December 11th, 2013

WORDS YO

It's the...

...Apopleptic Apostrophe Apologist.

No, I'm not having a stroke. Just thinking about apostrophes and how they're misused. How people forget that if you spell the word "it's," it should mean you're saying either "it is" or "it has" (e.g. "It's been one week since you looked at me..."). How I've never been satisfied with either way of using possessive apostrophes at the end of words with S: is Chris's or Chris' better? I think the first one's redundant, but the second one is inelegant. (Leverage co-creator John Rogers, a fellow person with a name ending in S, won't create character names that end with S precisely so he can avoid that issue.) How I even don't like it when reader boards drop apostrophes, resulting in TODAYS SPECIAL messages at restaurants. (There can't be a plural of "today!" "Today" is always singular! Unless, I guess, you're a Time Lord.)

The thing is, I still cringe a little bit whenever an apostrophe is misused. I'm a grammar nerd, doomed to this. Plus I read SF and fantasy, which is lousy with apostrophes in names. Apparently elves and aliens' languages have lots of glottal stops.

(Quoting Keith DeCandido (kradical) from here: "I actually have a species in my Trek fiction that has multiple glottal stops in their names, so you get things like T'a'a'y'r and Q'o'l'r't'r'e'z'a'k and H'a'e'd't'd'o'i'r and such. I haven't figured anything else out about the species, but I started using those names as a way of saying, "You want apostrophes, I'll fucking give you apostrophes!!!!!" *laughs*")

Anyway, use apostrophes correctly. They aren't going to stab you. Even if they are hanging there, Sword of Damocles-style, over your words.