Rogue apostrophes

JBGoode

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 16, 2018
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1,173
I hate them. I shudder when I see them. Based on years of reading internet posts I'm convinced that a full 50% of the population (if not more) has no clue on how to correctly use one. The valedictorian of my high school class recently posted "Happy Thanksgiving from the Smith's" on his Facebook. I almost cried.

Why god?

Seriously though does this bother anyone else? This stuff is taught in 2nd grade and I'm amazed that so many adults are guilty of apostrophe abuse. Don't even get me started on there, their, and they're. I die a little inside every time I see those words used incorrectly.

Why do you think this is?
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
51,571
35,121
The Far Horizon
I hate them. I shudder when I see them. Based on years of reading internet posts I'm convinced that a full 50% of the population (if not more) has no clue on how to correctly use one. The valedictorian of my high school class recently posted "Happy Thanksgiving from the Smith's" on his Facebook. I almost cried.

Why god?

Seriously though does this bother anyone else? This stuff is taught in 2nd grade and I'm amazed that so many adults are guilty of apostrophe abuse. Don't even get me started on there, their, and they're. I die a little inside every time I see those words used incorrectly.

Why do you think this is?
What question are you asking?

is it, why do you think (or why does one think) this happens, or is it a rhetorical question asking yourself why it upsets you so?

For the record, to a certain extent, I am in agreement with your stated despair re the use and abuse of the august apostrophe.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
19,081
20,635
The Misty Mountains
Definite regression in the digital age. That should been Happy Thanksgiving from the Smiths, right? :)

The Smith’s Turkey or the Smiths’ Turkey? I vote for the former.
The Peoples’ Choice?
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,085
14,804
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I hate them. I shudder when I see them. Based on years of reading internet posts I'm convinced that a full 50% of the population (if not more) has no clue on how to correctly use one. The valedictorian of my high school class recently posted "Happy Thanksgiving from the Smith's" on his Facebook. I almost cried.

Why god?

Seriously though does this bother anyone else? This stuff is taught in 2nd grade and I'm amazed that so many adults are guilty of apostrophe abuse. Don't even get me started on there, their, and they're. I die a little inside every time I see those words used incorrectly.

Why do you think this is?
It's annoying. But what bothers me most (aside from lack of capitalization at all) is when people misuse words.

Currently, people seem to be using the word 'loose' to mean 'lose'.
 

JBGoode

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 16, 2018
823
1,173
What question are you asking?

is it, why do you think (or why does one think) this happens, or is it a rhetorical question asking yourself why it upsets you so?

For the record, to a certain extent, I am in agreement with your stated despair re the use and abuse of the august apostrophe.
I was asking why one thinks this happens. I know why it upsets me :)

Surely at some point in their lives they knew how to use one. Can one really forget this or do you think they never really learned? I was completely blindsided when I saw this from the smartest guy in my high school class-- and it wasn't a typo. He did this at least 2 years in a row.
[doublepost=1544898638][/doublepost]
This would have been a lot funnier if the title had been "Rouge apostrophe's".
I actually thought about doing that but figured at least one person wouldn't get the joke and call me out for my 'mistakes'. :)
[doublepost=1544898692][/doublepost]
On this - and related - matters, I wonder whether the OP has read Lynne Truss's (engaging and quite wonderful) book, "Eats, Shoots & Leaves."

I recommend it.
Never heard of it but looks good. Thanks!
 
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JBGoode

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 16, 2018
823
1,173
It's annoying. But what bothers me most (aside from lack of capitalization at all) is when people misuse words.

Currently, people seem to be using the word 'loose' to mean 'lose'.
Lack if capitalization bothers me as well. At work I receive applications from internal employees that contain basic name, address, etc. info. You'd be shocked at how many people don't even capitalize the first letter in their names. I've apps come in with their name typed with all small letters while the entire address would be capital letters with small letters for the state of residence--just a hodgepodge of nonsense. I need a tranquilizer just thinking about it.
 
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A.Goldberg

macrumors 68020
Jan 31, 2015
2,363
8,638
Boston
Highly nit picky thing, but hate when people say “that begs the question”. Wrong. It “raises the question”. Begging the question is a logical fallacy where the premise is the argument. For example, “euthanasia is wrong because killing people is immoral” is begging the question.
 

Sword86

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2012
263
107
Right up there with YOUR and YOU’RE. Like in, YOUR AN IDIOT.
This isn’t difficult if I was able to grasp it in like, grade 2, FFS.
Why do you see those messed up so often?

OTOH, one of my best friends uses commas instead of apostrophes.
I get e-mails full of commas and no apostrophes at all. Anywhere an apostrophe belongs, there’s a comma sitting down at the bottom. The commas are in the correct places though. There’s just an overabundance of what ought to be up top mixed in with them.

Hell, there’s another set. THERE, THEIR and THEY’RE
Drives me nuts.
S

Sorry OP. I didn’t catch your THEIR, THERE and THEY’RE first time around

S
 
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arkitect

macrumors 603
Sep 5, 2005
5,950
5,731
Bath, United Kingdom
Why god?

Seriously though does this bother anyone else? This stuff is taught in 2nd grade and I'm amazed that so many adults are guilty of apostrophe abuse. Don't even get me started on there, their, and they're. I die a little inside every time I see those words used incorrectly.

Why do you think this is?
Thank you for this.

I have often been tempted to start my own rant thread.


Unfortunately I cannot answer your question — "WHY?"
Though I suspect it is a combination of poor education/educators and auto-correct laziness.

I shall contribute these two:





And this one I came across on TripAdvisor while searching for a restaurant… why punctuation is so important.


[doublepost=1544953719][/doublepost]
On this - and related - matters, I wonder whether the OP has read Lynne Truss's (engaging and quite wonderful) book, "Eats, Shoots & Leaves."
A classic.
 

Sword86

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2012
263
107
A past girlfriend of mine worked for a law firm. She would bring piles of resumes home to reduce them to somewhat sane numbers of candidates to get granted interviews. Now, keep in mind, we’re talking graduates from law schools here. A lot of what had to seem a perfectly acceptable resume to them, that they were willing to actually submit in an attempt to get a job as an actual lawyer, was pretty much beyond belief. We could cull a pile of 200 resumes to less than 25 in mere minutes. Now, I suppose you could suggest that the desirable candidates couldn’t be bothered to apply at her firm but the vast majority of the resumes were not worth much more than the paper they were bashed on to. Simply astounding. No surprise given what this thread refers to.
 

Sword86

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2012
263
107
Definite regression in the digital age. That should been Happy Thanksgiving from the Smiths, right? :)

The Smith’s Turkey or the Smiths’ Turkey? I vote for the former.
The Peoples’ Choice?
As I see it, the first one (Smith’s turkey) is correct, but the second example is a bit misleading. The Smith family name does not end in an ‘s’. A better example would have used the Jones family. You would put the apostrophe after Jones, like Jones’ turkey because Jones’s turkey is a mess. Like, keeping up with the Jones’s is. You sometimes even see it as Joneses. Ugh.
Kinda of like in Spanish where you use ‘del’, and not ‘de el’ in, for example, del rey, and not de el rey because it flows incorrectly. French has similar contractions as well. At least that’s my take on it. I may have detractors. I will not be offended. Pile on if you see fit. I wear big boy pants. Not big boy pant’s.
S
 

Easttime

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2015
598
422
If you wanted to say “my iPhone sixes” in short form, you can’t say “my iPhone 6s”. Alternative’s?
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
51,571
35,121
The Far Horizon
I was asking why one thinks this happens. I know why it upsets me :)
Oh, it upsets me, too.

When I was teaching, and grading essays, grammatical (and spelling) mistakes drove me nuts; these were university students with good grades. However, my professor used to argue that I was supposed to be grading their political knowledge, not their grammar and to ignore the latter.

I have also worked as an editor (in the parliamentary debates office) for a year, which, if anything increased my intolerance on such matters.

However, to your question:

1: I think that nowadays people read less, in general.

Reading teaches how to construct sentences and paragraphs, and also teaches you how to express yourself on paper. Actually, copious reading can bestow an ease and facility with the written word. You learn this - these skills - almost without realising it, if you are immersed in books and good newspapers, periodicals, publications.

But, knowing how to read doesn't mean that you are at ease when writing; as with any other activity, this takes practice, and you need to do it a lot.

2. The online world has encouraged the use of casual language and slang and abbreviations; originally, this was for reasons of cost - in the early days of online technology, you paid to send texts, and thus, famously, people started compressing words to fit into the number of words allowed and thereby not incur whatever tariffs were imposed.

Online etiquette - and language - have not kept pace with the tech revolution; I daresay it will develop or evolve over time, but has yet to do so.

3. Spell-check: I have lost count of the number of occasions where the computer has decided to substitute what it thinks I wanted to write, or should have written, for what I actually wrote.

And yes, to my horror - and I do know the difference between "quite and quiet", and the classic "there/their/they're" - I've castigated students who got this wrong - posts or emails (private ones - professional ones, I do double check such things) have sometimes appeared with a word I had not - not only not intended to write, but was pretty certain I hadn't written until the computer, in its wisdom, decided to over-ride what I had thought I had written.



Surely at some point in their lives they knew how to use one. Can one really forget this or do you think they never really learned? I was completely blindsided when I saw this from the smartest guy in my high school class-- and it wasn't a typo. He did this at least 2 years in a row.
No, there are individuals who have never learned the differences between these words, and never troubled to master these things, not considering them to be of importance.
 
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adrianlondon

macrumors 68020
Nov 28, 2013
2,216
2,016
Switzerland
If you wanted to say “my iPhone sixes” in short form, you can’t say “my iPhone 6s”.
oo - good question.

As the correct name is, I believe, the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6s should be ok. Pretty much everyone, including me, would probably interpret it incorrectly but you can feel smug that you're right. I wonder what one would write if they wanted to refer to more than one iPhone 6S. iPhone 6Ses?
 
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