle cell lymphoma in Graves’ disease: a case report and brief review of literature.’ According to a study from the United States, “Bilateral orbital mantle cell lymphoma is rare. We present an unusual case report of a patient with Graves’ disease and no previous history of lymphoma, who was found to have bilateral orbital mantle cell lymphoma on CT and MR imaging which was confirmed histopathologically.” “To our knowledge, there have been no previously described cases of bilateral mantle cell lymphoma in Graves’ disease. Of particular radiologic interest, the left orbital mass presented in a bicompartmental fashion with a discreet intraconal component separated by a fat plane from an extraconal component that extended intraconally,” wrote A. Abdullah and colleagues, University of Toledo, Department of Radiology (see also Mantle Cell Lymphoma). in our site mantle cell lymphoma go to site mantle cell lymphoma

The researchers concluded: “In our review of radiologic literature, this presentation has not been described previously.” Abdullah and colleagues published the results of their research in the Journal of Neuro-oncology (CT and MRI findings with histopathologic correlation of a unique bilateral orbital mantle cell lymphoma in Graves’ disease: a case report and brief review of literature. Journal of Neuro-oncology, 2010;97(2):279-84).

For additional information, contact A. Abdullah, University of Toledo Medical Center, Dept. of Radiology, Room 1217, 3000 Arlington Avenue, 43614-2598, Toledo, OH USA.

The publisher of the Journal of Neuro-oncology can be contacted at: Springer, 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013, USA.


  1. Pradeep -  March 24, 2014 - 11:37 am

    I’m an indian and follow Hindu tradition, but there is no father’s day in Hindu tradition. Above statement surprised me!! Ofcourse I’m not opposed to celebrating father’s day, there is nothing wrong.

  2. Roshni Kainthan -  August 7, 2013 - 12:12 pm

    It’s Fathers’ Day, celebrating all fathers.

  3. Missa2246c -  July 2, 2013 - 2:32 pm

    There’s also something wrong with Mother’s day……it should be Mothers’ day, but no one pointed that out.
    Or I just didn’t read all the comments.

  4. dd -  June 24, 2013 - 9:03 am

    @Bucky. Odd no one has corrected your pea mistake for two years. “Pea” as we know it today is singular, and has always been singular. Back 600 years ago, according to etymologists, “pease” was the singular form of the plural “peasen”. The plural peasen eventually was dropped in favour of using pease for both plural and singular references. (Words like this are part of a larger category of nouns known as “defective nouns”, whose singular and plural forms are interchanged, missing or otherwise act a bit loopy. Here’s an interesting link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defective_noun#Defective_nouns)

    Today’s singular “pea” and plural “peas” have been “back derived” from this 600 year old word because the typical english speaker got used to thinking an s sound at the end of a word was plural. Interestingly, the archaic “pease” (likely pronounced like today’s “peace”) has survived in “pease porridge”, a sort of mush hummus-like paste made from legumes. (Great with ham or bacon, by the way.)

  5. Quotenor -  June 23, 2013 - 11:39 am

    Little things make a huge difference.
    An inspirational quote by William Shakespeare for fathers:
    “It is a wise father that knows his own child.”

  6. Nic -  June 17, 2013 - 3:19 am

    Well…a small ‘ is like the word “only” – it positions everything ….

  7. chizzy -  June 17, 2013 - 3:08 am

    Thanks for the information.
    If it will be possible to change the apostrophe ‘s which represents some personalities to s’, i think it should be changed or corrected because the word is for all the fathers.
    Little things are powerful!!!

  8. wezimark -  June 16, 2013 - 9:15 pm

    The day itself should edit to Fathers’ but gift cards and the like be Father’s day

  9. Rcbjr2 -  June 16, 2013 - 5:56 pm

    While we’re on the subject of grammatical issues, I believe you need a semi-colon before “however” in your first paragraph and a comma after West Virginia in your second.

  10. Charlie V -  June 16, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    The question is whether the intent is that father be singular or plural. Are we saying it is the day for all fathers, or are we saying it is the day for our own father. It’s more personal to keep it singular as a direct salute to our own dear father. In any case, both “father’s” and “fathers’” are legitimate words.

  11. trifectatom -  June 16, 2013 - 3:08 pm

    As I sit here reading this and listening to B B King, I’d like to nominate him for iconic father, 13 or 14 kids each with a different mother, brings new meaning to “riding with the King’.

  12. Rafael Hatcher -  June 16, 2013 - 2:40 pm

    It’s funny, here in Brazil, in Portuguese, we say “Dia dos pais” which is really Fathers’ day. Just like we say “Dia das mães” Mothers’ day.

  13. robruns -  June 16, 2013 - 1:27 pm

    Oh, and don’t forget Atticus Finch. I like Laura’s list, Liam Nesson in Taken, now there’s a dad who goes the distance for his daughter.

  14. Elsie -  June 16, 2013 - 1:25 pm

    The question itself is grammatically flawed. The question “What is the grammatical error that accompanies Father’s Day?” indicates that the author is writing about the holiday. Quotation marks need to be placed around the term “Father’s Day” to indicate that the author is referring not to the holiday, but to the written term itself.

  15. Dan -  June 16, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    Fathers’ Day

  16. Carlos Dehesa -  June 16, 2013 - 11:24 am

    I do not know why we have to celebrate Father’s day, if most household heads are women, or very closely.

  17. Jeriah -  June 16, 2013 - 11:18 am

    I think the reason that it is spelled with an apostrophe before the “s” is to show that YOUR father is in possession. Because you don’t have more than one dad. Yeah, your biological dad may be divorced from your mom and you might have a stepdad. But I think it makes a lot of sense the way that it is spelled. And before you write an article about grammatical errors, maybe you should learn how to write an article that is correct in punctuation.

1 5 6 7

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (required):

Related articles

Back to Top