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    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,890, Reputation: 5430
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    #1

    Jul 15, 2007, 04:11 PM
    Incorrect apostrophe use - survey
    In early elementary school, we were taught that an apostrophe is placed before an 's' to show singular possessive (the cat's meow or the baby's coo).

    Why do people -- people under 35 usually -- put an apostrophe before 's' that indicates a plural? (The girl's got two coat's for Christmas or Those kitten's certainly are frisky when they play with ping-pong ball's). That is totally wrong!!
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,293, Reputation: 5645
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    #2

    Jul 15, 2007, 04:23 PM
    LOL Wondergirl. Just like the rest of punctuation I suppose some people have a hard time with. I am very particular. I guess being a legal secretary for 10 years got me rather anal.

    I have a hard time with people's (notice the correct punctuation there, lol) spelling.

    Things like there when it should be they're just totally annoy me. Also I see a lot of chat speak. Your instead of your or you're. Why can't they just type the whole word?
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,293, Reputation: 5645
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    #3

    Jul 15, 2007, 04:50 PM
    LOL, it is anal to me because I want to go in and edit everyone's posts who spell wrong, wrong punctuation. It just drives me nuts.

    I got a 100% on my grammar and punctuation portion of my HESI test (nursing entrance test). All that other junk just drives me NUTS!
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,890, Reputation: 5430
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    #4

    Jul 15, 2007, 05:01 PM
    I want to adopt all these people who don't use they're/their/there correctly and don't know the difference between it's and its and can't spell definitely and say all of the sudden instead of all of a sudden.

    Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! (I was a teacher and have worked for years as a librarian.)
    jillianleab's Avatar
    jillianleab Posts: 1,194, Reputation: 279
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    #5

    Jul 15, 2007, 05:25 PM
    Well, sea, hears' the thing. PPl don't paye attenshun too what their tiping and they're pointe is ushually gotten across anyway. Mayb we should stop ansering people who can't use basick grammar and punctuashun. Or, mayb I am being to harsh an we should all tipe like this. I don't know, whut do u 2 think?

    /That took me far too long to type. I don't get why people don't use the handy lil' "spell check" button...

    Funny and true story about not being able to spell: I knew a guy who had "Strapped" tattooed on his arm (you know, gangsta fabulous, strapped with a gun), only it actually said "Straped" HA! Even better - he'd had it for over a year and didn't know it was wrong! Double HA!
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #6

    Jul 15, 2007, 05:31 PM
    Hello Wonder:

    You're asking ME about apostrophy's??

    excon
    jillianleab's Avatar
    jillianleab Posts: 1,194, Reputation: 279
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    #7

    Jul 15, 2007, 05:41 PM
    Wondergirl agrees: Yup! The ones I've asked in real life say, "Well, duh, you know what I mean."
    I think you mean: "well DUH! u no what i mean!"

    Sorry, I just can't help myself sometimes. :)
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,890, Reputation: 5430
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    #8

    Jul 15, 2007, 05:44 PM
    Hey, your good! :D
    Ken 297's Avatar
    Ken 297 Posts: 112, Reputation: 24
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    #9

    Jul 15, 2007, 05:49 PM
    The importance of proper spelling and grammar.
    I read an article about changes and improvements to the English language to make it easier to understand and get rid of the inconsistencies.

    “EUROPE ACCEPTS ENGLISH AS MAIN LANGUAGE WITH FEW MODIFICATIONS”

    “ The European Union commissioners have announced the agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

    As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement, and has accepted a five-year phase in plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish.

    “In the first year ”s” will be used instead of the soft “c”. Sertainly, sivil servants will receive this news with joy. Also, the hard “c” will be replaced with “k”. Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

    “There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the second year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced by “f” This will make words like “fotograf” 20 percent shorter.

    “In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will encourage the removal of double letters, which have always been a deterrent to akurate speling.

    “Also, al will agree that the horrible mes of the silent “e” in the language is disgrasful and it would go.

    “ By the fourth year, peopl will be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”. During ze fifz year, ze unesasary “o” kan be dropd from vords containing “ou” and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

    “After zis fifz yer, ve vil have a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls of difikultis and evrifin vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.
    Ze drem vil finali kum tru! Ze Reich-ops- United Europ, vil last tausend yirs!
    Yavol!
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
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    #10

    Jul 19, 2007, 10:51 PM
    I'm's, not under aged's 35. I usually's just forgets' how to use the apostrophe and needs' to ask someone's else about the correct usage's of it. Thanks for the reminder, though.

    I'm, also very anal, about the use, of the comma, as well, as the apostrophe. I know that, I use either of them, way too much!
    -no name- lol's Avatar
    -no name- lol Posts: 3, Reputation: 2
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    #11

    Jul 22, 2007, 07:26 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl
    In early elementary school, we were taught that an apostrophe is placed before an 's' to show singular possessive (the cat's meow or the baby's coo).

    Why do people -- people under 35 usually -- put an apostrophe before 's' that indicates a plural? (The girl's got two coat's for Christmas or Those kitten's certainly are frisky when they play with ping-pong ball's). That is totally wrong!!!
    My mom does that to, I have no idea, I think that might have been what they were taught in their time.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,293, Reputation: 5645
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    #12

    Jul 22, 2007, 07:50 PM
    The way I remember it is if... say... the cat's meow... The cat, his meow. The apostrophe replaces the "hi" and leaves the cat's i.e. "the cat, his meow." Etc.
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,132, Reputation: 1307
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    #13

    Jul 23, 2007, 08:26 AM
    The mistake I see most often is people misusing not using 's for singular possessive for words that already end in "s." For example, the following is proper: "James's house," yet too often I see people write it as "James' house." If you think about how this is pronounced, which is like "Jameses house" you can see that the first is correct. I suspect people get confused over the use of s' for plural possessives.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,293, Reputation: 5645
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    #14

    Jul 23, 2007, 08:27 AM
    Ebaines you are correct, however, as in my secretarial days not too long ago, the latter (James') is now acceptable.
    GoldieMae's Avatar
    GoldieMae Posts: 263, Reputation: 89
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    #15

    Jul 23, 2007, 08:38 AM
    And to add, what's with the interchangeable "then/than" thing?

    These two words don't mean the same thing at all.

    It is "if x, then y" and "greater than/less than" Or "rather than"

    I hate that misuse. And it's taught by public schoools today to be "rather then". That's wrong.
    GoldieMae's Avatar
    GoldieMae Posts: 263, Reputation: 89
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    #16

    Jul 23, 2007, 08:46 AM
    For words ending in "s" such as James, the best rule is that if the word has one syllable, it is "James's" If it is more than one syllable it is "Descartes'"

    Strunk and White teaches James's and Descartes'

    I have no clue what Chicago style teaches. I haven't seen a Chicago manual in years's.;)
    Capuchin's Avatar
    Capuchin Posts: 5,255, Reputation: 656
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    #17

    Jul 23, 2007, 08:53 AM
    This list is invaluable to the learning English speaker (and to most native English speakers): List of frequently misused English words - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also, although a slightly different topic, a reason why we shouldn't rely on spelling checkers:

    Ode to a Spell Checker

    I have a spelling checker
    I disk covered four my PC.
    It plane lee marks four my revue
    Miss steaks aye can knot see.

    Eye ran this poem threw it.
    Your sure real glad two no.
    Its very polished in its weigh,
    My checker tolled me sew.

    A checker is a blessing.
    It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
    It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
    And aides me when aye rime.

    Each frays comes posed up on my screen
    Eye trussed too bee a joule.
    The checker pours o'er every word
    To cheque sum spelling rule.

    Bee fore wee rote with checkers
    Hour spelling was inn deck line,
    Butt now when wee dew have a laps,
    Wee are not maid too wine.

    And now bee cause my spelling
    Is checked with such grate flare,
    There are know faults in awl this peace,
    Of nun eye am a wear.

    To rite with care is quite a feet.
    Of witch won should be proud,
    And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
    Sew flaws are knot aloud.

    That's why eye brake in two averse
    Caws Eye dew want too please.
    Sow glad eye yam that aye did bye
    This soft wear four pea seas.
    jillianleab's Avatar
    jillianleab Posts: 1,194, Reputation: 279
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    #18

    Jul 23, 2007, 09:15 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by J_9
    The way I remember it is if...say...the cat's meow... The cat, his meow. The apostrophe replaces the "hi" and leaves the cat's i.e. "the cat, his meow." Etc.
    But what is the cat is a "she"?? "The cat'e meow"?

    :)


    Oh, and "affect" and "effect" drives me nuts.
    br_hjs's Avatar
    br_hjs Posts: 160, Reputation: 11
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    #19

    Nov 8, 2007, 12:42 AM
    Wondergirl, maybe they are just like me and don't really think about what they're writing or how they are spelling it.
    Wouldn't coat's be like saying "coat is?" or am I wrong here?
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #20

    Nov 8, 2007, 07:05 AM
    I was wondering if anybody else paid attention to problems such as that. That includes it. ''Problems like that'' would mean not that, but other ones such as using like when citing an example.

    In my usual Home and Garden hang out, I have noticed a strong correlation between poor spelling and grammar, and the content. Unfortunately, many of the well written ones give bad advice too.

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