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"Apostrophe's" Topic


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843 hits since 27 Dec 2011
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Connard Sage Inactive Member27 Dec 2011 1:36 a.m. PST

Please stop it, its making my eye's bleed.

skippy000127 Dec 2011 2:13 a.m. PST

I was taught grammar by nuns. If there is a need, you're going to see them. I have been programmed, you have been warned.

vojvoda Inactive Member27 Dec 2011 2:25 a.m. PST

Aphrodite's for sale?
VR
James Mattes

ochoin deach Inactive Member27 Dec 2011 2:42 a.m. PST

picture

Connard Sage Inactive Member27 Dec 2011 3:08 a.m. PST

If there is a need, you're going to see them.

If there's a need, I expect to see them. The problem starts when people see a need that isn't there.

Or vice versa.

Plynkes Inactive Member27 Dec 2011 3:42 a.m. PST

I think the best advice is that if you don't know what they are for, best leave them alone.

The odd missing apostrophe where one should be would be far less obtrusive than putting them before every 's' in your post just to be sure.

Plynkes Inactive Member27 Dec 2011 3:44 a.m. PST

I think the best advice is that if you don't know what they are for, best leave them alone.

The odd missing apostrophe where one should be would be far less obtrusive than putting them before every 's' in your post just to be sure.


The internet seems to have invented a rule that if a noun ends in a vowel then the plural needs an apostrophe. I have no idea how this idiocy caught on, but so many people do it. Supposedly intelligent, educated people.


Edit: How strange, the Edit function made a new post instead of editing the existing one. A new bug?

skippy000127 Dec 2011 4:33 a.m. PST

Sorry, I thought this was a different thing going on.

Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 4:47 a.m. PST

It really bugs me when I see it on signs. I'm not quite yet to the point at which I refuse to shop in a store whose sign has misused apostrophes, but I'm getting close to it. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, given that the same people who set the signs cannot make change without a computer.

Doug

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 5:15 a.m. PST

It bug's me al'so.

Tuudawgs Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 5:22 a.m. PST

What? I duz' english good.

Cambria562227 Dec 2011 5:31 a.m. PST

I must be a gentleman of a certain age, because I too hate consistently (I forgive the occasional lapse!) poor grammar in any form of correspondence. My advice to the regular offenders would be; if you are too busy to post correctly, don't post!

vaughan27 Dec 2011 6:10 a.m. PST

"My advice to the regular offenders would be; if you are too busy to post correctly, don't post!"
Well the same can be said for misused semi colons. Nobody talks in apostrophes so whilst I see an argument against misuse in signs etc, to condemn people for poor grammar on a forum is elitist nonesense (a strong sense of deja vu there since this appears at least once a year).

miniMo Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 6:14 a.m. PST

True old fart's appreciate the new trend of 's as a modern twist on proper typesetting.

Since current keyboard's don't easily support a proper long-s as distinguished from an f to put in the beginning or middle of a word, the new typesetting trick with kid's these day's i's instead to us an's for the short s at the end. Thi's form of the short-s instead of using it for the long-s may seem counter-intuitive, but i's really a natural growth out of using an apostrophe to indicate shortening in contraction's.

So instead of purfuit of happiness today it look's like pursuit of hapine's's

But sometimes seen as pursuit of happine'ss cause that's just quicker typesetting while texting.

Connard Sage Inactive Member27 Dec 2011 6:14 a.m. PST

Why is proper English usage 'elitist nonsense'?

This isn't degree level English, anyone who stayed awake through primary school should know where apostrophes go. And where they don't.

korsun0 Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 6:14 a.m. PST

Nice example in the OP; a little intended irony?

's's's's's's's's's's's's's's and so on….

korsun0 Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 6:17 a.m. PST

Had this argument at work the other day. I believe that even if the content of your document is a little weak, professional presentation and correct grammar and spelling will give the impression you are a professional.

Standard answer is "Spell and grammar check cleared it".

Bloody muppets….

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Dec 2011 6:18 a.m. PST

As I correct my grad student papers it both amazes and galls me how often I have to comment "<-- this is singular possessive, not plural".

Connard Sage Inactive Member27 Dec 2011 6:20 a.m. PST

Nice example in the OP; a little intended irony?

's's's's's's's's's's's's's's and so on….

Just testing. How many deliberate mistakes can you see in the thread title and OP? grin

vaughan27 Dec 2011 6:40 a.m. PST

"Why is proper English usage 'elitist nonsense'?"
because this is a forum for discussing toy soldiers and games. If bad grammer renders a sentence unintelligeable then yes it should be remarked on. But to pull people up as a matter of course because they got it wrong is only going to stop people posting. If I am writing a report at work then I will apply all the rules of English that I was taught at school, however on here things are typed quickly and mistakes made. Added to that, many posters don't even have English as their first spoken language, let alone written.
There is a time and place to pull people up on grammer, but this is not it. To belittle people publicly is insulting and patronising.

Cambria562227 Dec 2011 6:41 a.m. PST

"Well the same can be said for misused semi colons."

Or even missing hypens!

;-)

Mapleleaf Inactive Member27 Dec 2011 7:18 a.m. PST

Sorry for the long post that follows but it covers all uses of the apostrophes. Source
link


First let's all join in a hearty curse of the grammarians who inserted the wretched apostrophe into possessives in the first place. It may well have been a mistake. In Medieval English possessive nouns ended with an -ES or -YS. Eventually the vowel before the S disappeared, and we were left with forms like "Johns hat." Some 17th-century writers took the result to be an abbreviation and decided that the simple "s" of possession in a phrase like "Johns hat" must have been formed out of a contraction of the more "proper" "John his hat." One theory is that since in English we mark contractions with an apostrophe, some scholars did so, and we were stuck with "John's hat." Their purported error can be a handy reminder: if you're not sure whether a noun ending in S should be followed by an apostrophe, ask yourself whether you could plausibly substitute "his" or "her" for the S.


The exception to this pattern involves personal pronouns indicating possession like "his," "hers," and "its." For more on this point, see "its/it's."


Get this straight once and for all: when the S is added to a word simply to make it a plural, no apostrophe is used (except in expressions where letters or numerals are treated like words, like "mind your P's and Q's" and "learn your ABC's").


Apostrophes are also used to indicate omitted letters in real contractions: "do not" becomes "don't."


Why can't we all agree to do away with the wretched apostrophe? Because its two uses—contraction and possession—have people so thoroughly confused that they are always putting in apostrophes where they don't belong, in simple plurals ("cucumber's for sale") and family names when they are referred to collectively ("the Smith's").


The practice of putting improper apostrophes in family names on signs in front yards is an endless source of confusion. "The Brown's" is just plain wrong. (If you wanted to suggest "the residence of the Browns" you would have to write "The Browns'," with the apostrophe after the S, which is there to indicate a plural number, not as an indication of possession.) If you simply want to indicate that a family named Brown lives here, the sign out front should read simply "The Browns." When a name ends in an S you need to add an ES to make it plural: "The Adamses."


No apostrophes for simple plural names or names ending in S, OK? I get irritated when people address me as "Mr. Brian's."


What about when plural names are used to indicate possession? "The Browns' cat" is standard (the second S is "understood"), though some prefer "the Browns's cat." The pattern is the same with names ending in S: "the Adamses' cat" or—theoretically—"the Adamses's cat.". However, because these standard forms can seem awkward, "the Adams' cat" is widely accepted, with one S indicating both plural number and possession.


Apostrophes are often mistakenly omitted in common expressions such as "at arm's length" and "at wits' end." Note that the position of the apostrophe before or after the S depends on whether the word is a plural form ending in S. You hold someone at the length of your arms (plural), but are at the end of your wits.


Other examples: "the people's choice," "for old times' sake," and "for heaven's sake." Why is the place name in England "Land's End" but the American corporation "Lands' End"? It was just a mistake, and now the company is stuck with its misplaced apostrophe.


Apostrophes are also misplaced in common plural nouns on signs: "Restrooms are for customer's use only." Who is this privileged customer to deserve a private bathroom? The sign should read "for customers' use."


For ordinary nouns, the pattern for adding an apostrophe to express possession is straightforward. For singular nouns, add an apostrophe plus an S: "the duck's bill." If the singular noun happens to end in one S or even two, you still just add an apostrophe and an S: "the boss's desk."


For plural nouns which end in S, however, add only the apostrophe: "the ducks' bills." But if a plural noun does not end in S, then you follow the same pattern as for singular nouns by adding an apostrophe and an S: "the children's menu."


In names which end in S the possessive plural is usually formed by simply adding an apostrophe: "the Joneses' house" It's most often "in Jesus' name." "In Jesus's name" is acceptable, but those three syllables ending in S next to each other sound awkward.


It is not uncommon to see the "S" wrongly apostrophized even in verbs, as in the mistaken "He complain's a lot."


Unfortunately, some character sets do not include proper curled apostrophes, including basic HTML and ASCII. If you do not turn off the "smart quotes" feature in your word processor, the result will be ugly gibberish in your writing which will make it hard to read.


But if you wish to create a true apostrophe in HTML ['] instead of a straight "foot mark" ['], you can write this code: ’.


Another problem involving smart quotes arises when you need to begin a word with an apostrophe, as in "the roaring '20s" or "give 'em a break." Smart quotes will curl those opening apostrophes the wrong way.


There's more than one way to solve this problem, but here are the easiest ones in Microsoft Word: 1) for Windows users, hold down the CTRL key and hit the apostrophe key twice, 2) for Mac users, hold down the option and shift keys and hit the right square bracket key. If all else fails, you can type a pair of single quotation marks and delete the first one.

MajorB27 Dec 2011 7:28 a.m. PST

There is a time and place to pull people up on grammer,

How about spelling?

korsun0 Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 7:56 a.m. PST

" Just testing. How many deliberate mistakes can you see in the thread title and OP? "

At least 3, mayhap 4?

"To belittle people publicly is insulting and patronising."

Where?

Personal logo Cyrus the Great Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 8:42 a.m. PST

This isn't degree level English, anyone who stayed awake through primary school should know where apostrophes go. And where they don't.

You might be surprised. I've had teachers tell me that spelling, punctuation and grammar no longer matter as long as the writer is able to convey his or her idea. Doesn't bode well for the future.

Feet up now27 Dec 2011 10:06 a.m. PST

If you use them you are a doer and if not, you are a don'ter.
I will employ some Avoision to this post now g'day sirs.

kyoteblue Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 10:23 a.m. PST

Arf Arf !!!

Personal logo Cheriton Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 12:06 p.m. PST

>>Doesn't bode well for the future.<<

Yes, "no problem", just "Dumb & Dummer!"…

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 12:09 p.m. PST

…to condemn people for poor grammar on a forum is elitist nonesense (a strong sense of deja vu there since this appears at least once a year).

Rubbish.
The whole reason to "standardize" a language and to have actual RULES is to make sure that everybody understands what is being written.

I've had teachers tell me that spelling, punctuation and grammar no longer matter as long as the writer is able to convey his or her idea.

But, they are not able to convey their idea. The further you get from standard speak, the more prone things are to misunderstanding.
I would like to see "kids today" follow a chemistry lab manual, written the way they text.

I find it highly ironic that the very media that encourage broad dissemination of information are the very media that comspire to make it unintelligible.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2011 12:59 p.m. PST

I not only see the apostrophe misused as a signal for a plural on the front page (Dragoon's), but also mis-used in a true possessive plural. (Perry's instead of Perrys')

All I can say is that "kids today" don't give a damn if they are understood or not.

Sane Max28 Dec 2011 2:08 a.m. PST

The misuse of Apostrophes in a set of published rules resulted in me throwing them away, and never buying another printed product from that manufacturer. They made the difference between 'Mangled but readable' and 'unreadable'.

People who suggest abysmal spelling and grammar don't matter 'as long as the other person understands what you are trying to say' fail to see that.

I make no claims to excellence in this field, but there are limits.

Pat

korsun0 Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Dec 2011 6:10 a.m. PST

Correct grammar and punctuation in written documents allows the reader to gain an understanding of the tone, emphasis and intent of the author I thought. Incorrect placement can lead to misunderstandings e.g. "Don't shoot!" compared to "Don't, shoot!"……

If we like rules for our wargames, rules for road use, the rule of law and so on, why not rules for language?

Sane Max28 Dec 2011 6:19 a.m. PST

Punctuation is the difference between 'helping my uncle jack off a horse' and 'Helping my Uncle Jack off a horse'.

Pat

Personal logo Cheriton Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2011 6:51 a.m. PST

Sane Max:

>>Punctuation is the difference between <<

Gawd, thanks for that one, a great addition to Lynn Truss quips!

guinness guinness

Personal logo richarDISNEY of the RDGC Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2011 8:25 a.m. PST

'
eggnog

Connard Sage Inactive Member28 Dec 2011 8:54 a.m. PST

All aboard the elitist bus!

Sparker28 Dec 2011 2:07 p.m. PST

'Fig. 7 gives a list of Flag Officers broken down by age and sex'

Not the best typo to make as a career move…..

Grizzlymc Inactive Member28 Dec 2011 2:17 p.m. PST

But they have my envy.

Personal logo StarfuryXL5 Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2011 9:53 p.m. PST

Punctuation is the difference between 'helping my uncle jack off a horse' and 'Helping my Uncle Jack off a horse'.

Is that a difference in punctuation, or just capitalization? Is capitalization considered punctuation?

Personal logo StarfuryXL5 Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2011 10:16 p.m. PST

Or even missing hypens!

Or extra hyphens where they don't belong.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member29 Dec 2011 4:56 p.m. PST

The only thing to do with apostrophe's and hyphens'is to chain them together, imprison them in parenthesis and torture them in a dungeon.

woundedknee03 Jan 2012 9:14 p.m. PST

Is vaughan being ironic when he writes "There is a time and place to pull people up on grammer…"? :-)

Jemima Fawr04 Jan 2012 2:55 a.m. PST

I understand that you can have hyphen renewal surgery to restore a missing hyphen.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member04 Jan 2012 3:31 a.m. PST

I take drugs for it.

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