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For pedants only

wysiwyg 07 Oct 01 - 12:23 AM
Helen 07 Oct 01 - 12:21 AM
AliUK 06 Oct 01 - 09:34 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Oct 01 - 09:21 PM
AliUK 06 Oct 01 - 07:49 PM
Margo 06 Oct 01 - 06:32 PM
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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 12:23 AM

Apostro'phe? Izzat Irish?

Mudcat-- its bipedant this evening.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Helen
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 12:21 AM

So what is the cure for apostrophitis? I've been trying to make an impact on my *adult* university and vocational ed students for years but it just gets worse.

I agree about the apostrophes being redistributed. The rule seems to be "when in doubt put it in...if you think of it at the time" or "if you think about an apostrophe then use it, whether it needs it or not, but if you don't think about one then you probably needed it".

The other rule is to get a glazed/dazed look on your face, and look really annoyed whenever a teacher/trainer mentions the word "apostrophe". There is nothing in the world quite like that palpable disdain from a class of students.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: AliUK
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 09:34 PM

see this is the kinda thing that confuses my students. I teach them all the correct stuff and then they go to an english speaking country to study or work and get totally confused. I'm all for colloqualisms, but bad english. Never. ( says he sheepishly using his grammar check)

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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 09:21 PM

There is a daily feature in the St. Paul Pioneer Press called Bulletin Board, of which I am a faithful reader and occasional contributor. There, they often refer to the "Apostrophe Redistribution Center." Here are three recent items:

Oopp's! Notes Mutti:
"Item for the Apostrophe Redistribution Center:
"Seen painted on the back of a Yellow Taxi, a sign soliciting driver applicants to call their phone number reads 'YOUR'E HIRED!' "

Oopp's! Here's ck of parts unknown:
"Anyone missing any apostrophes? Today's ad in the Marketplace section of our favorite newspaper reads: 'Wally McCarthy Say's KEEP AMERICA ROLLING! 0% APR FINANCING ON ALL NEW PONTIAC'S AND GMC'S.'

Oopp's! From The Wordsmith of St. Paul:
"Does the Apostrophe Redistribution Center have a branch office at the Pioneer Press? [Bulletin Board notes: There used to be one -- until the entire staff accepted early-retirement packages.] If not, please arrange for the establishment of one immediately.
"A Sunday headline: 'Protestors' shift focus from anti-globalization to anti-war after Sept. 11.'
"In Monday's Express section [in a "Parenting" article by John Rosemond]: 'Television is potentially toxic to children because it is, by it's nature, graphic.' "

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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: AliUK
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 07:49 PM

great site. As an EFL teacher it got me going.

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Subject: For pedants only
From: Margo
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 06:32 PM

I subscribe to Michael Quinion's newsletter regarding his site "World Wide Words". I was particularly amused by this:

Out There: Apostrophe Protection Society ------------------------------------------------------------------- While we're on the subject of the IgNobel Awards, we must mention the retired British journalist John Richards, who earlier this year founded the Apostrophe Protection Society. His aim is "preserving the correct use of this currently much abused punctuation mark in all forms of text written in the English language". You may feel, as I do, that he has given himself a hard task. However, he will be heartened by the award of the IgNobel Literature prize on Thursday for his efforts to "protect, promote and defend the differences between plural and possessive". You can learn more on his Web site at , where you may see pictures of some egregious British examples of the greengrocer's apostrophe.

He's got a lot more great and interesting stuff regarding etymology. I think his site is in the links page here at Mudcat, but here's the address anyway:

enjoy, Margo

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Mudcat time: 6 June 12:27 PM EDT

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