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The humble apostrophe

Post 1

Martin Harper

A586640 - Declining English
A597143 - Punctuation - a Quick Guide
A790175 - Correct Use of the Apostrophe In English

All talk about quotemarks and apostrophes. Irritatingly, I failed to spot the punctuation entry while the apostrophe entry was in peer review. My bad.

Clearly these entries all need to be cross-linked.
They also need to be edited so that they don't all directly contradict each other. And the punctuation entry needs to have the myth about "Jack his ball" removed, since that's just factually incorrect.


The humble apostrophe

Post 2

a girl called Ben

Yeah, my assumption is that the apostrophe arrived in the genetive as a bit of bizzare punctuational meddling, like the rule that to ruthlessly split an infinitive is bad grammar. It isn't bad grammer in English, but it IS impossible in Latin, which was used as the model when grammatical rules were retrofitted onto the English language.

In German, Jack's ball translates as "Kugel Jacks" - no apostrophe there, just a declining suffix. Besides which the Jack his ball theory is one of the reasons why you get a low flying apostrophe where it's not neccesary from its context. smiley - winkeye


The humble apostrophe

Post 3

Martin Harper

Apparently we used to decline words (one dog, two dogs, the dogges ball), and the apostrophe was originally there to indicate a skipped 'e' from dogges. Then at a later stage it got rationalised so that all possessives got apostrophes.

The humble apostrophe

Post 4

Wand'rin star

That's right. smiley - star

The humble apostrophe

Post 5


Thanks Lucinda,

These entries have now been cross linked. I tried to find the 'Jack his ball' bit you mentioned. Let me know where it is.


Ashley smiley - smiley

The humble apostrophe

Post 6

Martin Harper

Clashes of A597143 (punctuation) and A790175 (apostrophe) first.

A597143 has seperate headers for 'inverted commas' and 'apostrophes'. However, A790175 regards the inverted comma as the same piece of punctuation as the apostrophe.

A597143 section: "Inverted Commas" is a direct clash with A790175 section: "Quotations". The former claims that British usage is to use single inverted commas for both quotes and speech, the latter claims that British usage is to have single for quotes and double for speech.

A597143 section: "Apostrophes" - "This reporter can now reveal some startling information" - is startling but totally inaccurate.

Solution: Combine 'inverted commas' and 'apostrophes' in A597143 into a single section, with something like this for content.

> "The apostrophe or inverted comma can be used for quotes, speech, contractions, and possessives. The rules for this piece of punctuation are quite complicated, and are explained in detail in this entry on the _Correct_Use_of_the_Apostrophe_In_English_."

Ask Uncle Heavy or Jack Naples for a definitive introduction, if you like.

smiley - popcorn

Clashes between A790175 (apostrophe) and A586640 (declining)

Initial para of A586640 - "the correct use of the apostrophe" - is the obvious place to link to the apostrophe entry.

The sections entitled "It and Its and It's" and "Apostrophe Function" in 'Declining English' should probably be stripped, since they're now mostly duplicated by the Uncle Heavy's entry. There are minor differences of opinion between the two, but they're non-essential, and can be dealt with in the fora of Uncle Heavy's entry, and/or subsequent entries.


The humble apostrophe

Post 7


Thanks for this - I'll get on the case when I get a moment.

Not promising when smiley - winkeye

The humble apostrophe

Post 8

Martin Harper

Any progress? smiley - winkeye

Cheers for fixing the egg-boiling thing.

The humble apostrophe

Post 9


Not yet - this is a low priority at the moment.

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