Saturday, August 21, 2010

Apostrophe Abuse: Stop the Plural Madness!


Rhonda e-mails in with a rant after my own heart:
"Stop the madness!"
Why? Why? People, we must overcome.

Where does this store go wrong? It tries to create a plural word by using an apostrophe.

Quick rule:
  • Never use an apostrophe to form a plural word. Use an "s" or an "es." That's it.
Correction: CDs and DVDs

10 comments:

  1. LOL, I've been seeing that a lot. It's like a horrible new fad.

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  2. It's not a fad. It's actually the traditional correct way to pluralise initials, letters and numbers. The 'fad' is to over-generalise the plural rule and say 'no apostrophes in any plural at all'. But traditionally people were taught apostrophes for initials, letters and numbers.

    It makes sense, logically, because plurals are added to words, so adding them to something that is not a word is a bit artificial, and the apostrophe shows that. It also makes sense for clarity - if you are writing about the letter a, and you want to talk about several of them, writing 'as' looks like the word as, whereas writing a's makes it clear

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    Replies
    1. YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE MORON!! APOSTROPHES ARE ONLY TO BE USED FOR INDICATING POSSESSION AND WHEN SHORTENING 'IT IS' OR 'THERE IS' FOR EXAMPLE. AS I HAVE TO CLARIFY THIS TO YOU, BLESS YOUR MORONIC HEART, THAT MEANS IT IS=IT'S AND THERE IS=THERE'S. HAVE YOU GOT THAT??? PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE PERPETUATING THE GRAMMAR SCOURGE.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous (if that's really your name): You're right. It's acceptable to pluralize a single letter or number with an apostrophe + s. You can also pluralize initials that way, as in: "I spoke to a few M.D.'s about my festering wound, and it looks like I'll need a tetanus shot." But that's not what we're talking about here in this example. "DVD's" is definitely wrong, any way you slice and dice it.

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  4. You can also use quotation marks to pluralize single letters, numbers, and abbreviations. For example, you might say: "I got all 'A's in math class." Or, as Anonymous points out, you could say "I got all A's in math class."

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  5. Hi all, I too can't stand this plural apostrophe madness. I just read a restaurant's website that listed its "menu's". That's as if there is some 'rule' that says all words ending in a vowel use an apostrophe for plural. So not true. Isn't anyone teaching proper English in schools anymore? I remember spending years learning this stuff, and now the uneducated seem to take over. English is a changing language, but how can ESL teachers properly teach when all this nonsense is happening? Thanks for letting me rant.

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  6. I am glad to have found you! (I am a different "Anonymous.")
    Are we to utilize the rules for making nouns plural when making such commonly used abbreviation words plural? I think we do. The plural of "CRX" would be "CRXes" not "CRXs." The plural of "ABS" would be "ABSes" not "ABSs." Regardless of my thinking, I often see the plural written as "CRXs" and "ABSs." What do you think?

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  7. We have almost developed more of the values in this regard and favorably the ideas would amount to better understanding of objects which are said to be pretty important.

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