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Old 07-11-2013, 11:14 PM   #1
hidari
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Apostrophe now: Bad grammar and the people who hate it

Apostrophe now: Bad grammar and the people who hate it
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:35 AM   #2
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The problem is that sometimes you are supposed to use an apostrophe when something is plural, when something is an abbreviation.

For instance, RPG's (role playing games) or NPC's (non player characters).

And so people started using it all the time. So in a way, it's the grammar crazy people who started it, by insisting that you should use an apostrophe some of the time.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyR View Post
The problem is that sometimes you are supposed to use an apostrophe when something is plural, when something is an abbreviation.

For instance, RPG's (role playing games) or NPC's (non player characters).
Where is that presented as a grammatical rule?

I always write RPGs and NPCs.

Another example: if you search Google for HGV's you don't see any examples of that apostrophe in the returned results, at least on the first few pages.

Road signs that mention HGV's always annoy me, and I'd be mortified if I find out that it's grammatically correct!

Edit: this site says that the apostrophe can be used with abbreviations, numbers or letters only where its use is helpful and unambiguous:

http://www.grammar-monster.com/lesso...reviations.htm

but goes on to note that:

Quote:
Very few grammar books condone the 's version.
and states categorically that:

Quote:
Do not use apostrophes for the plurals of normal abbreviations.
which would prohibit the use with RPG and NPC.

Graham

Last edited by Graham; 07-12-2013 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
Edit: this site says that the apostrophe can be used with abbreviations, numbers or letters only where its use is helpful and unambiguous:
I was taught it was a hard rule, but honestly it isn't one that really helps with understanding. It always feels like its trying to express possession instead of plurality.

Then again, my recent argument with Catlady shows just how many ways there are to teach grammar and basic writing. One textbook's hard rules are another's recommendations and not even mentioned in a third.
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:25 PM   #5
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We already had it here:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=213027
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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I can so see myself as a prissy nitpicker in that article (excuse the poor grammar when I do it, but let anyone else dare).

There is a time and place for both good and poor (or is it differently abled) grammar and even the occasional expletive. English grammar is pretty hard for ESL people, and as I keep trying to convince myself, few have died due to grammar mistakes.

Thanks for the good article.

Helen
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
few have died due to grammar mistakes.
"Let's eat Grandma!"

"Let's eat, Grandma!"
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:31 PM   #8
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LOL. One little comma changes the inflections of the words and thereby the entire meaning of the sentence. Nice one.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:44 PM   #9
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"Let's eat Grandma!"

"Let's eat, Grandma!"
Come on, you would have eaten grandma apostrophe or not. Don't try and pin that one on grammar.

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Old 07-12-2013, 10:19 PM   #10
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A better example might've been something like this:

Code:
In the 1970s...

In the 1970's...
In the first one, you can pretty much tell that you're referring to the era, because the author took the "bad grammar" move and left out the apostrope. The other could be a possessive with "1970" referring to something made in '70 that was revealed in context, or it could be the same as the one above it. You just can't tell without context.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
I can so see myself as a prissy nitpicker in that article (excuse the poor grammarn I do it, but spelling one else Dafoe e).

There is a time and place for both good and poor (or is it differently abled) grammar and even the occasional expletive. English grammar is pretty hard for ESL people, and as I keep trying to convince myself, few have died due to grammar mistakes.

Thanks for the good article.

Helen
Do not speak too loudly. For some posters at MR any grammar or spelling mistake is the equivalent of murder. Story trumps spelling and grammar...for normal readers I Imagine.... So forgive all my mistakes in advance...
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