Sunday, February 12, 2017

An Apostrophe too far


The Case of the Missing Apostrophe, or an Apostrophe too far.

I read an eoook where a clueless author got her apostrophes wrong EVERY SINGLE TIME! You'd think there'd be a 50% chance of her getting it right, but, no. Simple plurals were well beyond her intellectual grasp. She even wedged apostrophes into words that naturally ended with -s—which made for some very surreal reading pleasure. Not. I was swearing a bluestreak by the time I finished that book. She did not get a very good book review.

You see, I take this stuff seriously. I have dyslexia, and an apostrophe can make or break the meaning in a sentence. So, why are teachers wildly successful with teaching the rampant and errant use of apostrophes every time an S appears on the tail of a word? Clearly no one has a clue as to why they're using them. Other than they must use an apostrophe if there's an S. Hiss. His's? Hiss's?Cats and snakes have better grammar skills than said author.

OK, I looked it up. An apostrophe is a bridge that replaces missing letters or words! Blame it on Chaucer. Like German, olde English nouns in the genitive case picked up an -es to show possession. Mine! Take the genitive forms of Boyes, Mannes, Knyghtes, Kynges and Goddes. Drop the -e, enter the possessive apostrophe. The Kynges speech becomes the King's speech. Quit swearing! Hisses (oh, look, it retained the plural -es stem).

OK, so why did vegetable, and apple get to keep that final -e? Shouldn't it be vegetabl, and appl? Children? Come back! Ms. deVos, please do sit down. Quit polishing that apple. It won't do you any good.

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