Apostrophe Poll

Lately I’ve been noticing more and more posters eschewing the apostrophe. I’m of two minds about it. It’s a fairly late addition to English (17th century), and I’m more of a descriptivist than a prescriptivist. On the other hand, it’s not that difficult, and it’s no worse than a million other spelling issues that people get correct. I’m curious where others stand; thus the poll.

I can’t understand why anyone cares so much on message boards unless they’re just nit-picky. I do try to use them properly but I’m sure at some point I’ve failed and someone has made a crack about it.

The ones who waste my reading time with corrections instead of offering anything relevant to the topic are far more annoying.

It doesn’t make me insane, that would be crazy. But I do feel that it’s important to use proper English and grammar. The dumbing down of America is happening fast enough- please let us keep one area with clear and precise rules and adherence to them, it’s all we have left.

I tend to think that the arbitrary rules of punctuation are worth following, except when they’re not. They’re worth following, that is, when your audience expects them and you want to fulfill expectations; they’re also worth following when they increase clarity, easing your audience’s comprehension of your intended message.

Apostrophes often increase clarity and almost always ease comprehension. They’re worth keeping around.

If you don’t use apostrophes properly, I will think you’re stupid. If I think you’re stupid, I won’t think you’re worth listening to.

The occasional typo is forgivable (it happens to all of us), but more than a few errors send the signal that you don’t know any better. If English isn’t your first language and you’re not sure of something, look it up; it’s easy when you have internet access.

Is anyone actually eschewing apostrophes here as opposed to, say, occasionally forgetting? I think that’s the sort of thing I would have noticed.

The OCD part of me cannot overlook small punctuation errors. It’s like having a rock in your shoe. Drives. Me. Crazy. I’m sorry, it’s illogical, I probably make mistakes myself sometimes- but I can’t stand it.

Actually, once on another message board, a thread was opened up that I had made three years ago. As soon as I re-read my OP, I felt compelled to point out a one-word mistake and assure them that I felt awful about it.

I’m with Bob the Angry Flower on this issue. It drives me crazy that people seem to think an apostrophe means “here comes an S.”

I’m an English teacher (a college English professor–not junior high, although from the following it might seem that way) and most of my students don’t seem to know how to use an apostrophe. It seems that for them, if a word is plural, it needs an apostrophe, and to indicate a possessive: no apostrophe. Just the opposite of what it should be. Drives me NUTS.

What bothers me most is not putting the extra “s” after the apostrophe when the word ends in an “s”. It’s increasingly common for people to miss it out, thinking they’re being grammatically correct, but there are only maybe three situations where that’s acceptable. All others, no matter how weird it may look, put the damned additional “s” in there.

It’s “Jess’s cat,” and it’s “Lucas’s dog,” and NOT “Jess’ cat,” or “Lucas’ dog.”

I know official guides are wavering on this, but they are wrong, I tell you, wrong wrong WRONG.

By the way, Apostrophe Poll is the name I used to write children’s books under.

I don’t think you have much to worry about, as, in speech, I never hear anyone eliding that extra s. People say Jess’s dog, not Jess dog. The few exceptions seem to be historic people, like saying “in Jesus’ name.” instead of Jesus’s name.

For me, I just find the lack of apostrophe in the genitive to be confusing. It slows down my parsing of the sentence, as I get this nagging feeling that something is wrong, and I think I may have misunderstood, so I have to go back and check.

I think it’s important and should be followed as much as possible. I agree with **Alice the Goon’s ** take on it. That said, if people make typos (that is, it’s obvious they normally get it right in their posts) that doesn’t bug me. It’s those that are on a board where they can clearly see the correct uses of grammar and writing in others’ posts, and insist upon the “dumbed down” incorrect versions.

Lastly, I have to admit, you’re/your, lose/loose, they’re/their/there and similar errors DO create a little insanity in me from time to time :smiley:

To anybody who has an opinion on this issue I say: Your a looser, you morron!

Somewhere, Gaudere’s head is exploding.

Hah! You left the apostrophe out of ha’s, Mr no-it-all. So their!

Actually, IME it’s Anglo-monolinguals who are most likely to either drop the apostrophe or overuse it (I’ve even seen “ha’s”, and I don’t mean in GaryT’s post but from someone who actually thought “every word that ends in s carries an apostrophe”… excuse me, “every word that end’s in s carrie’s an apostrophe”).

It’s relatively easy to tell whether someone is dyslexic, has made a one-off mistake, was typing too fast or suffers from CBA. The only ones that really bother me are the last group.

Apostrophes, and spelling, and all other “rules” simply function as barriers that most intelligent people can easily get over often enough to display their raw intelligence. I like them, for this reason: write a few sentences for me, and I can judge (pretty accurately) your ability to think (sometimes, just your willingness to follow rules, but that helps me too.)

“Morron’s, in other word’s, may not right like this, but its a pretty safe bet.”

I go so ballistic over their misuse that a friend alway’s email’s me like this, just two annoy me.

It really bugs me when people don’t use apostrophes appropriately. But I usually don’t say anything about it. (Unless they’re getting pedantic about being a grammar whiz or something. Then I’ll bust their ass about the damn apostrophes!)

It drives me crazy. I spotted an apostrophe error on my work’s website the other day and had to restrain myself from calling IT and asking them how stupid can they be?

And I know it’s crazy of me. So I didn’t.