Books Anne has written or has a chapter in.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A small demise

I was reading recently about the demise of punctuation, and in particular, the apostrophe. Who needs 'em anyway, when the written context lets (let's?) you know what is meant, and verbally, of course, it doesn't exist. I mean, you can't hear its use or can only see it.

I concede that in these days of careless texting and Internet posting, a phrase like "the bicyclists fault" is clearly understood, no matter its lack of correctness...or even cases where the apostrophe is used but not needed, as in "how many turkey's do we need" and so on. It's in signage, marketing materials, newspapers and magazines, and ubiquitous across the Internet: the death of the apostrophe.

For a prescriptive grammarian (and aren't we all), this is a migraine of Olympian proportions. I would hope professional writers and editors will at least hold this creeping death at bay in our published books. I, for one,  intend to go to my grave clutching all the little apostrophes (apostrophe's?) I can carry!

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