Thursday, September 17, 2009

Apostrophe Catastrophe

I admit to being a bit of a pedant about apostrophes. Not saying that I get it right myself 100% of the time (I would cop to 99.8% though) but I keep seeing this particular gem cropping up more and more.



"Your" versus "you're". In this instance it's from a clip from the second season of "Project Runway Australia". The tricky old apostrophe of contraction. "Don't". "Can't". "It's". And in the old days, before falling largely out of use, "'phone" or "'bus" even.

Every time I see someone type "your stupid!" on a bulletin board I feel like asking "their stupid what?"

11 comments:

Andrea James said...

Ha! Did you see the letters section of the latest Big Issue? Someone had a really clever poem for its vs it's.

The Other Andrew said...

No I didn't, but it's one that always trips people up. Especially the exception to the rule for the apostrophe of possession!

Ur-spo said...

As I grow older, I become more of a stickler for proper grammar. I think it shows a sign of careful consideration and perhaps good upbringing?

Tom said...

Is there a Facebook group for you! I can recommend "If you don't know the difference between your and you're you deserve to die". :P

Recently as well as spurious apostrophes in plural's I've noticed them in verbs too which really annoy's me. (Did you see what I did there?) ;)

I've given up all hope of finding an Aussie who can cope with plural possession and understands the difference between "the boy's school" and "the boys' school".

PS "its" doesn't break the apostrophe of possession rule as it's a possessive pronoun like his and hers.

The Other Andrew said...

True Tom, but what is confusing to people is that "its" as a possessive LOOKS like it should have an apostrophe of possession because it is the thing belonging to "it". If you get what I mean.

OK, I know I was born in the UK but I was raised and went to school on Oz, the plural possession thing doesn't faze me at all!

rjjs8878 said...

I work with people who have MBA degrees who don't know the difference between there, their and they're. It’s amazing they finished school without learning basic grammar.

Tom said...

Ha ha, you don't count Andrew. You say "You" and not "Youse"!

PS: MBA = Mostly Bloody Awful. ;)

Becky said...

If you find particularly good ones, you can send them to me for the Apostrophe Catastrophes blog.

Michael Guy said...

Like nails on a chalkboard, rather. Grammar errors make me crazy...

Pam said...

Drives me nuts too! When I read your post...notice correct usage here :) I immediately thought of one of my favourite Friends episodes in which Ross & Rachel are breaking up ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLDCb4c1sSE

clydethepenguin said...

The one that does my head in is "stationary" / "stationery". If I ever go crazy and shoot up a shopping centre, it will be because the newsagent spelt the word wrong. Remember: "e" for envelope and "a" for automobile.