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Apostrophe's

Comments on Apostrophe's

Thinker13
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Posted 01/17/12 - 2:14 AM:
Subject: Apostrophe's
There is no mistake, more frequently and more commonly committed than it’s vs. its, in the communications in which I take an active part on day to day basis. It’s not that writers know about it and accidentally commit it only a few times; had it been so, I would have been happier. They don’t know about it and they don’t learn it. I have personally shown difference between its and it’s in live interactions to many of my friends, but found that most of them persisted with these errors. Perhaps, they do not find these errors to be too important a thing to worry about. This error is committed by writers from almost all walks of life. The cause of confusion is: Apostrophe‘s’ being used mostly with words where you have to express something possessing something else—for ex: Ram’s pen. In case of it, the possessive pronoun is ‘its’ and not ‘it’s’. It’s is a shortened form of ‘it is’. It is raining, might be written as it’s raining.

There is another less commonly committed mistake. It’s about the apostrophe ‘s’ being used in case of noun which ends with a letter ‘s’. For example: “Jacks’s letter is red”, is wrong. It should be “Jacks’ letter is red”. You have to do without ‘s’ in such cases.
libertygrl
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Posted 01/19/12 - 12:15 PM:

The abundant misuse of apostrophes is mind-boggling.

According to a popular treatise on English writing, "The Elements of Style" by Strunk & White, which is commonly used as a textbook in college English courses, it is acceptable to use "'s" after a name ending in "s". Thus:

The Wilsons' poodle got loose again

--is as grammatically acceptable as--

The Wilsons's poodle got loose again.

(according to Strunk & White). i think the logic behind it is that it may help in understanding the meaning while speaking the sentence out loud to say "the wilsonses poodle". purely speculation, though.

you may also often come across people who misuse apostrophes to denote the plural of something. "i saw there were many helicopter's and plane's at the airshow today."

shaking head

and don't let's get started on quotation marks...
Thinker13
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Posted 01/19/12 - 12:22 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
The abundant misuse of apostrophes is mind-boggling.

According to a popular treatise on English writing, "The Elements of Style" by Strunk & White, which is commonly used as a textbook in college English courses, it is acceptable to use "'s" after a name ending in "s". Thus:

The Wilsons' poodle got loose again

--is as grammatically acceptable as--

The Wilsons's poodle got loose again.

(according to Strunk & White).

but you may also often come across people who misuse apostrophes to denote the plural of something. "i saw there were many helicopter's and plane's at the airshow today."

shaking head

and don't let's get started on quotation marks...



Thanks a lot for bringing into my attention: (1) It's very much acceptable to use ('s) even after the words which end in 's'. Now, I remember that I had read that rule and I think it said that if you do use it, it's not wrong, but somehow ( possibly because of redundancy in my mind) I made an impression in my mind that it should not be used.[Why use 's' if you can do without it!]

(2) People do confuse in cases like "i saw there were many helicopter's and plane's at the airshow today." I encounter such sentences every now and then. smiling face
Thinker13
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Posted 01/19/12 - 12:29 PM:

I have been very confused for a while with commas with words inside quotation marks; for ex:

(1)You are being called a "Grammarian," in disguise.


and


(2)You are being called a "Grammarian", in disguise.


I think, style guides recommend (1) over (2). I do not know why it's so.



libertygrl
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Posted 01/19/12 - 12:40 PM:

yes, you are correct, the style guides that i have seen recommend (1) over (2). i don't know why this is so, either. it seems to me that the comma belongs with the phrase itself which commenced outside of the quotation marks. it would be a different matter if the comma belonged to the phrase inside the quotes. for example:

"I hope it doesn't rain," he said, "because my umbrella is at home."

i could also understand:

He looked out the window and said, "I hope it doesn't rain."

but the rule applies, as you point out, to single words too, and i agree that it just doesn't make sense in certain examples such as you gave, or in this one:

When you get to the end of the line, press "Enter."
Thinker13
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Posted 01/19/12 - 12:53 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
yes, you are correct, the style guides that i have seen recommend (1) over (2). i don't know why this is so, either. it seems to me that the comma belongs with the phrase itself which commenced outside of the quotation marks. it would be a different matter if the comma belonged to the phrase inside the quotes. for example:

"I hope it doesn't rain," he said, "because my umbrella is at home."

i could also understand:

He looked out the window and said, "I hope it doesn't rain."

but the rule applies, as you point out, to single words too, and i agree that it just doesn't make sense in certain examples such as you gave, or in this one:

When you get to the end of the line, press "Enter."




lib wrote:

[1] "I hope it doesn't rain," he said, "because my umbrella is at home."


Consider this:

[2] "I hope it doesn't rain," he said, "because my umbrella is at home".

[3]"I hope it doesn't rain," he said, "because my umbrella is at home.".

In [2], I have used period after quotations and not inside them.
In [3], Quotations contain a period and another has been used at the end of the sentence.

Do you think: [2] is not valid because sentence inside quotation marks does not have a full stop?

[3] has a redundant period outside quotation marks, or, it's acceptable.

Meanings might change slightly in cases [1], [2] and [3]. Which one is most preferable according to you and why?


libertygrl
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Posted 01/19/12 - 1:22 PM:

[2] needs a period inside the quote IMO because the sentence is not valid without it.

[3] has a redundant period.

IMO


Edited by libertygrl on 01/19/12 - 1:27 PM
libertygrl
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Posted 01/19/12 - 1:26 PM:

as i was posting in the topic about growing up as a jehovah's witness, i used a grammatical violation which is commonly coming into accepted use, when i spoke of "JW's". the correct usage, to my knowledge, should be "JWs".

for example:

"CDs were invented in the 1980s." --correct

"CD's were invented in the 1980's." --incorrect

i favor the latter, because i think the apostrophe helps it to be more clear. otherwise things like CDs and DVDs can easily be misread as CDS or DVDS, depending on the font. this does contribute to the problem of apostrophes being misused for plurals though. still, it's what i prefer.
Thinker13
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Posted 01/19/12 - 1:33 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
as i was posting in the topic about growing up as a jehovah's witness, i used a grammatical violation which is commonly coming into accepted use, when i spoke of "JW's". the correct usage, to my knowledge, should be "JWs".

for example:

"CDs were invented in the 1980s." --correct

"CD's were invented in the 1980's." --incorrect

i favor the latter, because i think the apostrophe helps it to be more clear. otherwise things like CDs and DVDs can easily be misread as CDS or DVDS, depending on the font. this does contribute to the problem of apostrophes being misused for plurals though. still, it's what i prefer.



Do you have any sources telling that this usage is becoming widespread?


libertygrl
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Posted 01/19/12 - 1:43 PM:

do you mean the latter usage? no.
Thinker13
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#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 01/19/12 - 1:48 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
do you mean the latter usage? no.


as i was posting in the topic about growing up as a jehovah's witness, i used a grammatical violation which is commonly coming into accepted use, when i spoke of "JW's". the correct usage, to my knowledge, should be "JWs".



You said that it's coming into accepted use, so let me rephrase: What makes an impression that it's coming into the accepted use?

libertygrl
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#12 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 01/19/12 - 1:56 PM:

oh i see. i simply meant that i'm seeing it used a lot more. if you do a google search on "plural of CD", you'll see there's a lot of debate about it, with many people in the dark as to what is correct.

check out this link:

www.soyouwanna.com/soyouwan...riting-errors-1591-p3.html

in which it mentions that the new york times recently used "the 60's" in a headline. that usage is my personal preference, even though it's technically incorrect.

one of the commenters in this thread says that some style guides consider apostrophes acceptable for pluralizing abbreviations, even though it is not preferred:

http://www.usingenglish.com/poll/85.html
Thinker13
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#13 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 01/19/12 - 2:10 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
oh i see. i simply meant that i'm seeing it used a lot more. if you do a google search on "plural of CD", you'll see there's a lot of debate about it, with many people in the dark as to what is correct.

check out this link:

www.soyouwanna.com/soyouwan...riting-errors-1591-p3.html

in which it mentions that the new york times recently used "the 60's" in a headline. that usage is my personal preference, even though it's technically incorrect.

one of the commenters in this thread says that some style guides consider apostrophes acceptable for pluralizing abbreviations, even though it is not preferred:

http://www.usingenglish.com/poll/85.html




Very informative. In the first article link you have provided, one of the comments is very appropriate in suggesting that


Rick wrote:
People are making this error more frequently because the spell check function in Word will auto-correct the 1960s to 1960's. Similarly if your firm has thirty Technical Sales Specialists and you refer to them as 30 TSSs the spell checkfunction will correct it (in error) to TSS's.


I am also perplexed by Word editor at times.disapproval



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