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 Post subject: apostrophes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6963
Location: East Kent
I am busy laminating some punctuation dominoes (as you do) and have found one which has Apostrophes - used for possesive forms, contractions and some plurals..

I'm not convinced- can you think of any plurals which would have an apostrophe? I mayhave to tippex that bit out (which means reprinting several sheets..grrr


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:36 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 875
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
I tend to agree - this site puts it across clearly and entertainingly..

http://www.dreaded-apostrophe.com/


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
apparently it is used in phrases such as mind your p's and q's...


http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A790175

is also well put!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:10 pm
Posts: 32
I always make mistakes after s's

http://www.kentlaw.edu/academics/lrw/gr ... rophes.htm

ps - this is american but I assume the same rules apply


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:49 am
Posts: 450
As with almost all things to do with punctuation, there are stylistic variations, and the use of the apostrophe after abbreviations (GP's), numbers (100's and 1000's) and however you might describe your p's and q's example (!), is rather old-fashioned. I'm sure if you went hunting through publisher and newspaper style guides, you'd find quite a bit of variation.

I recently put this document together, to try to give a miminalist, simple approach. (Sorry, the document is not terribly clear without all the bold and underlining, but I can't face inserting all the codes).



Apostrophes, and how to use them

Where you need them:

For contraction or omission

The apostrophe indicates that one or more letters are missing.

I could’ve = I could have (not *could of)
I haven’t = I have not
I’d = I had, I would
’em = them

For possession

The apostrophe indicates that someone or something is the 'owner' of something else.

There are three simple steps to establish where to put the apostrophe.

ex 1: The book of Anne = Anne’s book
Step 1: Identify the owner → Anne
Step 2: Add the apostrophe → Anne’
Step 3: Add an ‘s’ if needed → Anne’s

ex 2: The clothes of the children = The children’s clothes
Step 1: Identify the owner → children
Step 2: Add the apostrophe → children’
Step 3: Add an ‘s’ if needed → children’s

ex 3: The views of the parents = The parents’ views
Step 1: Identify the owner → parents
Step 2: Add the apostrophe → parents’
Step 3: Add an ‘s’ if needed → parents’

ex 4: The church of St James = either St James’ church or St James’s church
For names ending ‘s’, you have a choice:
Step 1: Identify the owner → St James
Step 2: Add the apostrophe → St James’
Step 3: Add an ‘s’ if needed → either St James’ or St James’s

That’s it. You don’t use apostrophes anywhere else.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Where you don’t need them:

Plurals

Don’t scatter apostrophes in simple plurals. If it doesn’t ‘own’ anything (and it’s not a contraction!), it doesn’t need an apostrophe.

Half a pound of carrots. (The carrots don’t own anything.)
Liars, traitors and me. (Nor do the liars and traitors own anything.)
My parents are wonderful. (Nor do the parents. Or at least, not in these sentences!)

Watch for ‘tricky’ plurals like ‘boxes’, ‘foxes’, ‘houses’, which end in an /iz/ sound, like a possessive, but are still just simple plurals. They don’t need an apostrophe.

Boxes and boxes of stationery filled the study.
The road was lined with enormous houses.
Who let the foxes out.

You don’t need an apostrophe in plural names, either, if they don’t ‘own’ anything.

The family name is ‘Brown’.
Who lives there? The Browns.
Whose car is that? The Browns’. (The Browns, not the Brown, own the car. See possessive rules, above.)
The family name is ‘Adams’.
Who was late to church? The Adamses.
Whose house is that? The Adamses’ (The Adamses, not the Adams, own the house. See possessive rule above.)

Possessive pronouns - its, his, mine, hers, theirs, ours, yours, (whose)

It’s his, isn’t it, that book over there? You wouldn’t dream of putting an apostrophe in ‘his’, would you? If you could (grammatically) substitute ‘his’ into your sentence, then you don’t need an apostrophe. ‘Whose’ is a bit trickier. If it doesn’t mean ‘who is’, ‘who has’ or ‘who was’, then the word is ‘whose’, with an ‘e’ on the end, and no apostrophe.

I like that hairstyle of hers. (Or his.)
Whose house is that? It’s theirs. (Or his.)
Whose hat is that? (Not a contraction of ‘who is’, ‘who has’, etc.)
Who’s going to the ball? (A contraction of ‘who is’.)


After acronyms or abbreviations (a modern change)

The GPs at this surgery are here to help you.
You can download all the PDFs here.
Dispose of your old TVs here.
Get your caulies and avos here.


After numbers (a modern change)

All the 12s and 2s were neatly lined up.
There were 1000s of volunteers.

When it looks like a possessive, but really it’s just an adjective

Ok, this one causes huge rows, and the American usage tends to treat these as possessive, but why make life difficult for yourself! Consider the model ‘Customer reception’.

Parents entrance.
Singles night.


I’d = I had, I would
’em = them

For possession

The apostrophe indicates that someone or something is the 'owner' of something else.

There are three simple steps to establish where to put the apostrophe.

The book of Anne = Anne’s book
Step 1: Identify the owner → Anne
Step 2: Add the apostrophe → Anne’
Step 3: Add an ‘s’ if needed → Anne’s

The clothes of the children = The children’s clothes
Step 1: Identify the owner → children
Step 2: Add the apostrophe → children’
Step 3: Add an ‘s’ if needed → children’s

The views of the parents = The parents’ views
Step 1: Identify the owner → parents
Step 2: Add the apostrophe → parents’
Step 3: Add an ‘s’ if needed → parents’

The church of St James = either St James’ church or St James’s church
For names ending ‘s’, you have a choice:
Step 1: Identify the owner → St James
Step 2: Add the apostrophe → St James’
Step 3: Add an ‘s’ if needed → either St James’ or St James’s

That’s it. You don’t use apostrophes anywhere else.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6963
Location: East Kent
have decided after all the prining, cutting and laminating that I won't use them after all. My pet hate is the flying apostrophe! I would hate to be party to its (NB not it's) proliferation.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 2556
Am delighted to see this here. A misplaced apostrophe is up there with a split infinitive in my tyrannical little life.
Although no probs with my potatoe's :wink: I was particularly pleased with the parents entrance - having it defined as an adjectival use is just the ticket as had always worried about whether the entrance DID belong to the parents apostrophically speaking!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:07 pm
Posts: 501
ooh apostrophes - I love them :D

I'm no expert but I thought p's and q's was pints and quarts so apostrophe for contraction surely.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 875
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
I always thought it was "pleases & thank yous"


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6963
Location: East Kent
I have been known to distract the barman so that I could correct the menu on the chalk board....


:oops:


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