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pedantry

Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 29 Sep 98 - 03:49 PM
Philip Hudson 29 Sep 98 - 11:51 AM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 98 - 12:49 AM
BSeed 31 Aug 98 - 04:02 PM
Joe Offer 31 Aug 98 - 02:48 AM
BSeed 31 Aug 98 - 01:12 AM
30 Aug 98 - 11:23 PM
30 Aug 98 - 11:21 PM
Joe Offer 30 Aug 98 - 08:20 PM
Jerry Friedman 30 Aug 98 - 03:28 PM
Joe Offer 28 Aug 98 - 02:55 AM
BSeed 27 Aug 98 - 11:55 PM
Sheye 27 Aug 98 - 03:16 AM
Philip Hudson 27 Aug 98 - 02:42 AM
Nora 25 Aug 98 - 03:55 PM
Joe Offer 25 Aug 98 - 01:56 PM
Jon W. 25 Aug 98 - 01:27 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 25 Aug 98 - 01:03 PM
Mountain Dog 25 Aug 98 - 07:50 AM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 98 - 07:22 PM
Sheye 24 Aug 98 - 06:02 PM
Ralph Butts 24 Aug 98 - 04:54 PM
Mountain Dog 24 Aug 98 - 04:45 PM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 98 - 04:06 PM
Mountain Dog 24 Aug 98 - 11:22 AM
Alan of Oz 24 Aug 98 - 10:31 AM
BSeed 23 Aug 98 - 11:45 PM
Joe Offer 23 Aug 98 - 07:19 PM
Philip Hudson 23 Aug 98 - 06:54 PM
Bill in Alabama 23 Aug 98 - 05:23 PM
Jerry Friedman 23 Aug 98 - 04:12 PM
Bill in Alabama 23 Aug 98 - 10:49 AM
Ireland O'Reilly 16 Aug 98 - 02:08 PM
dick greenhaus 15 Aug 98 - 10:55 PM
Joe Offer 15 Aug 98 - 09:30 PM
Joe Offer 15 Aug 98 - 05:36 AM
BSeed 14 Aug 98 - 11:13 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 14 Aug 98 - 06:44 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 14 Aug 98 - 06:38 PM
Jon W. 14 Aug 98 - 05:42 PM
BSeed 14 Aug 98 - 04:59 PM
Jon W. 14 Aug 98 - 04:17 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 14 Aug 98 - 03:55 PM
Philip Hudson 14 Aug 98 - 03:34 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 14 Aug 98 - 02:31 PM
Kris 13 Aug 98 - 09:15 PM
BSeed 13 Aug 98 - 07:47 PM
Bob Bolton 13 Aug 98 - 12:28 AM
Bob Bolton 13 Aug 98 - 12:27 AM
BSeed 12 Aug 98 - 11:49 PM
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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 03:49 PM

I think that it is franglais, not frenglish. At least that is what it is called up here. Ex. Je crossez la street. Moncton, New Brunswick used to be the franglais capital of the world but they have since managed to keep their French and their English separate. The oddest one used to be "machine" meaning "thing" or used as a pronoun. "Me, I was talkin' to machine dere las' night."


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Philip Hudson
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 11:51 AM

Hi Sheye Re. your answer of 27-Aug-98 - 03:16 AM

I have been out of touch for a while, touring my 87 year old mother around to visit her 87 year old cousins. Sorry I didn't come back to this thread sooner. I don't know for sure what frenglish is, but pee-in-tree wouldn't produce any particularly difficult maneouver (us lazy Texans leave out the "o") in Texas. Pee-behind-tree would be more appropriate and refined, however. - Philip Hudson in Texas


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 12:49 AM

I've missed this thread, so I found an excuse to bring it up again. I'm listening to the third volume of Harry Belafonte's All Time Greatest Hits. One of the songs on the CD is Neil Diamond's PLAY ME (click here). Well, there's one line in that song that really grinds me:
Songs you sang to me - Songs you brang to me
Oh, that one gets to me! Well, Harry sings it like this:
Songs she sang to me - Songs she brought to me
Thank you, Harry. You've got class. Now, why can't Neil Diamond sing it that way? Come to think of it, if Belafonte really has class, why's he singing Neil Diamond songs, anyhow?
-Joe Offer-

Oh, I forgot - we're supposed to go on to the Pedantry II thread.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: BSeed
Date: 31 Aug 98 - 04:02 PM

I was just reminded of another of my pet peeves: "I could care less" doesn't make any sense. Think about it, folks. It's "I couldn't care less," meaning there is nothing less important to me. "I could care less" would mean there are some things less important to me, and some is unspecified: everything could be less important. --seed.

By the way, an apology to those pedants, members of the apostrophe police, who noticed that in another thread (Strike songs for managers) I omitted a necessary apostrophe: Guthries should have been Guthrie's. oops.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Aug 98 - 02:48 AM

Dick started a new thread, which I think is his gentle way of saying that this thread is getting too long and it's time for all of us to move on to

Pedantry II (click me)

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: BSeed
Date: 31 Aug 98 - 01:12 AM

Actually, anonymous, it's neither case nor tense, it's voice. --seed
And Zorro, I posted an answer to your martini thing, but every now and then, one of my messages disappears somewhere: What I said was something to the effect that because of Bond's sadistic nature, he wanted his martini shaken--to bruise the gin.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From:
Date: 30 Aug 98 - 11:23 PM

...tense!! I MEANT tense!!!


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From:
Date: 30 Aug 98 - 11:21 PM

.....so the cabbie says, "I've been driving in Boston for 30 years, and that's the first time I ever heard that question in the 'past pluperfect subjunctive' case."

Yes..I KNOW it's old!


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Aug 98 - 08:20 PM

Yeah, heck, what does James Bond know? Everybody who's anybody knows that if you shake your martini, it loses all the fizz....


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 30 Aug 98 - 03:28 PM

As the captain of the Pinafore (and a right good captain, too), I can name that tune in one note.

Incidentally, after working at Intel for a summer, I can also confirm that it is "complementary metal-oxide semiconductor". Which in turn reminds me of the t-shirt I most want: "Does 'anal retentive' have a hyphen?"

You know, BSeed, Bond also likes his martinis shaken, not stirred. He doesn't appear to be a good model for anything.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Aug 98 - 02:55 AM

Well, seed, that's one of those new James Bonds. Sean Connery would never have made such a blunder.
What, never?
No, never.
What never?
Well...hardly ever.
Name that tune.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: BSeed
Date: 27 Aug 98 - 11:55 PM

Joe, and the rest of the pedants:
Last night I watched on video Tomorrow Never Dies and wrote down this line from James Bond, delivered in his Oxford accent: "If only that were true of you and I, Moneypenny." Appropriate use of the subjunctive verb followed by "of...I." Where will it end? --seed


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Sheye
Date: 27 Aug 98 - 03:16 AM

Hi Philip!

Now, if you were a frenglish redneck, "Dan" would be "dans" which means "in". Is there a trick to that particular maneouver?


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Philip Hudson
Date: 27 Aug 98 - 02:42 AM

Mountain Dog and Sheye: If you want to go chic you can, but us rednecks pronounce pedantry: peee-dan-treee with all synnables equally accented. How do you like my spelling of syllables? It is purported to be west country English. I like the way it sounds. Of course us rednecks don't have any idea what pedantry means. - Philip Hudson


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Nora
Date: 25 Aug 98 - 03:55 PM

I can rarely resist joining in a grammatical fray.

I believe it was Dave Barry who proposed an elegant enough explanation for the apostrophe crisis. It seems that the old meanings ('apostrophe-s' to indicate possession, or to indicate that at least one letter has been dropped) have been completely ignored in favor of a new one: the next letter in this sequence will be the letter 's' and it will be the last letter in the word.

I have, however, seen grammar references that allow an apostrophe before a plural-indicating 's' after a word ending with a vowel sound in order to prevent confusion.

I don't know why lack of an apostrophe would cause confusion. I am all for eliminating them all.

I'm kind of cranky too about the use of quotation marks to emphasize something.

Nora


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 98 - 01:56 PM

Hmmm. Now, should I make a comment about CMOS being "complementary, even though I'm not 100% sure and I might get egg on my face in the midst of these vicious pedants?
No, I guess I'd better not. It might be embarrassing...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Jon W.
Date: 25 Aug 98 - 01:27 PM

BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System (which allows the computer to get stuff in and out of memory from keyboards, disc drives, and the like). CMOS stands for Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (Complimentary MOS) which is a technology of integrated circuits (computer chips) which use little power and so can be kept alive for long periods of time with a battery.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 25 Aug 98 - 01:03 PM

Alan of OZ: I was wondering if anyone else out there who knows what "BIOS" stands for would post it here. :) Many of these computer related acronyms have become so commonplace that people have either forgotten, or do not ever learn what they stand for. for example, does anyone know what CMOS stands for?

by the way, Pedant is pronounced /pe'dant/ with the /e/ being short and the stress being on the first syllable.

Cheers,

Ireland


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 25 Aug 98 - 07:50 AM

Ah, Joe, thanks sooooo much for that!

My personal favorite in that egregious ditty is his choice of the brash, metallic onomatopoetic "BRANG", ever resounding in memory like ashcan lids and cheap hubcaps being thrown down a narrow alley.

All that being said, I've enjoyed many reggae covers of his classic "Red, Red Wine"


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 98 - 07:22 PM

Mountain Dog - you would think that the Mudcat would be a

Neil Diamond-Free Zone

wouldn't you? Well, sad to say, it's not. Click here and shed a tear.
Actually, I really like some of the African stuff he did on "Tap Root Manuscript," and there is some other stuff he did that is pretty good - but he sure can slaughter the English language.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Sheye
Date: 24 Aug 98 - 06:02 PM

Mountain Dog:

Go chic: short e and a silent t. Gotta raise your nose a bit on the second syllable.

Sheye


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 24 Aug 98 - 04:54 PM

But he made a lot of dough for a guy with a three-note range.......Tiger


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 24 Aug 98 - 04:45 PM

Joe, I agree whole-heartedly that Neil Diamond's poetic license should have been revoked aeons ago.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 98 - 04:06 PM

Just between you and I, Seed (grin), I think that Neil Diamond may be the most grammatically-offensive songwriter to have ever lived. Many more have followed in his evil footsteps, I'm afraid. It seems most popular songwriters view rhyme as more important than grammar. I cringe every time I hear a song that rhymes "in the sky" with "for you and I." I yearn for the days of Cole Porter and Lorenz Hart and Ira Gershwin - those guys could turn a phrase without ruining the language.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 24 Aug 98 - 11:22 AM

In the interest of prolonging this remarkably civil display of pedantry, I wonder if I should raise the question of whether "pedant" is pronounced with a long or short "e"?


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Alan of Oz
Date: 24 Aug 98 - 10:31 AM

G'day,
Just to be pedantic Jerry, BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: BSeed
Date: 23 Aug 98 - 11:45 PM

I'm glad this thread is active again. There are a few common locutions that drive me batty, and they often seem to be made by supposedly literate persons. In one of the threads recently I came across one that I find singularly irritating because of its use of a plural indicative pronomial adjective, those, before a singular noun, kind. Another is the inexorable, execrable encroachment of the use of indicative pronouns where the objective case is proper: "He told John and I about it," or, even worse, an objective paired with an indicative as object of a verb or preposition: "for him and I." It used to be only athletes and sports announcers who do it; now it's gone beyond TV anchor men and appeared in the scripts of otherwise fairly literate screenplays. The only thing worse is a bunch of supercilious pedants making a big issue of it. --seed


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Aug 98 - 07:19 PM

Well, Bill, I think it's a pretty good idea to have a thread like this, where snooty people can feel free to be snooty. Maybe then we'll behave ourselves in other threads and act with generosity.
....but if you're going to make a comment in THIS thread, you'd better be pretty damn sure you're correct. The vultures are hovering, ready to swoop down at the drop of a misplaced modifier.

Say, if any of you snoots would like to drop over to the "Gaudete" thread and check my Latin, I'd appreciate it. I'd like to make sure we have the lyrics exactly right this time. I'm pretty sure I have it right, but a little help would be appreciated. The version in the database is horrible.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Philip Hudson
Date: 23 Aug 98 - 06:54 PM

Bill in Alabama: Us Southern red necks can use all the pedantry that our more erudite sisters and brothers can dish out. They seem all to be doing it in good humor. I don't always use good grammar and writing form, but I want to know what it is in case I want to apply for a job or something. - Philip from Texas


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 23 Aug 98 - 05:23 PM

Jerry-- Sorry about that--that's what happens when I decide to stop lurking and venture into an area such as computer language, about which I am seriously ignorant. Ther error was mine, and I apologize for it. Thank you for the very tactful way you pointed up my error. I will go back to lurking.

Bill


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 23 Aug 98 - 04:12 PM

I didn't see anyone referring to "bio" as an acronym, Bill. People were quite correctly referring to "BIOS" as an acronym. (I'm not sure what it stands for, but I believe the "OS" is for "operating system"--sorry, Philip.)

For exactly the reasons you mention, I hardly ever correct people's grammar here, but I made an exception for something that was part of the page, not part of the discussion. Once in a while I also correct lyrics for spelling and word choice, because those are going into the archive where lots of people will see them and may be misled by them. (For instance, Hank Williams's "Jambalaya" is in the DT, and how many people will think "filet gumbo" has to do with fish filets instead of filé powder? Though this may be Williams's error.)

And if I may be allowed one more digression into alt.usage.english--I agree completely with the rule Dick Greenhaus gave for the plurals of acronyms (and abbreviations and initialisms).


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 23 Aug 98 - 10:49 AM

I have tried to leave this sort of thing alone, as a rule, but I must say that I'm puzzled by the reference to BIO as an acronym. Acronyms are NOT the same thing as abbreviations: they are short words consisting of the initial letters of words making up a longer, more unwieldy title--RAM for Random Access Memory, SCUBA for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, PAC for Political Action Committee, etc. Acronyms are always pronounced as words; if they are pronounced as initials (TVA, RSVP, HTML, TV, PC), they are Initialisms. Clippings, such as LAB for laboratory, PHONE for telephone, BIO for biography or biographical sketch, are different creatures entirely. I have avoided entering this discussion up to now because I don't want to be considered pedantic but, after all, in a thread on pedantry, shouldn't we use terms correctly? The Mudcat has always been a congenial, informal, conversational, FRIENDLY sort of place which welcomes everybody; PLEASE let's not get into correcting one another's grammar. There are separate sites for that sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 16 Aug 98 - 02:08 PM

dick g.: quite correct, as acronyms are "nouns" too. "Pluralization" is your word, but I think "pluralizing" is becoming acceptable.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Aug 98 - 10:55 PM

A convenient convention for pluralizing (is that a word?) an acronym is to use caps for the acronym, followed by a lower case "s:. Like MIDIs. Neat, unequivocal and communicative.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Aug 98 - 09:30 PM

Dear Perfesser Pedant,
All my life, or at least since I first heard the acronym, I have been writing the plural of MIDI as MIDI's. Have I done wrong?
I beg forgiveness, if contrition is warranted.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Aug 98 - 05:36 AM

Well, Seed, I almost fixed it before, but then I thought that might be pedantic or anally retentive or something, so I left you to the wolves. I noticed that they politely ignored your typo - perhaps hoping that you might do the same for them some day.
So, did I fix it the way you wanted it? You had a paragraph mark in there instead of a close-bold.
In a thread like this one, it really is embarrassing when you make a mistake, isn't it? (and I had to look up "embarrassing" to avoid harassment - which I also had to look up, especially since this is particularly tasty Scotch I'm sipping tonight).
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: BSeed
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 11:13 PM

Thanks, Ireland. I'llget itsome day.!!!!--Sorry, folks, just practicin' my format thingies. --seed


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 06:44 PM

Well, I guess I messed THAT up! Typed in the actual code... Well, I hope this makes sense to you, Bseed.

to start a bold tag, type "<" with a "B" in the middle and a ">" after it.

to end the bold tag, type "<" with a /B in the middle and a ">" at the end of it.

There are no spaces in that code.

a < P > (with no spaces, of course) is a new paragraph tag, not plain text.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 06:38 PM

Yes, to get rid of < B > type < /B > to end the bold tag.

< P > like this is a new paragraph tag, not plain text. you don't need a tag for plain text.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Jon W.
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 05:42 PM

Don't you do < /b >? Joe??? Anyone?


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: BSeed
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 04:59 PM

Hey, any of you fellow pedants know how I can get rid of Boldface once I no longer need it? A few messages ago I typed greater than B less than at the start, a single word i wanted to emphasize. After the word I did greater than P [for plain text] less than, didn't work. Nor did < B > cancel it in another posting. (I put the spaces around the B in the line above, hoping it wouldn't read as a command and put this in bold. If it's in boldface, well--too bad.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Jon W.
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 04:17 PM

I was afraid someone would bring up abbreviations and negate my logic on the use of apostrophes in contractions.

Max, how about getting rid of the apostrophe next time you're in the code and have done with it?


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 03:55 PM

and Nova Scotia... :)

g-dropping is a world-wide phenomenon among English-speakers. Linguistically (verbally, that is) this form is accepted, athough often viewed as nonstandard. In writing, howevef, g-dropping is generally frowned upon, unless used to show colloquialism in written dialogue. By some writers and writing instructors, though, even this latter use is seen as unacceptable.

Language is constantly evolving though, and so someday, g-dropping may no longer be considered "g-dropping", but may actually become a standard spelling convention.

Abbreviations do tend to "lose" their apostrophes after a very short period of time (if they ever had them at all). In modern English, we no longer write 'flu for "influenza" or 'phone for "telephone". To my knowledge, there have never been apostrophes associated with "info", "recap", "auto", "fridge", or "rehab" and these are all, as you know, abbreviations. I agree that the absence of the apostrophe diminishes the confusion. as I said before, "bio's" would denote "belonging to bio", just as "fridge's" would denote "belonging to the fridge" or "of the fridge".

In any case, it is a period (.) that should signal abbreviations, not an apostrophe. Note: Ont. (Ontario); Can. (Canada); ex. (example); etc. (et cetera)...

Well, now that this pedantic has had her say, it's time to go.

Cheer's :) (i couldnt resist!) :>

Ireland'


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Philip Hudson
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 03:34 PM

It has been my experience that a noun coined by truncation looses its apostrophe pretty soon after it is coined. I should think the reason is to avoid conflict with the possessive. On the other hand, words like goin' (shortened going) tend to keep their apostrophes. In Texas, nobody puts the g on the end of a verb so it may as well be left off in writing. I know, the world is not comprised of Texas. There is also Australia!!! Philip Hudson


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 02:31 PM

Hi, Kris.

To be pedantic means that one displays one's knowledge more than is necessary; therefore, pedantry is excessive display or application of one's knowledge.


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Kris
Date: 13 Aug 98 - 09:15 PM

All this and I still don't know what pedantry is, I guess I'd better consult Mr. Webster. The pedantry is where we keep the groceries in my house. Kris


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: BSeed
Date: 13 Aug 98 - 07:47 PM

I dunno, Bob: "the shortening must be signalled by an apostrophe" sounds very prescriptive to me. I don't see any room for bio in it, as you state it. If the shortening must be signalled by an apostrophe in the plural, then surely the same must be applied to the singular, no?


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 Aug 98 - 12:28 AM

I'll try that with a bit more proofreading!

G'day BSeed,

I don't really argue that anyone DOES write bio' ... only that one could argue that it was acceptable - especially if cornered by a bunch of bloodthirsty pedants!

Regard(les)s

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 Aug 98 - 12:27 AM

G'dat BSeed,

I don't really argue that any DOES write bio' ... only that one could argue that it was acceptable - especially if cornered by a bunch of bloodthirsty pedants!

Regard(les)s

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: pedantry
From: BSeed
Date: 12 Aug 98 - 11:49 PM

Sorry, Bob, but it doesn't work that way. Nobody writes bio'--just bio. My earlier question should have been how many bios can dance on the head of an apostrophe. --seed


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