Oct 12 2006

An apostrophe too far?

Published by at 1:17 pm under Misc

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I’m not alone in being a bit of a stickler for punctuation. Grammar, too, but we’ll save that for another time.

One of my particular bugbears is the apostrophe. You find them in all the wrong places these days, while often their omission is nothing short of criminal. A plane is a woodworking tool or geometric surface; the repeatedly-delayed A380 is a ‘plane.

On a particularly pernickety day, it’s all I can do to stop myself from forcibly educating the village greengrocer as to why it’s OK for him to sell “Cauli’s” but not “Apple’s”. And “Spud’s” belongs to the funny scarecrow off Bob the Builder, or a gas fitter I once knew whose real name was Duncan.

If I were a superhero, I’d be Apostrophe Man (except someone else has got there first). I’ve even got the slogan all ready:

Apostrophe Man: Saving the World from Bad Punctuation

So why, then, did I balk at an email I received earlier this week that talked about my ‘blog? After all, it’s a weblog. So contracted, the word must surely become ‘blog?

Sorry, no. Don’t ask me why, it just doesn’t look right. Common usage, the exception that proves the rule, ascribe whatever rationale to it you like, but I just can’t bring myself to apostrophise the word blog.

Don’t think I’m hanging up my cape just yet, though. There are still punctuational wrongs to be righted. Now excuse me, my ‘phone’s ringing.

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