What's With the Unnecessary Apostrophes??

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posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 01:26 PM
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Okay. This is part rant, part honest question.

With increasing frequency, I'm seeing posts that are rife with erroneous apostrophes. I could be wrong, but it seems that most of the perpetrators are in their twenties or younger. But this is where I'm confused: I've seen my share of text walls that are essentially massive run-on sentences, lacking capitalization, punctuation, and sometimes full words. I believe this trend is directly related to the advent of text messaging.

However, the act of adding an apostrophe does not jive with this disregard for grammar in exchange for expediency and character limits. One would think that the apostrophe would be eliminated altogether in such a case (which I'd actually prefer). This also makes these unnecessary apostrophes stick out like a sore thumb to.... me at least.

So I'm curious as to what is being taught in school these days? When someone writes "apple's", I have to wonder what the curriculum is that makes such an obvious error seem right? And it's so pervasive now, that I truly wonder if there is any teaching of this at all anymore. If you scan through ATS, it appears that apostrophes are used incorrectly more often than not. Why not, then, in our truncated societal ways, just eliminate typing an apostrophe at all? Insights? I'm truly curious about this. I'm not trying to start a Grammar Grudgematch...

Wikipedia's Take on the Matter

Helpful Tips for Apostrophe Use

Here's a complimentary example of criminal apostrophe misuse






posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 01:37 PM
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I'm just happy I can read some posts, at all. Real words instead of text abbreviations.

Des



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 01:37 PM
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It's the same as people using a superfulous number of commas to set off clauses that aren't there. You could take out half your commas and still be grammatically correct.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by HolographicPrincipal
 

There are lots of errors in grammar, usage, and punctuation on the net and elsewhere. For instance, THIS.


One of the more interesting and entertaining books I've read lately is "Eats, Shoots, & Leaves, The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation" by Lynne Truss. It's amazing the uses and abuses that are out there.

But perhaps we need to look at the English language as a living, evolving thing. The truth of the matter is we all make errors, and if we wish to optimize communication, I think it's nicest to read for meaning where possible, and always try to be as clear as one can when writing.

No one enjoys a slap on the wrist from the grammar police.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 02:11 PM
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I would rather there be too much grammer used, than not enough.

My favorites are the run on sentences for an entire paragragh, without a comma or a period.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by schuyler
It's the same as people using a superfulous number of commas to set off clauses that aren't there. You could take out half your commas and still be grammatically correct.
If you are saying that my commas are superfluous, perhaps, but they are still correct as far as I'm aware. Whereas an apostrophe indicating a possessive when it is meant to be pluralized is not superfluous or right, it is grammatically wrong.

However, like I said in my OP. This is not to whip everyone into a grammar frenzy. I am asking questions relating to this trend, and why it might be prevalent. I'm not talking preference as much as I am questioning the existence.


Originally posted by JustSlowlyBackAway
There are lots of errors in grammar, usage, and punctuation on the net and elsewhere. For instance, THIS.
...

But perhaps we need to look at the English language as a living, evolving thing. The truth of the matter is we all make errors, and if we wish to optimize communication, I think it's nicest to read for meaning where possible, and always try to be as clear as one can when writing.

No one enjoys a slap on the wrist from the grammar police.

Thanks for the link... interesting read. Although let me clarify that I was using "jive" as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the beatnik slang.

Hepster Dictionary

I wholly agree with the belief that we all make errors, and we should always try to be clear when writing. Especially when text is such an essential part of communication. But my personal opinion aside. To reiterate, I am not the Grammar Police. I am not slapping anyone's wrist. I am trying to dig into the source of the trend and what the educational curriculum includes these days.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 04:17 PM
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The way I was edumicated…. Was……..

An apostrophe S indicates ownership.
“Diana’s playpen” is correct. The playpen belongs to Diana.
“little genius’s” is not correct. The “little genius” is what is being owned, not what is owning.
Plural is an S with no apostrophe.
“You have several apples” is correct.
“The apple’s core” is correct. The core in question is part of the apple. It owns it’s parts.

Notice I used “It owns it’s parts” The “parts” are the property of “it”



On the part of commas. They indicate a pause. That pause is to set off the part that follows. To cap off a thought that is contained in the sentence. Or to make several items in a list stand out while read.

“I thought I would make it in time, but I won’t.”
reads as
“I thought I would make it in time”…. Short pause…”but I won’t”

I thought I would win the lottery, or make it rich in stocks, but I am still broke.
We bought rice, flower, some batteries, and a gallon of milk.

Without the pauses, a person would misunderstand part of the sentence. They would think you bought rice flour, some batteries, and milk. Rice flour is not the same as rice and flour.

The way I put commas in my sentences is designed to guide the person reading the sentence on how to read it. It often totally changes the meaning of the sentence.

……..Edit……

Forgot to mention the other common use of the apostrophe.

It is used to merge words like “is” or “not” onto the end of another word.
Instead of
“It is not working well”
You would half merge “It” and “is”
“It’s not working well.”
“That is not working well.”
“That’s not working well.”
“That can not end well.”
“That can’t end well.”

on and on.....
edit on 5-11-2012 by Mr Tranny because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:11 PM
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Same Thing Thats Up With Unneccessary Capitals. How often have you seen a post typed like that?

Totally agree with you, op. Our yputh are becoming stupid. Things like no child left behind can be blamed, as well as poor parenting. These kids dont have a reason to care.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by schuyler
It's the same as people using a superfulous number of commas to set off clauses that aren't there. You could take out half your commas and still be grammatically correct.

My last english teacher (in college) wouldve kicked my ass for writing that as two sentences, and this is why some of my posts look like they have run on sentences. Im a master or very long yet gramatically correct sentences. But.......this is a foeum. it is not formal. So i dont neccessarily care about things like capitals.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by phroziac

Originally posted by schuyler
It's the same as people using a superfulous number of commas to set off clauses that aren't there. You could take out half your commas and still be grammatically correct.

My last english teacher (in college) wouldve kicked my ass for writing that as two sentences, and this is why some of my posts look like they have run on sentences. Im a master or very long yet gramatically correct sentences. But.......this is a foeum. it is not formal. So i dont neccessarily care about things like capitals.


Periods are the place where the reader should take another breath. Your sentence should be limited in length to the point that a person can read it in one breath. If it is too long to read without gasping for air, then it is two long. It needs broke up.

Basic lesson my teachers had…. was… Read what you wrote, out loud. If you can’t read it out loud without lurching into oxygen deprivation, then it’s too long.

I myself, can type fast enough that I can read it quietly out loud while I am typing it. That is the way I self check to see if the sentence sounds, and feels normal.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by Mr Tranny
The way I was edumicated…. Was……..

An apostrophe S indicates ownership.

I believe, like most of us, you were "mis-edumicated" on this. Unfortunately, even the Oxford English Dictionary says, "You use an apostrophe to show that a thing or person belongs or relates to someone or something".

This is not really true. It's also misleading, as I shall show. The correct rule is: You use an apostrophe to show that something has been omitted, and that's the only time you use it.

OK, what about "the dog's bollocks"? Old English used a genitive case ending to show possession (normally -es), so here again, the apostrophe is indicating that something (the letter "e") has gone missing from "the doges bollocks".

So although possessive nouns are formed with an apostrophe, an apostrophe does not indicate possession.

What difference does it make? Because Mr Tranny associates them with possession, he erroneously inserts one in the following:

The core in question is part of the apple. It owns it's parts.

In this instance, "its" is the possessive. It's a complete word with nowt taken out, so it doesn't want an apostrophe.
edit on 5-11-2012 by EvilAxis because: typo



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 06:55 PM
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HEY thanks for reminding me, I have to change my MSoffice setting.

I think I know a possible link to this problem.

Teachers teach the kids the ins and outs of punctuation and grammar, then they give them a paper to write(er..i should say 'type').

I just got msword a month ago, before that we only had msworks.

I was sitting with my son the other day helping him type a paper. He wasn't capitalizing ANYTHING. He was misspelling many words. The program automatically fixes it for them.

I need to go in there and change it. (any directions there would be helpful
) He needs to see the 50 red squiggly lines all over the paper, and he need to manually fix them. He had no idea he was even doing anything wrong!!!!



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by EvilAxis
 


You say that “es” is equal to “‘s”.
Normal convention I have always dealt with is that “es” is used to denote plural for words ending s, z, x, sh, or ch. Words ending in o with exceptions. Other rules. When a noun ends in a y, change it to a i and add es. When it ends in an f or fe, then change it to a v and add es.

“Foxes” denotes more than one fox.
“Fox’s” denotes something that belongs to the fox. "The fox's den."
They are not interchangeable.

That is standard convention that I have seen and worked with every since I could read.



posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 07:18 PM
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reply to post by MidnightSunshine
 


Very good point! You don't need to know the rules if the program does the work for you.

Are kids taught handwriting these days? I mean cursive handwriting, not how to operate a pen or pencil. Do they take essay tests? I had to write essays by hand in 60 to 90 minute timeframe in both high school and college. Assignments for research papers, lab results etc. were written on a computer at home. Tests were done with pen and paper in class.

Do they even have tests in essay form? Do kids only take multiple choice tests where you fill out the bubble sheet?



posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 01:40 AM
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The other day my wife and I were driving by a shop that we often pass that has a sign: "Tire's / Mufflers / Converters / Wheel Bearing's / Battery's / Brakes / Free Estimate's."

I told her that I'd never been able to figure what rule people use to form some plurals with apostrophes but not others. I could never figure out their logic, even though I had even gone so far as asking on some occasions--usually answered with an irritated change of subject. She said: "Umm. The 50-50 rule?"

Makes as much sense as anything....



posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 02:16 AM
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Originally posted by phroziac
Same Thing Thats Up With Unneccessary Capitals. How often have you seen a post typed like that?



Believe it or not that was a common thing to do in hand-written classical literature. Maybe they're all just English-lit majors who studied classical poetry in manuscript?

Naw! It can't be!




posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 07:04 AM
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Originally posted by Mr Tranny
You say that “es” is equal to “‘s”.

I don't. I explained that the apostrophe in "fox's den" indicates the "e" omitted from the Old English possessive form "foxes den".

As you say, in modern English, the "es" in "foxes" forms the plural noun, but that has nothing to do with the apostrophe.


Originally posted by Mr Tranny
If it is too long to read without gasping for air, then it is two long.

I'm sure that was just a typo, but confusing "to", "too" and "two" seems increasingly common.

However, it's difficult to assess literacy trends from the forums we visit; the subject is complex and multi-faceted. Educational standards may be slipping in one country and improving in another, while many contributors are non-native English speakers. I frequent a forum predominated by over-50s serial apostrophe abusers.

According to a 2011 study, The effect of text messaging on 9 and 10-year-old children's reading, spelling and phonological processing skills:

text messaging does not adversely affect the development of literacy skills within this age group, and that the children's use of textisms when text messaging is positively related to improvement in literacy skills, especially spelling.

onlinelibrary.wiley.com...



posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 08:10 AM
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I'm dutch.
In the dutch language it's a rule that you never use a comma after the words 'and' and 'if'

I always use this rule in the English language as well but I'm not sure if it really is an English grammatical rule? Maybe someone can clarify this one for me?


Another question:
I once wrote in one of my poems: " till then " and someone corrected me that it had to be " 'till then ".
So the word "untill" can be written as " 'till " in every context?



posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha

Originally posted by phroziac
Same Thing Thats Up With Unneccessary Capitals. How often have you seen a post typed like that?



Believe it or not that was a common thing to do in hand-written classical literature. Maybe they're all just English-lit majors who studied classical poetry in manuscript?

Naw! It can't be!


Really? Thats interesting if youre not pulling my leg.

I dont even use caputals in titles, hate the way it looks.



posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 10:58 AM
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reply to post by GypsK
 

In British grammar, a comma is not required before "and" or "or" when these words are used to join a list of three or more words, phrases or sentences. The comma acts as a substitute for those words.

However, when it is used, it's known as the "serial" or "Oxford comma" (Oxford University Press traditionally use of them). It's also used in American grammar.

Some lists would be ambiguous without it. For example, in "the comedies of Laurel and Hardy, Chaplin, and Keaton", a comma after "Chaplin", but not after "Laurel", signifies that Laurel and Hardy were a duo, but Chaplin and Keaton weren't.


Originally posted by GypsK
I once wrote in one of my poems: " till then " and someone corrected me that it had to be " 'till then ".
So the word "untill" can be written as " 'till " in every context?

You got it right first time. It's a common misconception that "till" is an abbreviation of "until". Although "till" is now an informal alternative to "until", it's actually a much earlier word. The Oxford Dictionary tells us, "Until appears to have been formed by the addition of Old Norse und ‘as far as’ several hundred years after the date of the first records for till".

Most Dutch folk seem to master several languages, while I struggle to master one.
edit on 6-11-2012 by EvilAxis because: formatting





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