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#86024 11/06/02 04:59 PM
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****Note: This post has been certified as apostrophe-free ***

I have seen apostrophes mis-used so often that I am beginning to be numb to this error. Instead of joining the Apostrophe Protection Society (or whatever its called), I have a different proposal. It came to me the other day.

Lets just get rid of the apostrophe.

Yes, yes, I know, it would introduce ambiguities. But to this I say

(1) The apostrophe does not successfully reduce ambiguities as it is used now, primarily because it is mis-used so often that its presence means nothing anymore. It is not safe to assume that if you see one, it is denoting possession, for you may be reading something written by someone who believes it is used for pluralizing. Therefore its role as a clarifier or aid to understanding is lost.
(2) There are plenty of other ambiguities in English which we avoid by understanding the context of what is written. Why not add this (possession vs. plurals) to the list?

I breathlessly await your opinions.


#86025 11/06/02 05:16 PM
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While its use may be ambiguous at times, its helpful often enough to keep it. Im so used to it
I dont think Id be comfortable without it. Thats it, and whats what.


#86026 11/06/02 05:20 PM
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A friend and I dis'cus'sed this' very problem s'ome time ago and decided that the only 'solution was' to require that every s' have an apo'strophe adjacent to it. In the ca'se of a double s' it would be permis'sible to put the apos'trophe between them.


#86027 11/06/02 07:48 PM
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Oh Muse, what has become of thine Art?


#86028 11/06/02 07:53 PM
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what has become of thine Art?

Last I heard he was heading down to Tucson to escape the winter winds.


#86029 11/06/02 07:54 PM
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I think wofahulicodoc just looked at his dictionary.

apostrophe
n.
L < Gr apostrophc, a turning away from the audience to address one person < apostrephein < apo3, from + strephein, to turn: see STROPHE6 words addressed to a person or thing, whether absent or present, generally in an exclamatory digression in a speech or literary writing
apostrophic
adj.

a[pos[tro[phe2 7! p9s4tr! fc8



#86030 11/06/02 08:09 PM
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... and then there's always anastrophe.


#86031 11/06/02 08:15 PM
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Let no- one demand that we be anastrophe free.


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So what did she win that for?



TEd
#86033 11/06/02 10:12 PM
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I think wofahulicodoc just looked at his dictionary.

Actually I looked in the dictionary about eleven years ago, when my kid's team couldn't identify the rhetorical device in an "Academic-Olympics"-for-the-tenth-graders contest, and I couldn't either ... now at least I know one such. (Though I'm still not at all clear as to what is a strophe and an antistrophe. They're all Greek to me.)


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