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ajuk
11-13-2011, 11:58
I just noticed the name of the forum "120 RF's" I think that should be "120 RFs" If acronyms took contracting apostrophes then the singular would be RF' but it's not it's just RF.

Peter Wijninga
11-13-2011, 12:00
Approved by the Apostrophes Master of the Universe. Carry on.

FrankS
11-13-2011, 12:03
Noted. Thanks. And as Peter said: Carry on.

rpsawin
11-13-2011, 12:17
Thank GOD that's cleared up...I can finally sleep well again.

Bob

Sparrow
11-13-2011, 12:17
Noted. Thanks. And as Peter said: Carry on.

I'm so glad you remembered the capitalisation following a colon; well done

mabelsound
11-13-2011, 12:24
I just noticed [that] the name of the forum [is] "120 RF's"[.] I think that should be "120 RFs"[.] If acronyms took contracting apostrophes[,] then the singular would be RF'[.] [B]ut it's not[;] it's just RF.

FTFY.......

blindrobert
11-13-2011, 12:29
I just noticed the name of the forum "120 RF's" I think that should be "120 RFs" If acronyms took contracting apostrophes then the singular would be RF' but it's not it's just RF.

I thought apostrophes were used to pluralize lowercase letters and abbreviations containing internal punctuation or abbreviations ending with the letter S:

He holds two Ph.D.'s.l
Three x's in a row wins.
They sent SOS's over three frequencies.

No?

Ezzie
11-13-2011, 12:31
I thought apostrophes were used to pluralize lowercase letters and abbreviations containing internal punctuation or abbreviations ending with the letter S:

He holds two Ph.D.'s.l
Three x's in a row wins.
They sent SOS's over three frequencies.

No?

My understanding too.

j j
11-13-2011, 12:35
I thought apostrophes were used to pluralize lowercase letters and abbreviations containing internal punctuation or abbreviations ending with the letter S:

He holds two Ph.D.'s.l
Three x's in a row wins.
They sent SOS's over three frequencies.

No?

Nope. Possessive or contraction.

kshapero
11-13-2011, 12:36
plauralise? That's a word?

tomalophicon
11-13-2011, 12:36
I thought apostrophes were used to pluralize lowercase letters and abbreviations containing internal punctuation or abbreviations ending with the letter S:

He holds two Ph.D.'s.l
Three x's in a row wins.
They sent SOS's over three frequencies.

No?

RF doesn't end with S.

Corto
11-13-2011, 12:37
My camera's dont care.

gb hill
11-13-2011, 12:39
I pretty much flunked anything to do with the english language so I never noticed.;)

f16sunshine
11-13-2011, 12:59
My colon just coughed up an apostrophe...

semilog
11-13-2011, 13:00
Thats excellent; thank's for clearing it up for us.

FrankS
11-13-2011, 13:03
For me, it improves readability, to place an apostrophe between an acronym and a suffix.

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 13:04
What about greengrocer's (and everything they sell, such as carrot's, onion's)? It's known in English as the Greengrocers' Apostrophe.

Cheers,

R.

pggunn
11-13-2011, 13:10
I believe the apostrophe is correct in RF's because as blindrobert said, it's an abbreviation, and the apostrophe stands for the missing letters in rangefinders.

andredossantos
11-13-2011, 13:14
If I started worrying about grammer on the interwebs, I'd probably need to start some sort of blood pressure medication regimen.

bensyverson
11-13-2011, 13:18
Seriously, talk about tilting at windmills

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 13:23
I believe the apostrophe is correct in RF's because as blindrobert said, it's an abbreviation, and the apostrophe stands for the missing letters in rangefinders.

Disputable. Why, then, isn't it R'F'F's? I'm neutral myself, as I think that regardless of grammatical theory, the comma after an abbreviation looks better visually and makes it easier to read, but among those who care, the balance is probably against the apostrophe.

REAL pedants will dispute the use of the possessive, preferring "the use of the possessive" to "the possessive's use" except (as far as I recall) when referring to people or (possibly) legal entities.

Then again, with a surname that ends in 's' (correct possessive "Roger Hicks's camera") I am accustomed to "Roger Hicks' camera" and even "Roger Hick's camera".

Cheers,

R.

sreed2006
11-13-2011, 13:28
Muphry's Law strikes again: any Internet posting intended to correct another's spelling or grammar error will itself contain an error.

jwnash1
11-13-2011, 13:29
"You don't use apostrophe's to plauralise [sic] anything." According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, you use an apostrophe "to form plurals of letters that appear in lowercase; here the rule appears to be more typographical than grammatical, e.g. "three ps" versus "three p's." To form the plural of a lowercase letter, place 's after the letter."
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/621/01/

pggunn
11-13-2011, 13:30
Disputable. Why, then, isn't R'F'F's? I'm neutral myself, as I think that regardless of grammatical theory, the comma after an abbreviation looks better visually and makes it easier to read, but among those who care, the balance is probably against the apostrophe.

REAL pedants will dispute the use of the possessive, preferring "the use of the possessive" to "the possessive's use" except (as far as I recall) when referring to people or (possibly) legal entities.

Then again, with a surname that ends in 's' (correct possessive "Roger Hicks's camera") I am accustomed to "Roger Hicks' camera" and even "Roger Hick's camera".

Cheers,

R.

I think you're right about the balance being against the apostrophe, Roger. I began doubting myself as soon as I posted and couldn't find anything in the AP Stylebook or other references to support my belief, but I'm also with you in having the opinion that it looks better visually.

Oh, the shame! My mother was an English teacher! :bang:

Bobbo
11-13-2011, 13:32
Seriously, talk about tilting at windmills

Have you ever read "The Grammar Sharp" by W.C. Brann? I'm pretty sure you'd approve of it (I do). It's on Google Books.

iandiam
11-13-2011, 13:32
Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7E-aoXLZGY

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 13:32
"You don't use apostrophe's to plauralise [sic] anything." According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, you use an apostrophe "to form plurals of letters that appear in lowercase; here the rule appears to be more typographical than grammatical, e.g. "three ps" versus "three p's." To form the plural of a lowercase letter, place 's after the letter."
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/621/01/

Surely, all that mean's is that the Purdue Online Writing Lab use's apostrophe's that way. I happen to think they're right, but I don't think they're a significantly greater authority than most people.

Cheer's,

R.

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 13:39
Muphry's Law strikes again: any Internet posting intended to correct another's spelling or grammar error will itself contain an error.

Certes, an error of either speling or grammer.

Cheer's,

R.

Gabriel M.A.
11-13-2011, 13:41
To be fair, thi's wa's naively put in the "Provide your Feedback" forum. Little did he know it wa's a slow night.

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 13:42
I think you're right about the balance being against the apostrophe, Roger. I began doubting myself as soon as I posted and couldn't find anything in the AP Stylebook or other references to support my belief, but I'm also with you in having the opinion that it looks better visually.

Oh, the shame! My mother was an English teacher! :bang:

So was mine. And so was I. there's nothing wrong with a minority opinion. I think you and I will be proven right in the next generation of style books.

Cheer's,

R.

sreed2006
11-13-2011, 13:56
Certes, an error of either speling or grammer.

Cheer's,

R.

Or possibly just apostrophe's. :)

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 14:02
Or possibly just apostrophe's. :)

Dear S'id,

Pos's'ibly. Are you any relation of the S'ufi S'ids? Great theologian's.

Cheer's,

R.

sreed2006
11-13-2011, 14:09
Roger, I've been called lots of things, but never a S'ufi.

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 14:12
Roger, I've been called lots of things, but never a S'ufi.

Dear S'id,

S'orry; I was jus't being s'illy. Perhaps its as well to s'top here.

Note careful balance in 'its'.

Cheers,

R.

raid
11-13-2011, 14:18
This is correct, the apostrophe usage is wrong.
It is however not apostrophe's

tjh
11-13-2011, 14:23
Except for pluralizing individual lowercase letters, an apostrophe shouldn't be used to pluralize - no "camera's", "horse's", or "bumblebee's", no matter how beautiful the typography seems. After the apostrophe, one of the most glaring mistakes in English language usage on the Internet is the confusion between "advice" and "advise". I advise forum members to follow the advice on this forum, especially about capitalizing after a semicolon.

This is the most protracted discussion of English grammar I've had since high school, many, many decades ago. Aspirin anyone?

Shac
11-13-2011, 14:33
Thank GOD that's cleared up...I can finally sleep well again.

Bob

LOL!! Moi aussi

sepiareverb
11-13-2011, 14:34
Americans of a certain age cannot use punctuation properly because it was not taught to us.

Brian Sweeney
11-13-2011, 14:34
How do you know the intent was not to use the apostrophe to signify Possessive?

120 RF's Forum

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 14:41
Except for pluralizing individual lowercase letters, an apostrophe shouldn't be used to pluralize - no "camera's", "horse's", or "bumblebee's", no matter how beautiful the typography seems. After the apostrophe, one of the most glaring mistakes in English language usage on the Internet is the confusion between "advice" and "advise". I advise forum members to follow the advice on this forum, especially about capitalizing after a semicolon.

This is the most protracted discussion of English grammar I've had since high school, many, many decades ago. Aspirin anyone?

Yes, but the American language doesn't distinguish between practise (verb) and practice (noun), or tyre and tire, or kerb and curb, so maybe it's just evolution. And WHY can't Americans spell "mediaeval"? Or indeed, pronounce it? As "meddi-evil", not "muh-deeval". Why do they omit the 'i' in "fertile" or "missile", which in English are are pronounced the way they spelled, "fur-tile" and "miss-isle", not "furtle" and "missal" (the latter, of course, a perfectly good word for a holy song-book)?

For that matter, what happened to the 'l' in "vulnerable" in English? When did it become 'vunnerable'? And why have the English such a taking against "gotten", denouncing it as a vile Americanism, when it has merely fallen into desuetude in its mother land, and the American usage is perfectly clear; more traditional; and (arguably) allows a more subtle distinction of meaning?

It's all evolution, except where it's divergence and the evolution of dialects (as in the separation of Spanish and Portuguese -- "a language is a dialect with armed forces.") I quite like diversity, but I also get a bit pissed off with both Americans and English people who fail to acknowledge that the two languages do not have common rules and usages (which I have done myself above, but at least I have the original spelling on my side).

Cheers,

R.

sepiareverb
11-13-2011, 14:43
And WHY can't Americans spell "mediaeval"? Or indeed, pronounce it? As "meddi-evil", not "muh-deeval". And why do they omit the 'i' in "fertile" or "missile", which in English are are pronounced the way they spelled, "fur-tile" and "miss-isle", not "furtle" and "missal"...

Partly because education in the US revolves around saving money. And partly dialect.

mto'brien
11-13-2011, 14:58
You think general apostrophe misuse is bad? Pfffft. Try having one in your last name. Computers have been systematically robbing the apostrophe from my last name over the past decade. They often won't allow an apostrophe when filling out a form on a computer resulting in an invalid character message in big upper case red letters. Who you calling an invalid character? My DL now shows my last name as Obrien. Most computer mail I receive is addressed to someone named Matthew O. Brien or Matthew Obrien. It's O'Brien, you asshat computers, capital O, apostrophe, capital B, lower case r, i, e, and n. That apostrophe is about all my great grandfather left Ireland with way back when, now the man stole it. *******'s!

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 15:06
You think general apostrophe misuse is bad? Pfffft. Try having one in your last name. Computers have been systematically robbing the apostrophe from my last name over the past decade. They often won't allow an apostrophe when filling out a form on a computer resulting in an invalid character message in big upper case red letters. Who you calling an invalid character? My DL now shows my last name as Obrien. Most computer mail I receive is addressed to someone named Matthew O. Brien or Matthew Obrien. It's O'Brien, you asshat computers, capital O, apostrophe, capital B, lower case r, i, e, and n. That apostrophe is about all my great grandfather left Ireland with way back when, now the man stole it. *******'s!
Dear Matt,

At least SOME people know about O-apostrophe. One of my history teachers at school was called Charlie I'Anson. Scandinavian in origin, as far as I recall. Must have been even more fun than O'Brien.

You must get a lot of O'Brians, too.

Or for that matter, even without apostrophes, my wife, Frances Schultz, frequently gets Francis instead of Frances, followed by Shulz, Shultz, Schulz... And I get tired of my name being spelled Rodger.

Cheer's,

R.

gb hill
11-13-2011, 15:08
What happened to discussing gear on Sunday's...or is that Sundays.:)

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 15:16
What happened to discussing gear on Sunday's...or is that Sundays.:)
Dear Greg,

We just discu's other things...

Cheer's,

R.

mto'brien
11-13-2011, 15:16
I think I may have figured it out: Is it possible that when a computer steals an apostrophe from a name like mine or Mr. I'Anson's, it shows up somewhere where it oughtn't be. Like, for instance, in "it's" when the user does not mean "it is", but intends it as a possessive. A homeless apostrophe may even end up invading a thread title... E'Gad.

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 15:21
I think I may have figured it out: Is it possible that when a computer steals an apostrophe from a name like mine or Mr. I'Anson's, it shows up somewhere where it oughtn't be. Like, for instance, in "it's" when the user does not mean "it is", but intends it as a possessive. A homeless apostrophe may even end up invading a thread title... E'Gad.

Dear Matt,

This is like the Ankh-Morpork attitude to umlauts/diareses: they regarded it as dangerous to put dots on top of letters in case they fell off and caused unnecessary punctuation.

But to take your idea further:

INVASION OF THE KILLER APOSTROPHE'S.

Cheer's,

R.

Juan Valdenebro
11-13-2011, 15:22
Is it correct to use them in English like this?: "In the 50's, Billie Holiday..." I think in Spanish it's a correct use after numbers, to avoid thinking the "s" is a "5"...

Cheers,

Juan

mto'brien
11-13-2011, 15:26
NOW THATS S'CARY ROGER!!!

Dear Matt,

This is like the Ankh-Morpork attitude to umlauts/diareses: they regarded it as dangerous to put dots on top of letters in case they fell off and caused unnecessary punctuation.

But to take your idea further:

INVASION OF THE KILLER APOSTROPHE'S.

Cheer's,

R.

Roger Hicks
11-13-2011, 15:27
Is it correct to use them in English like this?: "In the 50's, Billie Holiday..." I think in Spanish it's a correct use after numbers, to avoid thinking the "s" is a "5"...

Cheers,

Juan

Dear Juan,

I think so. Some don't. Another good example is the Rover 105. I had a 105S. I really can't see the excuse for not writing "105's" and "105S's". Then there is the Nikon F2S, to be distinguished from several Nikon F2's.

Cheers,

R.

tedwhite
11-13-2011, 15:30
I have on occasion received letters from other Americans addressed to Ted Whyte, Ted Wyatt, Ted Weite, Ted Waite, and probably other creatively arranged surnames; however, my favorite, received from an Eastern European camera seller. was to Mr. Feodor Weiss.

paulfish4570
11-13-2011, 15:50
this thread is a hoot; most fun i've had today.

__hh
11-13-2011, 16:04
Check your title - it's also grammatically incorrect ;)

raid
11-13-2011, 16:08
That is what I meant in my posting above.
apostrophe is for singular, while apostrophes is for plural.
apostrophe's is for possessive.

Keith
11-13-2011, 16:08
Glad that's been sorted!

Now what do we do about the mod who refuses to use capitals?

:D

FrankS
11-13-2011, 16:26
Burn the heretic!


Oh, sorry. This isn't the inquisition?

filmfan
11-13-2011, 16:28
I usually prefer knowing what I'm talking about before I speak/type. But that's just me...

ajuk
11-13-2011, 16:28
RF doesn't end with S.

The fact that the s is lower case suffices to show it's not part of the acronym.

I believe the apostrophe is correct in RF's because as blindrobert said, it's an abbreviation, and the apostrophe stands for the missing letters in rangefinders.
Really? I explained why that isn't the case in my first post.

The only reason why I started this thread was because I was bored, I thought it was a genuine error, one I used to make myself until about 2 years ago.

rbiemer
11-13-2011, 16:39
INVASION OF THE KILLER APOSTROPHE'S.

Cheer's,

R.

Invasion of the Killer Apostrophe's what...:D

Apostrophes can be troublesome and commas can be so as well:

http://http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lroa0m44Ap1qab8zco1_500.jpg

Rob

Keith
11-13-2011, 16:51
Grammar and punctuation etc are moving targets and are being heavily influenced by social media ... they will change as they will and we have to accept it.

You won't find the term 'LOL' in our written language's history ... but you see it everywhere now and we all know exactly what it means!

igi
11-13-2011, 16:58
I still think OMs are better than FMs

Brian Sweeney
11-13-2011, 17:00
Yes, but if a quote is the last portion of a sentance, does the "." go inside the quotes or outside of the quotes?

The teacher said "the period goes outside the quote."

vs

The teacher said "the period goes outside the quote".

England or the US?

African or European swallow?

It was just so much easier to talk with people instead of using the Internet. 4th grade was a long time ago, but I am getting a refresher course in 7th grade math.

DNG
11-13-2011, 17:01
I believe the apostrophe is correct in RF's because as blindrobert said, it's an abbreviation, and the apostrophe stands for the missing letters in rangefinders.

Yes, an apostrophe can take take of missing letters

Don't = Do Not
Doesn't = Does Not

I think on an acronym, apostrophe "S" is appropriate.

FrankS
11-13-2011, 17:02
Yes, but if a quote is the last portion of a sentance, does the "." go inside the quotes or outside of tthe quotes.

The teacher said "the period goes outside the quote."

vs

The teacher said "the period goes outside the quote".

It was just so much easier to talk with people instead of using the Internet. 4th grade was a long time ago, but I am getting a refresher course in 7th grade math.


In this instance there is a difference between the British English and the American English.

DNG
11-13-2011, 17:03
Yes, but if a quote is the last portion of a sentance, does the "." go inside the quotes or outside of the quotes?

The teacher said "the period goes outside the quote."

vs

The teacher said "the period goes outside the quote".

England or the US?

African or European?

It was just so much easier to talk with people instead of using the Internet. 4th grade was a long time ago, but I am getting a refresher course in 7th grade math.

I was taught that the "Period" goes after the "". to end the quote.

Keith
11-13-2011, 17:04
I still think OMs are better than FMs


And that's all that really matters here!

Brian Sweeney
11-13-2011, 17:04
I remembered that and edited the post.

Now, which is which?

Keith
11-13-2011, 17:06
And let's not forget Australian english where we take the best from Anglo and US styles and mutilate it to suit ourselves! :D

DNG
11-13-2011, 17:06
Yes, OMs are better than FMs

Brian Sweeney
11-13-2011, 17:08
And remember that the only way to get FORTRAN to output an apostrophe is to use a Hollerith constant or load 27h into a valriable and use an A descriptor in the Format statement to print it.

I hate printing apostrophes.

back alley
11-13-2011, 17:10
yes, but is it art?

back alley
11-13-2011, 17:10
or is it art's?

back alley
11-13-2011, 17:10
or arts'?



.

Spavinaw
11-13-2011, 17:12
I use the 's. Why? Because I grew up seeing it done that way. My Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, 1938, says: Plural of a letter, figure, sign, etc. To express the plural of a letter, figure, or any character or sign, or of a word mentioned without regard to its meaning, the letter s generally preceded by the apostrophe, is appended; as in, the two l's in all; the two 00's in 400; he uses too many if's. Some writers omit the apostrophe.
So there you have it. Seems in 1938 the 's was more generally used but the apostrophe could be omitted. Is it the other way around today? I don't know. Does it matter. NO!
Now on to more important questions such as: Is it a, b , c, and d or a, b, c and d. Comma before the "and" or not? Have at it!

jwnash1
11-13-2011, 17:21
I finally understand what apostrophe has to do with photography:
http://www.apostrophe.net/

gnuyork
11-13-2011, 17:25
... but it's not it's just RF.

If you want to nitpick aren't you missing a comma here?;)

SolaresLarrave
11-13-2011, 17:29
Please, someone correct the title of this thread!! :eek:

TNX! ;)

rbiemer
11-13-2011, 17:35
Spavinaw, see the link in my post above for my take on the comma issue.

This is a fun thread, but we haven't yet talked about the use uf quotation marks for "emphasis"...that's the one that really bugs me!
Rob

hteasley
11-13-2011, 17:40
Different style guides treat apostrophes differently, in cases similar to that which started this thread. And to be completely and utterly pedantic, RF is not an acronym, it is an initialism. Laser and scuba were acronyms (they're simply words now, eschewing the capitalization and punctuation quirks of acronyms altogether), AIDS and NATO are acronyms, while RF and USB are initialisms.

I'm a fan of the Mariners (yes, they suck; no one realizes this more than me) and people call them the M's. Punctuation is an unspoken convention to make written meaning clear, and there is no method of writing M's that helps clarity if one removes the apostrophe.

Benjamin Marks
11-13-2011, 17:48
There is an exception to the general rule (possessives/contractions) when omission would cause confusion: The Oakland A's (not the Oakland As), "mind your p's and q's" not "mind your ps and qs" etc. If you want to talk about words or letters ("the number of as's in the sentence," e.g. not "the number of ass (or ases)" there is no other way to do it.

Ben

djcphoto
11-13-2011, 18:14
Im confused.

robklurfield
11-13-2011, 19:46
I can hardly think of a more Sisyphean task than correcting grammar, spelling syntax, punctuation or other usage issues on an Internet forum. Good luck with that.

Pluraleyes:

From http://oxforddictionaries.com/page/punctuationapostrophe

Apostrophes and plural forms

The general rule is that you should not use an apostrophe to form the plurals of nouns, abbreviations, or dates made up of numbers: just add -s (or -es, if the noun in question forms its plural with -es). For example:

euro
euros
(e.g. The cost of the trip is 570 euros.)
pizza
pizzas
(e.g. Traditional Italian pizzas are thin and crisp.)
apple
apples
(e.g. She buys big bags of organic apples and carrots.)
MP
MPs
(e.g. Local MPs are divided on this issue.)
1990
1990s
(e.g. The situation was different in the 1990s.)

It's very important to remember this grammatical rule.

There are one or two cases in which it is acceptable to use an apostrophe to form a plural, purely for the sake of clarity:

you can use an apostrophe to show the plurals of single letters:I've dotted the i's and crossed the t's.
Find all the p's in appear.

you can use an apostrophe to show the plurals of single numbers:Find all the number 7’s.

These are the only cases in which it is generally considered acceptable to use an apostrophe to form plurals: remember that an apostrophe should never be used to form the plural of ordinary nouns, names, abbreviations, or numerical dates.


BUT, of course, usage "rules" weren't handed down on stone tablets from above, but rather contrived over many years of speaking and writing, evolving and being codified and debated by grammarians and the rest of us. And it ain't doe evolving yet.

This entire thread is a hoot.

rpsawin
11-13-2011, 19:49
or is it art's?

I bumped into Art this afternoon and he did not mention it....

Bob

Pablito
11-13-2011, 20:07
Im confused.

no, confuse'd

randolph45
11-13-2011, 20:37
Must learn English:rolleyes:

Roger Hicks
11-14-2011, 01:09
Invasion of the Killer Apostrophe's what...:D

Apostrophes can be troublesome and commas can be so as well:

http://http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lroa0m44Ap1qab8zco1_500.jpg

Rob

Dear Rob,

It's an infinite regression:

Invasion of the Killer Apostrophe's Apostrophe's Apostrophe's Apostrophe's Apostrophe's Apostrophe's Apostrophe's Apostrophe's Apo...

Cheers,

R.

kossi008
11-14-2011, 01:16
Wow. 4 pages in 14 hours, on an absolutely non-photography-related subject. You guys never fail to amaze me. And please don't start commenting on any possible misuse of hyphens in my post...

Keith
11-14-2011, 01:19
I think this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4qii8S3gw) sums up punctuation nicely! :D

Gabriel M.A.
11-14-2011, 01:29
It's all evolution, except where it's divergence and the evolution of dialects (as in the separation of Spanish and Portuguese -- "a language is a dialect with armed forces.")

Oh...don't get me started on Spanish vs. Portuguese. :o


I quite like diversity, but I also get a bit pissed off with both Americans and English people who fail to acknowledge that the two languages do not have common rules and usages (which I have done myself above, but at least I have the original spelling on my side).


Many people are too proud to acknowledge that they just lack a good foundation to speak and/or write their native language, and use the "language evolves" defense. One thing is to "evolve" and another to "devolve", which of course will be dismissed as "elitist" (another defense).

Since some didn't have the benefit of being taught, they didn't have the benefit of learning the difference between being corrected and being attacked.

It's been known that American English and "British" English have diverged since the former colonies went their own way, although that's not evident to those who weren't taught such facts.

The only thing one can do is realize when and who takes a correction for what it is and not as an attack and move along.

And others, recognize when a sarcastic joke is just a joke ("apostrophe's to plauralise"). Their just joke's!

Gabriel M.A.
11-14-2011, 01:32
I think this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4qii8S3gw) sums up punctuation nicely! :D


As long as nobody does that when a cop pulls you over!

Roger Hicks
11-14-2011, 01:50
Many people are too proud to acknowledge that they just lack a good foundation to speak and/or write their native language, and use the "language evolves" defense. One thing is to "evolve" and another to "devolve", which of course will be dismissed as "elitist" (another defense).


Dear Gabriel,

Eminently true, but that doesn't stop the fact that language does evolve, and that many "style" manuals are unduly worshipped (or of course worshiped) by their adherents, for no very convincing reason. I've always thought it amusing that a book published in Chicago (at least, I assume it's published there) presumes to lay down rules for the use of English.

As for "Don't get me started on", yes, don't get me started on bloody "House Style". Half the "rules" in any "house style" are based on empty prejudices learned at the age of eleven from a teacher who seems sometimes to have been semi-literate. How about the argument that "further" and "farther" have different meanings, rather than being regional variations?

My own prejudice on punctuation, for example, is that to a considerable extent you can relate it to speech, and the length of pause or emphasis a given mark introduces: full stop (period) = longest and strongest; colon, next down; semi-colon, next down; comma, shortest and weakest. It's convention and convenience that we use a semi-colon instead of a colon in a list like the one in the last sentence, as the colon starts the list.

I'm not that keen on Lynne Truss but I did find Eats, Shoots and Leaves amusing.

Cheers,

R.

jonmanjiro
11-14-2011, 01:51
I was curious to find out what plauralise meant, so I googled (http://www.google.com/search?q=plauralise&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a) it. The first few hits are this very thread :eek:

Sparrow
11-14-2011, 02:00
I was curious to find out what plauralise meant, so I googled (http://www.google.com/search?q=plauralise&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a) it. The first few hits are this very thread :eek:

I assumed plauralise was one of those new world words that we often missunderestimate this side of the pond ...

Griffin
11-14-2011, 04:04
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling

B.J.Scharp
11-14-2011, 07:37
I always found this one strangely educational:

http://www.angryflower.com/aposter3.jpg

jsrockit
11-14-2011, 07:48
What in da shiz in goin on in dis piece?

Gabriel M.A.
11-14-2011, 08:13
Eminently true, but that doesn't stop the fact that language does evolve, and that many "style" manuals are unduly worshipped (or of course worshiped) by their adherents, for no very convincing reason. I've always thought it amusing that a book published in Chicago (at least, I assume it's published there) presumes to lay down rules for the use of English.


The reasons for "language evolution" are many. But many "faults" are being dismissed as "evolution".

I remember as far back as the early 1990s, when chat rooms were all the rage: spelling and grammar were already nearly defunct (and by today's standards, they were not so bad, unfortunately). This was mainly due to the fact that the majority of users were very young kids, of course too young to know the subtleties of punctuation and spelling (I remember somebody calling Charles Manson a "cereal killer"...no, it was not meant as a joke). Not to mention that smileys had not yet been invented, and having had already noticed that tone doesn't really translate well on a glowing screen, came up with LOL, ROFL, BRB, etc. Russian spy network code, for sure...

Then, of course, being far behind the curve, the older people, who dismissed computers as either something secretaries use or something that kids use as expensive toys, once they "discovered" the Internet (like many now "discover" mobile computing and texting) they saw this Wild Wild Digital West, and reported back to their exploratory committees that spelling and punctuation didn't matter, when in fact was a symptom (well, the lack of was a symptom) of the dominant demographics.

Add a few cups of multiple recessions, decades of education budget slashing, and set the oven to schoolboard political hijacking to High, and voila, the intertoobes are an eyesore. Claiming so is taken as a personal attack by many.

This is not evolution, it's devolution.

Evolution is having new words as "e-mail" and "byte", and making "Google" and "friend" a verb (more commonly used as a gerund).

Vics
11-14-2011, 08:22
I'm glad someone finally brought this up! Misused apostrophes kinda drive me nuts, too.

ChrisPlatt
11-14-2011, 09:04
Where the hell's my Warriner's?

Chris

Sparrow
11-14-2011, 10:45
Would that Robert Robinson were still with us ...

DamenS
11-14-2011, 11:53
I thought apostrophes were used to pluralize lowercase letters and abbreviations containing internal punctuation or abbreviations ending with the letter S:

He holds two Ph.D.'s.l
Three x's in a row wins.
They sent SOS's over three frequencies.

No?

Yes, this part of your statement is correct. Acronyms/abbreviations use an apostrophe prior to the "s" in order to denote the plural form - or maybe they don't ... Im just thanking God I didn't use the word "connote" rather than denote, eh, might had had us all choking on our breakfast muffins !!


Then again, with a surname that ends in 's' (correct possessive "Roger Hicks's camera") I am accustomed to "Roger Hicks' camera" and even "Roger Hick's camera".
R.

Roger Hicks's camera would be the accepted convention, though I personally believe Roger Hicks' camera would also be acceptable, but ah pity da fool who shortchanges your name an "s" by writing Roger Hick's camera !!

You think general apostrophe misuse is bad? Pfffft. Try having one in your last name. It's O'Brien, you asshat computers, capital O, apostrophe, capital B, lower case r, i, e, and n.

O'Dear - that's no good !

PS. What is a "plauralise" ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM&feature=related

wolves3012
11-14-2011, 12:47
I believe the apostrophe is correct in RF's because as blindrobert said, it's an abbreviation, and the apostrophe stands for the missing letters in rangefinders.
Hardly "missing letters" - it should just be RF here, not RFF. Rangefinder is one word so its (no apostrophe) abbreviation ought to be just R. Unless, of course, you argue it's (apostrophised correctly) a "Range-Finder" i.e. a finder of ranges.

Since English isn't the first language of many on here and since the standards have declined so that non-speakers (well, writers) are confused enough to think anything ending in "s" has a mandatory apostrophe; well I think we ought to allow leeway!

Apostrophes signify possessive or contractions (not abbreviations, a period is used there) is what I believe is correct. They are never used to pluralise or simply because a word ends in an "s".

http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/

Paulbe
11-14-2011, 12:56
This has been an amazingly educational thread!
No solid conclusions, but surely some interesting stuff.
Whoda thought an apostrophe could be so controversial...??? :-)
Paul

wolves3012
11-14-2011, 13:14
...Or indeed, pronounce it? As "meddi-evil", not "muh-deeval". Why do they omit the 'i' in "fertile" or "missile", which in English are are pronounced the way they spelled, "fur-tile" and "miss-isle", not "furtle" and "missal"...
While we're at it - why can recent US presidents not say "nuclear" rather than "nucular"? Couldn't resist adding that one! Not a pop at americans.

mto'brien
11-14-2011, 13:27
By the way, I believe the proper pluralization of the word apostrophe is apostrophi. The act of using apostrophi is apostrofication, present tense verb of apostrophi is apostrofying, past tense would, then, of course, be apostrofied. Do keep in mind that the ph is changed to an f as an exception when speaking of the verb and not he noun.

Hope that helps!

Ezzie
11-14-2011, 13:28
But where do you put the apostrophe when you get mixed up in a possessive plural compound?

wolves3012
11-14-2011, 13:40
The reasons for "language evolution" are many. But many "faults" are being dismissed as "evolution".

I remember as far back as the early 1990s, when chat rooms were all the rage: spelling and grammar were already nearly defunct (and by today's standards, they were not so bad, unfortunately). This was mainly due to the fact that the majority of users were very young kids, of course too young to know the subtleties of punctuation and spelling (I remember somebody calling Charles Manson a "cereal killer"...no, it was not meant as a joke). Not to mention that smileys had not yet been invented, and having had already noticed that tone doesn't really translate well on a glowing screen, came up with LOL, ROFL, BRB, etc. Russian spy network code, for sure...

Then, of course, being far behind the curve, the older people, who dismissed computers as either something secretaries use or something that kids use as expensive toys, once they "discovered" the Internet (like many now "discover" mobile computing and texting) they saw this Wild Wild Digital West, and reported back to their exploratory committees that spelling and punctuation didn't matter, when in fact was a symptom (well, the lack of was a symptom) of the dominant demographics.

Add a few cups of multiple recessions, decades of education budget slashing, and set the oven to schoolboard political hijacking to High, and voila, the intertoobes are an eyesore. Claiming so is taken as a personal attack by many.

This is not evolution, it's devolution.

Evolution is having new words as "e-mail" and "byte", and making "Google" and "friend" a verb (more commonly used as a gerund).
+1 on most of that. However, a large part of the blame can be laid at the door of a certain large software corporation, whose products dominate world-wide. When their spelling and grammar checkers are littered with errors (and yes, they are) it's no wonder that so few people have a grasp of anything near correct English (American or British style), especially if it's not their mother tongue. Some things are open to interpretation, variation and local styles. Some things are plain *wrong* and yet still are perpetrated and perpetuated by these laughingly-called "checkers".

Roger Hicks
11-15-2011, 03:11
The reasons for "language evolution" are many. But many "faults" are being dismissed as "evolution".

Evolution is having new words as "e-mail" and "byte", and making "Google" and "friend" a verb (more commonly used as a gerund).

Very true. But equally, there are spelling evolutions too, which often start as flat errors, e.g. the 's' in 'isle', a pointless Renaissance latinization.

Some decades ago, I heard an American academic point out (on linguistic evolution, with modest wit) "There ain't no English that can't be verbed."

Did you learn at school the wonderful mnemonic for distinguishing participles and gerunds? Pa likes gin? Participle [is] adjective, gerund is noun.

Cheers,

R.

robklurfield
11-15-2011, 07:34
The language mavens and grammar police among us like to codify rules and flog the rest of us for ignoring them, whilst the lazy or uneducated among us like to flout the rules. And, worst of all, are those of us who choose to decamp simultaneously in both camps.

blindrobert
11-15-2011, 08:18
I believe the apostrophe is correct in RF's because as blindrobert said, it's an abbreviation, and the apostrophe stands for the missing letters in rangefinders.

Respectfully, that isn't what I meant.

I agree that the apostrophe is superfluous in RFF's. There don't appear to be any definitive rules on this now that I research it a bit more. The correctness of a particular usage depends on what manual of style you use (MLA, Turabian, AP, and let's not forget the green grocer manual of style which indicates an apostrophe whenever in doubt).

blindrobert
11-15-2011, 08:20
But where do you put the apostrophe when you get mixed up in a possessive plural compound?

You better use two, just to be on the safe side.

Roger Hicks
11-15-2011, 08:51
The language mavens and grammar police among us like to codify rules and flog the rest of us for ignoring them, whilst the lazy or uneducated among us like to flout the rules. And, worst of all, are those of us who choose to decamp simultaneously in both camps.

Why would anyone want to be perceived as illiterate? Language is a wonderful, flexible, marvellous tool, and deliberately using it sloppily and without thought is like banging in a screw with a hammer.

Mostly I try to stay out of language police debates, for at least six reasons. One is that I quite often have a slight idea of what I'm talking about, which sometimes gives me an unfair advantage. The second is that sloppy, slangy English can be used to great effect, as long as you're doing it deliberately: ain't no-one can argue 'bout that.

The third is that for many here, English (or even American) is not their first language, and constructions can be very different, quite apart from treacherous (or even teacherous) spellings. The fourth is that consistent spelling is a relatively recent innovation, owing most of its existence to the emergence of dictionaries in the 18th century, and sometimes I prefer the old spellings.

The fifth is that my internet keyboard doesn't spell anything like as well as I do. Even if I were a better typist, it would still drop letters and miss capitals. Trying to find a decent QWERTY keyboard is difficult enough in England. In France, where they use AZERTY, it's well-nigh impossible. I bought this one in Spain!

The sixth is that when I try to look clever, I'm likely to fall flat on my face. This is especially true if I am trying to correct someone else, as the original poster demonstrated with 'plauralize'. I'm not even keen on 'pluralize', though the OED traces it back to 1803. I'd prefer, "You don't make plurals with apostrophes". Incidentally, I've never encountered any other plural than 'apostrophes': I'd be grateful if an earlier poster could provide a reference for his alternatives to the common plural with 's'.

Cheers,

R.

MikeL
11-15-2011, 09:09
Mostly I try to stay out of language police debates, for at least six reasons.

That's fine Roger, but do the six reasons outweigh your desire to debate? :)

(and yes, I'm expecting debate on this)

Sparrow
11-15-2011, 09:14
That's fine Roger, but do the six reasons outweigh your desire to debate? :)

(and yes, I'm expecting debate on this)

Well at least there's only one thing on the agenda now ...

Roger Hicks
11-15-2011, 11:21
That's fine Roger, but do the six reasons outweigh your desire to debate? :)

(and yes, I'm expecting debate on this)

Dear Mike,

Well, as I said, MOSTLY...

(On this subject, anyway.)

Cheers,

R.

MikeL
11-15-2011, 11:43
Dear Mike,

Well, as I said, MOSTLY...

(On this subject, anyway.)

Cheers,

R.

;)

Apostrophe's? I'm happy when students write sentences with a subject and a predicate.

Roger Hicks
11-15-2011, 11:46
Or as one of Frances's students said once, at Cal State Long Beach, California, "What's a SENTENCE?"

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
11-15-2011, 11:53
I understand with absolute certainty the use of the apostrophe in the FORTRAN language.

With English, it's not so absolute.

But most humans do not respond with:

120 RF's Forum
-------^--------
Error. Unrecognized syntax at this point. Illegal use of apostrophe or unintended possessive case invocation.

Usually they get the idea.

tjh
11-15-2011, 12:01
I understand with absolute certainty the use of the apostrophe in the FORTRAN language.

With English, it's not so absolute.

But most humans do not respond with:

120 RF's Forum
-------^--------
Error. Unrecognized syntax at this point. Illegal use of apostrophe or unintended possessive case invocation.

Usually they get the idea.

As an old FORTRAN programmer, the effect of your advice was to affect how I advise .... oh well, best to drop this topic and discuss something really important, like if the Leica M10 will have a built-in beer tap and, if not, will interchangeable taps be available as an option.

segedi
11-15-2011, 12:20
What a fun thread!

I've watched this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4c5v-cj2LA
Found it very informative, and it partially explains why Brits can pronounce French words well. It does not explain their horrid pronunciation of Spanish and Italian however. Nor does it go over apostrophes.

And this one seems interesting too:
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/story-of-english/

To be cont'd...

segedi
11-15-2011, 12:21
As an old FORTRAN programmer, the effect of your advice was to affect how I advise .... oh well, best to drop this topic and discuss something really important, like if the Leica M10 will have a built-in beer tap and, if not, will interchangeable taps be available as an option.

The only tap available will be one that drains one's bank account!

ajuk
11-15-2011, 14:55
I wish I hadn't started this thread, I should have done a thread noting that the emoticons aren't right for the board (anti-aliased for white) and then mentioned this at the end.

Yes, this part of your statement is correct. Acronyms/abbreviations use an apostrophe prior to the "s" in order to denote the plural form - or maybe they don't ... Im just thanking God I didn't use the word "connote" rather than denote, eh, might had had us all choking on our breakfast muffins !!



Roger Hicks's camera would be the accepted convention, though I personally believe Roger Hicks' camera would also be acceptable, but ah pity da fool who shortchanges your name an "s" by writing Roger Hick's camera !!
I'd put "James' camera", but I'd also write it as Chris's camera for a name like Chris.

Brian Sweeney
11-15-2011, 15:08
Well, if you had asked about using apostrophes in FORTRAN, we would have a definitive answer.

But- I think most everyone here had a light-hearted view of this thread, and several laughs.

I could not find a Backus-Naur Form for the English language. I did try to find one on the web. I knew that at least one was done many years ago. BNF would have explained it all.

eric rose
11-15-2011, 15:13
This message proudly brought to you and paid for by the Friends of the Apostrophe.

David Hughes
11-20-2011, 13:55
I'm still looking for the acronym in "120 RF's" and can't see it.

Regards, David

35mmdelux
11-20-2011, 14:04
your correct of course!

tomalophicon
11-20-2011, 14:34
I'm still looking for the acronym in "120 RF's" and can't see it.

Regards, David

Keep looking, you'll find it.
Or is that an initialism?
Or is it an abbreviation?

Brian Sweeney
11-20-2011, 16:04
I'm still looking for the acronym in "120 RF's" and can't see it.

Regards, David

It's not a TLA. It's the much less common TLA...
Two Letter Acronym, not a Three Letter Acronym.

David Hughes
11-21-2011, 03:52
OK, how do you pronounce the acronym "RF" as a word? I can say that well known acronym "NATO" as a word, which is the test, but "RF" is just a plain old-fashioned abbreviation.

Regards, David

Brian Sweeney
11-21-2011, 04:03
It is pronounced "RF", ask any dog.

There are many acronyms that just get "spelled" out. At a meeting in the early 90's about optical networks, some one used the acronyms "SAR" and "ATM". "SAR" was pronouced as "sor" as in sorry, and "ATM" was just "A-T-M". I looked at him and asked "Why are we discussing putting synthetic aperture RADAR on an automatic teller machine?"

After that, no more TLA's at the meeting. So- many "TLA", just the letters get spelled out, like "R-F".

tomalophicon
11-21-2011, 04:14
OK, how do you pronounce the acronym "RF" as a word? I can say that well known acronym "NATO" as a word, which is the test, but "RF" is just a plain old-fashioned abbreviation.

Regards, David

In my opinion it's an initialism that's been mistakenly issued to single word, thought to be two words.

David Hughes
11-21-2011, 08:43
It is pronounced "RF", ask any dog.


Well, I dunno. Our dog is clever enough to be able to bark in French, German (Low & High) and Welsh but that stumped him. But you should have seen the way he rolled his eyes and looked up at the ceiling when he read your post...

Regards, David

ajuk
11-21-2011, 18:26
'90s not 90's :p

ajuk
07-10-2012, 17:16
I wish I hadn't started a thread on this, although I like the fact that even though I pointed out the error they didn't correct it.

Keith
07-10-2012, 17:23
I've been up all night reading the entire archive of RFF threads and individual posts.

Not once did incorrect use of an apostrophe cause me to misinterpret a post or its meaning. :D

sepiareverb
07-11-2012, 04:25
Being American and of a certain age I have no idea how to use punctuation or grammar. I do read a lot, but never have managed to get any of that sorted out as to right & wrong.

rxmd
07-11-2012, 04:42
Here's my favourite joke on punctuation:

A panda walks into a bar. He orders a sandwich, eats it, orders the bill, and as the waiter brings it to him he draws a gun and calmly shoots the waiter. Then he slowly gets up and turns to leave.

"Why?" asks the barman, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"I'm a panda", he says, at the door. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. "Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

David Hughes
07-13-2012, 04:41
Hi,

Just read the thread again. Then picked up my copy of "Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press Oxford" and found this rule at the first page I looked at:-

"3. Do not use an apostrophe in - Golders Green, Bury St. Edmunds ... "

So I guess that not only are there rules for different countries but also for different towns.

Regards, David

PS Here's some free ones to insert as necessary ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''.

David Hughes
07-13-2012, 04:44
yes, but is it art?

Hi,

Well, I don't give a 'art if it is or isn't. I knows what I like...

Regards, David

greyelm
07-13-2012, 04:53
It's sometimes difficult to know if a word needs its apostrophe.

.... _
07-23-2012, 00:49
It's sometimes difficult to know if a word needs its apostrophe.

Sure is. How about Messsucher for example, three esses and not an apostrophe to be seen. Mind you, RF is an abreviation of Messsucher so maybe one should be in there somewhere but infact since rangefinder is a single word the error is having two effs in the site logo. It should have been RF's I think since F's is an abreviation of Forums. Did someone say that already...

p.s. and another thing, "120 RF's" should be "120 R's" as an abbreviation. So its wrong whether you think "120 RF's" should have an apostrophe or not :p