1. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    atrociously apostrophed plurals

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by mammamaia, Nov 30, 2009.

    can anyone tell me why so many newish writers seem to think a plural is formed with 's ? :eek:

    where on earth could they get such an idea? :rolleyes:

    and does it bug any other more 'mature' writers, or am i overly sensitive to such goofy goofs? :confused:
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    That's a new one on me.

    I know I personally have a terrible habit of writing it's when I mean its, but it's a typo on my part.
    I always scan for them and try to prune the apostrophes away. :redface:
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's so common it has its own name - the greengrocer's plural. You see it all too often on signs in stores: "Buy three apple's, get one FREE!"
     
  4. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Maia, it's not just you. (notice the correct usage of it's...as in it is, not that something belongs to it.)

    I'm waiting for someone to write an entire novel in text speak, that will be something for the new generation to do. We're gradually shortening the language into codes without vowels and that totally lacks any grammatical rules that we are all used to.

    I blame it on the communist conspiracy to take over America...one of the whatever numbered points was to dumb down America through the school systems. I think they may be succeeding. (I reference America as the point of American style English, not talking about UK or other countries which may speak English, as their dialects and grammatical rules are different.)
     
  5. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not only that, but even worse in my eyes is this.

    While your here, buy two apple's and get one free!

    Is your going to replace you are in the English language soon? I see it everywhere.
     
  6. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Yep, gamer, that bugs the daylights out of me...not sure how much daylights are, but that's how much it bugs me. You're is a contraction. It's like seeing their, instead of they're, or worse, there for either type. The one that always catches me up is receive...I always want to spell it recieve, like believe. Something my fingers just like to do, and then when I see it I feel stupid that I spelled it that way, cause I know the old rule, no matter how stupid that rule might be.
     
  7. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    When I did it, it was because I had a vague memory of using apostrophes, but I did not really remember when to use them. Because I was too lazy to ascertain when, exactly, to use them, I just used them for everything.
     
  8. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It really annoys me too--but because incorrect apostrophes are everywhere now, it must be difficult for the younger generation not to have their senses dulled into acceptance until eventually they take it as the norm.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It does get muddied because certain common pronouns (its, ours, theirs) omit the apostrophe in the possessive form, but then you do use an apostrophe when you pluralize individual letters:
     
  10. A2theDre
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    A2theDre Active Member

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    With the apostrophe for the plurals of letters, I've always just assumed that the apostrophe is to indicate the omission of the word "letter". So instead of saying "All his A letters..." you just do 's.

    Similar to the way I think about the (incorrect) plural of the word "you". Apparently, people are trying to get "youse" into common English. I prefer to write "you's", as in "you guys."
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    bravo to atari, for 'manning up' and admitting why he did it!

    i'm surprised that you haven't noticed the quite common goof, wrey... i see it often, in posted work... and even on people's private websites that are supposed to be focused on writing...

    thanks for the input, sitemates!
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I see it all the time, too, and hate it.
     
  13. deltaquid
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    deltaquid Member

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    Well, Dutch uses 's for plural and simply s for genitive meaning, which might confuse anybody who gets in touch with both English and Dutch. (Such as me.)

    Which could also be a side-effect of having a Dutch translator translate a French book to English and such, but this is unlikely.

    I also get sad when I see things such as Alex's or Jones's.
     
  14. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    I see it constantly and it bugs me, too. I think, for some people, it comes from confusion over how to write something like "CDs." They write "cd" with lowercase letters, so adding the "s" would make it something else (like CDS). If they knew "CD" should be capitalised, and the plural "s" not, they probably wouldn't be so confused. . . One can hope, anyway.:p

    And part of it does come from seeing the error where you'd expect to find proper punctuation. And now, a lot of businesses have taken to using text-talk/netspeak for signs, menus, catalogues, advertisements. . . everything. . . because it's the "in" thing to do. Bad grammar is everywhere--grammar that wouldn't pass elementary school standards.

    That said, I think I've done it, too, on occasion, when I wasn't paying attention.:redface:
    I'd rather not "use" any guys at all. I don't swing that way, but to each their own.;)
     
  15. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh my word, I hate 'your' appearing everywhere too! I often see it so often on Facebook I have to log out suddenly in a fit of rage.

    Ugh!
     
  16. Sound of Silence
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    Sound of Silence Member

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    Hey - that's beautiful. :D I'd back 'youse' as I fine addition to the English Lexicon anyday. Then again, I think most Liverpuddliens would too. (Liverpuddliens: people from Liverpool, England).

    As for mistakes...no ones perfect. Live and let live and all that. (And yep, the mistake back there is deliberate).:D
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    while it's certainly true that 'no ones [sic] perfect,' one would expect those who claim to be writers, or who want to be writers, to at least make the effort to come close to perfect, since it's not all that hard to learn the most basic of the of the art's basics, such as how to form plurals and what a contraction is/isn't...
     
  18. Destin
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    Destin Senior Member

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    I must admit to not knowing that possessive pronouns had their own special set of rules.
    Mine, yours, his, hers, ours, its and theirs. Luckily, I've almost always used them correctly simply because I've never seen them any other way.
    Except its. I often put it's. I always thought this was correct but it appears it is not. It's not?
    I think I need to clarify its and it's... somebody tell me if this is right:

    It's - Contraction of 'it is'
    its - Possessive pronoun of it
     
  19. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    Yes. It's easy to remember if you just keep this one rule in mind: "it's" is only ever the contraction for "it is." So if it's not a contraction, no apostrophe. :)
     
  20. Destin
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    Destin Senior Member

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    Fair enough. I've been at this for a while now, and this is the first time since high school I've found a rule I am not 100% clear on. It's kind of refreshing.

    Although the receive thing does bite me every now and then...
     

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