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Unread 10-02-2010, 09:23 AM   #1
Jerry Bransford
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Apostrophes... why do some people use them so improperly, even to make a word plural?

Rant-on.

I'm not normally an open member of the Grammar Patrol but I just read another post that finally got to me... where an unnamed member recently said "I know everyone love's photos". I quietly editted his post and removed the offending apostrophe without saying anything.

What is it about the apostrophe that makes so many think it needs to be in front of every S that comes at the end of a word? The apostrophe was not meant to serve as a warning that the next letter is an S.

There are only TWO correct uses for the apostrophe... 1) to show that there are missing letters (a contraction) like "It's a major job" instead of saying "It is a major job" and 2) to show possession... like "That is Robert's Jeep". An apostrophe should NEVER be used to show there is more than one of something... like you should never say "I bought four tire's".

Great examples below of when NOT to use an apostrophe...

Simple plural words are used below... which do NOT need an apostrophe as are so commonly used...

How many amp's will my winch draw under heavy load?
I have a bag full of bolt's.
I used a lot of Grade 5 nut's and bolt's for my recent build.

Good examples of when to use apostrophes...

These apostrophes show possession:
My Jeep's suspension is awesome.
My girlfriend's Jeep needs a suspension lift.
My air conditioner's compressor needs help.

Or for contractions, like when a letter is skipped or to make the word sound like it is pronounced...
It's time to leave for school.
It's a valid reason for refusing to do so.
I'm a total Jeep fanatic.
Don't go there.

But you would not use an apostrophe for a similar sounding word...
My Jeep and its suspension work well together.
The airplane uses its landing gear to avoid damage when landing.

You can optionally add a possessive apostrophe in the above AFTER the S to also indicate possession. Either is acceptable, with or without the apostrophe.
My Jeep and its' suspension work well together.
The airplane uses its' landing gear to avoid damage when landing.

A good writeup on all this is at How to Use Apostrophes - wikiHow

Far too frequent improper use of the apostrophe just a pet peeve of mine... much like using the word "breaks" when actually talking about "brakes". I often correct posts when I see such errors without even mentioning it. One of the fun benefits of being a mod.

Rant-off.

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Unread 10-02-2010, 09:28 AM   #2
btoohey44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
much like using the word "breaks" when actually talking about "brakes".
The break's one always kill's me.

Sorry, but I do feel your pain. The loose/lose issue is another one that bothers me, not sure why but it does.
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Unread 10-02-2010, 09:40 AM   #3
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I tend to use apostrophes incorrectly (on purpose) when writing about plural items that are acronyms or abbreviations, i.e., "I just bought a set of BFG's.", instead of "I just bought a set of BFGs." Or "The dealer had seven '98 TJ's on the lot..."

For some reason it bugs me to see a string of consonants without a vowel and the apostrophe 'fixes' that in my mind. I know it's incorrect (see, apostrophes are used in contractions as well), but I do it anyway...
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Unread 10-02-2010, 10:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MFortie View Post
I tend to use apostrophes incorrectly (on purpose) when writing about plural items that are acronyms or abbreviations, i.e., "I just bought a set of BFG's.", instead of "I just bought a set of BFGs." Or "The dealer had seven '98 TJ's on the lot..."

For some reason it bugs me to see a string of consonants without a vowel and the apostrophe 'fixes' that in my mind. I know it's incorrect (see, apostrophes are used in contractions as well), but I do it anyway...
I don't think that is improper. I was taught that is the way to do plural acronyms.
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Unread 10-02-2010, 10:50 AM   #5
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Jerry, great adviSe on the use of apostrophes. You didn't happen to go to a Catholic school did you?

The apostrophe errors can be annoying, but IMHO, not nearly as bad as spelling and puctuation errors. Really, at least make effort when you're (contraction, proper use of apostrophe) attempting to communicate in your native language.
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Unread 10-02-2010, 10:59 AM   #6
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackJawedYokel View Post
Jerry, great adviSe on the use of apostrophes. You didn't happen to go to a Catholic school did you?

The apostrophe errors can be annoying, but IMHO, not nearly as bad as spelling and puctuation errors. Really, at least make effort when you're (contraction, proper use of apostrophe) attempting to communicate in your native language.
Nope, no Catholic school... just the usual basic public school education upbringing for me.
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Unread 10-02-2010, 07:14 PM   #7
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Jerry you are too old to be sweatin' the small stuff.

It drives me nuts when people put an 's' on the end of words that never get one, like 'anyway' or 'long way'.
But I gave up worrying about it after some extensive counseling. My therapist says to just take a deep breath and touch my finger to my thumb, close my eyes and exhale slowly. It doesn't work. So when I punched my therapist I felt much better.
Moral? Go punch somebody in the face, then relax.
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Unread 10-02-2010, 08:11 PM   #8
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Misspelling of simple words that may or may not sound like another are my peeve. As in "What size yolks are in my drive shaft?" If it's a double cardan joint, it must be a double yolked egg. I had a foreman that misspelled 'screens' three times, three different ways in the same half page report (real creative). Bolts= boalts.
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Unread 10-03-2010, 06:31 AM   #9
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com on' jerry u dont lik teh ways i tipe ? y cant u undurstnd em sry im txtn fom ym fon


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Unread 10-03-2010, 08:09 AM   #10
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Jerry, you're officially a nerd.
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Unread 10-03-2010, 08:24 AM   #11
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I think I'm ju'st going to 'start putting an apo'strophe in front of every 's I type. That's where we're heading, 'so I might a's well 'start getting 'some practice in.
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Unread 10-03-2010, 10:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RikRotorhead View Post
Jerry you are too old to be sweatin' the small stuff.

It drives me nuts when people put an 's' on the end of words that never get one, like 'anyway' or 'long way'.
But I gave up worrying about it after some extensive counseling. My therapist says to just take a deep breath and touch my finger to my thumb, close my eyes and exhale slowly. It doesn't work. So when I punched my therapist I felt much better.
Moral? Go punch somebody in the face, then relax.
He was TOO old a few years ago also when he started a thread about the same thing. I agree Jerry needs to take his frustration out on something or someone.


http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f7/ap...s-next-635782/
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Unread 10-03-2010, 11:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFortie View Post
I tend to use apostrophes incorrectly (on purpose) when writing about plural items that are acronyms or abbreviations, i.e., "I just bought a set of BFG's.", instead of "I just bought a set of BFGs." Or "The dealer had seven '98 TJ's on the lot..."

For some reason it bugs me to see a string of consonants without a vowel and the apostrophe 'fixes' that in my mind. I know it's incorrect (see, apostrophes are used in contractions as well), but I do it anyway...
I do this all the time, with acronyms,numbers, and occasionally with proper nouns, if the "s" on the end would lead to confusion and I can't figure a way to avoid it. "One Revo 2; A set of Revo 2's"

Drives me nuts to do it, but if the purpose of language and grammar is to effect communication, and "proper" grammar introduces ambiguity, the "proper" form should be rejected for the "right" form.
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Unread 10-03-2010, 11:16 AM   #14
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Often times, I think folks see these type errors and copy or duplicate those same errors thinking its okay.

I would bet that a large portion of the same people who did poorly in their english & spelling classes are large offenders of the misuse of apostrophes.

I do recall Rik having something in his sig concerning the use of anyway(s).
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Unread 10-03-2010, 11:16 AM   #15
mrcustom
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who cares. You get what they say some people don't have the education some do but you know what they mean. Lucky it not in text lingo...
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