Tuesday, July 04, 2006

good grammar costs nothing?

I am the first to admit that my grammar is not perfect...but here is my question:
Has there been a rule change that I don't know about?
Is adding an apostrophe and an s to a word now an ok way to pluralize it???

I was in a BOOKSTORE...the place of literature and writing...and there was a big sign that said "DVD's for under $20".

I just don't get it. Is this new rule that if it is a "short form" word, the 's ok? Is it CD's, TV's, GIC's and STD's? I for one think not (as in "everyone's dumb but me)...but perhaps one of you knows of this rule change and can set me straight before I make a fool of myself in the next store that has such a silly sign.

15 comments:

kris said...

"before I make a fool of myself in the next store that has such a silly sign"

You're going to do something that could potentially render you a fool? What exactly do you have in mind? Does it involve a lighter and some sort of fuel?

I have to admit, I don't know when to use commas, but I usually know when to use an apostrophe. In this case, however, I'm never quite sure. One thing I know is that everyone's doing it.

Another time I'm never sure what to use is with numbers, e.g. she's in her 50's (looks right) or 50s (looks weird). Throwing in an apostrophe is definitely the norm, I notice it all the time.

I'm sure a lot of these rule changes take place from the bottom up. In other words, if the rule hasn't changed yet I'm sure it will. It's probably not worth becoming a fool over:-)

kris said...

One more thing. This weekend at the Conference Center in Red Deer there were two signs for the bathrooms: women and mens. So they either forgot the 's on women and the ' on mens or they thought mens was the plural for men. I thought that was pretty funny.

lu said...

i know that you share the same fascination with proper grammar and spelling as me.

i too have seen this usage of apostrophes and i agree that it doesn't make any sense to put them when we abbreviate things into acronyms.

but the numbers always get me.

i was reading in some writing guide recently that numbers should always be written as 1980s and '80s but 1980's looks more eye-friendly to me.

Dee said...

In my Grade 12 english class I had to do a presentation on the proper use of the apostrophe....and I don't really remember much at all now!! I'm pretty sure that using them with acromyms is wrong though...yet I see it done all the time...

--Nathan-- said...

im horrible with grammer and punctuation so my opinion probably means nothing.... but really in the grand scheme of things does it really matter or are we just looking for things to complain about. Now dont get me wrong i love to complain so im right there with you, but whether or not the apostrophe should be there is not going to change my life.

K said...

You're right...in the grand scheme of things, it is not likely that someone will die as a result of a grammatical error (though you never know...). But as language is a means of communication, it does have some importance. I also just happen to find it interesting. I find it interesting how language progresses, how some people hate when certain things change (i just can't bring myself to use "impact" the way so many do...even if it IS now a verb), how some just don't care.
Language is cool...grammar is a little bit cool.

geeky old me might actually make an effort to listen to this radio show:
http://www.cbc.ca/andsometimesy/

(i was going to start this comment with "nathan, your write" just for fun...but figured if i started there, i'd have to continue and taht was going to take lots of effort)

--Nathan-- said...

haha thats pretty funny, i actually really like your sense of humour kristen and as much as we might clash on a few topics ie: stores charging more for a female version of a same product (although apparently you found the opposite out when you went to buy something at shoppers) i still really enjoy reading about how you see the world and what strikes the "gee that was odd" chord in you.

K said...

hey nathan...since you missed so much soccer whilst away, are you following today's game via the live-tracker on the cbc website? if you aren't, you should....

kris said...

How would make this plural:
do & don't?
As in, a list of ____ & _____.

(That's a real question.)

PS - I don't think I'm looking for things to complain about, I'm just looking for ways to feel better than other people. I'm a shallow, shallow person.

Hez said...

there's no apostrophe in DVDs. I'm positive. it's just DVDs, CDs and dos and don'ts. Even though the don'ts looks really bad, that's "correct".

lu said...

well since no one has mentioned it, perhaps we should consult Eats, Shoots & Leaves, a great little book ALL about punctuation. now if only i knew where i put my copy...

and of course i love k's geekiness because i too cringe when people use IMPACT as a verb.

and she was the one that caught me on using improper adverbs and i still make sure to say, 'i am not doing too badly' rather than 'i am not doing too bad' or 'she is running quickly' rather than 'she is running fast'

now if only people would stop using 'good' in place of 'fine' and 'well'

Dee said...

Ha, I always think of K when people ask me how I am doing and I catch myself replying with good....I'm saying well more and more but that one is a tough one to break....I also think of you when I am wearing a brown belt and black shoes are the only ones I can find...

erin said...

I think 50's and 1980's is proper because if you were writing the words, it would be fifties and eighties. So if you replace "fift" and "eight" with digits, you must replace the "ie" with an apostrophe. Similar to the way you would replace the "o" with an apostrophe in a contraction such as isn't and couldn't.

Those poorly written signs get my goat as well, they make me wonder if the DVD (or whatever it is) owns something.

thephoenixnyc said...

May the grammar gods smite thy bookstore with much fire, rage and fury

Book of Phoenix Chapter 4 Verse 3

Evey said...

I am sure I am constantly using ' in the wrong spot, I guess I just always hope that noone will notice.