Apostrophical crimes

Parked too close to our place for comfort

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4 Responses to Apostrophical crimes

  1. Alan Vallis says:

    It’s a worry. Regular irritating apostrocides:

    your for you’re
    it’s instead of its as a possessive
    its instead of it’s as a contraction

    Many are calling for the death of the apostrophe, but how do we rhen deal with “the farmers’ cows” vs “the farmer’s cows”?

    I blame the Yanks.


    I reckon it all started with their habit of putting periods after abbreviations which real English speakers treat properly. i.e. Where the last letter of the abbreviation is also the last letter of the original word.

    Whenever I read Mr. Smith or Dr. Jones or St. Andrew it acts like a verbal portcullis to my continued comprehension.

  2. kutarere says:

    I disagree that the Yanks are to blame, (although it may be one of the very few things that they are NOT to blame for!) rather it is another one of those insidious changes that have ‘evolved’. Much as it pains me to do so I lay the blame squarely at the door of teachers, both ours and ‘theirs’ (or should that be our’s and their’s? [sorry]). Much as spelling has deteriorated over recent years because of worsening vocabs of our younger teachers, so has grammar. What is most sad is that the lowering of standards has been compounded by our media.
    (By the way I am a retired career teacher and principal who (a) did his best to teach word-craft well and (b) employed plenty of young teachers who were the product of classes that didn’t.)

  3. John MacGibbon says:

    There’s always an irritant…

    Lynne Truss’s ‘Eats, Shoots, and Leaves’ book is worth reading on the subject of grammatical irritants. Particularly on the subject of misused apostrophes.

    I’m also getting pissed off by people putting the possessive apostrophe by itself at the end of a singular word that ends with ‘s’. The correct way to do it – shown above in this post – is to write Truss’s, not Truss’. However, it would be correct to write “The tomato trusses’ colour was red.” For some reason, the Dominion newspaper does it the wrong way and some ridiculous constructions result from their policy.

    My current beef – I’m hearing it all the time on radio and TV – is people not understanding when you should use ‘between’ and when you should use ‘among’. It seems so obvious. I’m a stickler on this, though I do concede that there’s no real need, in terms of comprehension, to have more than one word. But the fact is, that we have separate words and should use them.

  4. Pingback: More apostrophical crimes | Martinborough Musings

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