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Allison
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Allison
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 11:56 am 
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So there's this national fashion and beauty magazine sitting here and one of the teasers on the cover says "fast unfussy updo's."

Since I am seeing more and more apostophes in places I was taught they do not belong, I am wondering if perhaps the rules have changed. My AP Style Guide is not current. Dogpatch said some of the rules regarding posessives HAVE changed, but I guess I don't have a sense of to what extent they've changed.

Anyone know what the current rules regarding posessives and apostrohes are? If "fast unfussy updo's" is any indication, an apostrophe now goes between any word and the letter "s" when it's added to make the word plural.

I'm not talking about "its" and "it's" here, that's one where people just cant figure one from the other. I'm talking plurals in general. By the way, the title of this thread is a joke. The thread itself is serious though. I know some of you media types have current Style Guides handy.

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polecatjoe
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polecatjoe
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 12:29 pm 
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I have noticed a tendency toward using apostrophes to pluralize abbreviations (CD's rather than CDs, etc.), but in this case it's just plain wrong! I'm guessing that it's because "updos" looks funny, but "updo" isn't an actual word, anyway. So if you can make up words, I suppose you can make up their pluralizations, also. We sure maim our language, don't we? How does one with that sort of deficiency get a job as a magazine editor? I reckon they weren't learnt no better t' school.

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Allison
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Allison
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 12:36 pm 
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I actually think the apostrophization of abbreviations is a new and accepted thing. shakehead.gif  We've discussed it here before, and the New York Times does it all the time now. I believe Dogpatch said they are teaching that to kids in school now.

I'm wondering about "normal" words. You know, like "updo". tongue.gif

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Eric
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Eric
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 12:44 pm 
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Some people consider Do in noun form to be an exception to the rules regarding apostrophes. I'm sure there are a few reputable sources who would claim as much but the balance of opinion would be for Dos as the plural. Maybe the British still use the apostrophe for the plural but most of us don't. I'm surprised a magazine would do that on the cover. Although really, what % of a fashion magazine's readers would notice incorrect punctuation? The argument for Do's as the plural would be similar to say that for letters for which you add the ole apostrophe. Note that the correct plural is Dos rather than Does which of course would be easily confused with the verb form Do as well as A Deer, A Female Deer. I guess that you could get Dos confused with the OS nowadays but whatever since that obviously ain't the historical root of the supposed exception.
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jimmymac
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jimmymac
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 12:50 pm 
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I have it from an English major that the rules have not changed as much as the usage has changed to ignore the rules.

The term "Attack Boat 33" has two T's and two 3's. If an Attack Boat could also be described as an "AB," then a pair of them would be a couple of AB's. Using an apostrophe on a term that is not a letter, numeral, or abbreviation is still wrong.

What seems to be changing is the interpretation of what constitutes an abbreviation. The watermark for SUV's has been set by Hummers, not Hummer's. The army's HMMWV's are commonly known as Humvees. A questionable apostrophe generally crops up where there's confusion as to whether a word is an abbreviation, contraction, or a nickname.

Semi's going up Stevens Pass are slow; a couple of people on mopeds would be even slower. Both are common nicknames made plural. The clarity of the former benefits from an apostrophe. The latter is perfectly clear without an apostrophe. But as soon as you start adding apostrophes to make common nicknames plural, it becomes easy to use them in all sorts of place's.

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H. Hound
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 12:51 pm 
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I think Bob agrees

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Allison
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Allison
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 12:56 pm 
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I guess I'm kind of a minimalist then, because I would say that semis would be a little faster than mopeds. I see no need for an apostrophe just because the Internet has created a generation of people who have some sort of ADD.

By the way, if anyone is reading this, the pass we are discussing is called STEVENS PASS. I don't care how relaxed fit this language of ours becomes, there is no apostrophe in there. Also, no rant of this nature would be complete without this one: MET-how. The "T" and "H" are merely next-door neighbors.

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Quark
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Quark
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 12:58 pm 
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THere are tons of different grammar sites, and who's to say which is correct?

This is one, and I've used others depending upon which one each prof wanted me to use.

Regarding new styles of apostrophes - I like CDs over CD's.  The lower case s replaces the need for apostrophe.  If the s were capital, CDS is confusing, and my be mistaken for an acronym.

No sense being rigid and uptight about English.  Because it's a new language, it's plastic;  and changes are acceptable according to social norms and aesthetics, and can even break down into localities.

Not too long ago, "shewn" for shown was the norm, and words like "fun," and "joyride" were considered gauche  in our speech.

The problem does lie in what is trendy, and what shall be incorporated into the language.   When I open a client file and read a letter from the mid-to-late 1990s and see the word, "synergy," in correspondence I cringe.  I think a person other than a military person being "embedded" in a location may (I hope) suffer the same fate.

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kleet
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kleet
meat tornado
PostWed Nov 30, 2005 1:06 pm 
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marylou wrote:
I see no need for an apostrophe just because the Internet has created a generation of people who have some sort of ADD.

I read just the other day that many schools are no longer teaching cursive penmanship. Instead, they are teaching keyboarding. I'm sure they are placing special emphasis on the ROTFLMAO, IMHO, BRB and TTFN keystroke combinations.

LOL, U MOFO's!

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Eric
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Eric
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 1:23 pm 
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Oxford on Do's: http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutspelling/pizza?view=uk

Language isn't static like math. If the rules and norms didn't change we would all be speaking Middle English, or if we go way back it would be one of the other Romance languages from which English was amalgamated. Certainly there are a lot of obviously incorrect uses and it seems that Hiker's and Other's on the Internet type Apostrophe's for all Plural's but not contraction's which just isnt right. But then again there are murky areas like CDs/CD's which even reasonable and educated people disagree on. So don't sweat it.
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Allison
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Allison
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 1:47 pm 
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I think my particular irritation with it stems from the fact that the change seems to be based in the fact that people don't know how to use the apostrophe for what it was made for.

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kiliki
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 1:49 pm 
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Ugh, Marylou, seeing apostrophes on plural words drives me nuts too. It seems as if there are a few instances were it is acceptable on short words or appreviations, to avoid confusion, but for the most part, people just tack on apostrophes haphazardly without knowing the proper usage. And you can say, oh, whatever, it's not a big deal, why be so fussy, but do you know how bad it looks on a job application, or in any professional context?
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostWed Nov 30, 2005 1:50 pm 
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English is Germanic.  The problem is that after the heady days of the Renaissance, the Neo Classic scholars, who just couldn't stand the thought of English being Germanic, forced English into the Latin structure.

Little did they realize that Latin was once considered the vulgar language.

THis doesn't solve the apostrophe problem, tho, and I can't offer any advice other than my standard:  You should take up drinking.  There are no apostrophes in a glass of good, liquid schnockery;  and if there are, they're probably the worms in the tequila swimming around.

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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostWed Nov 30, 2005 1:54 pm 
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kiliki wrote:
It seems as if there are a few instances were it is acceptable on short words or appreviations, to avoid confusion, but for the most part, people just tack on apostrophes haphazardly without knowing the proper usage.

...any idea how unnecessarily long this sentence is?

Just razzin' ya.  I agree for a publication, business correspondence, resumes, and the like, it's awful (and costly, if you lose the bid) to make mistakes of any kind.

But fooling around crap on the Internet? Not a big deal.

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Allison
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Allison
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PostWed Nov 30, 2005 2:02 pm 
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No, not in itself, but the I'net is making us all a little sloppier in general, IMO.

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