Re: apostrophes and possessives and plurals: oh my!

Subject: Re: apostrophes and possessives and plurals: oh my!
From: Michael Lewis <lewism -at- BRANDLE -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 12:21:56 +1100

DURL wrote:

> ... Almost all authorities allow or recommend apostrophes for a third
> use: to
> form the plural
> when it helps to increase sense. (Example:"I got all D's on my tests,"
> not "I got all Ds on my tests.")
> Also, there's (= there is) an increasing tendency in usage (and in some
> authorities)to use the
> apostrophe to
> form the plural in situations like this: 1960's (instead of 1960s); PC's
> (instead of PCs)...

Mary, you're using different authorities than the ones I use. Maybe it's
a localisation issue: in UK and Australia, apostrophes in these plurals
are as bad as apostrophes in any other plurals. In the US, CMOS supports
the "sense" argument, but does not support apostrophes in IOUs or 1920s.
The main reason there's an increasing tendency to use unnecessary
apostrophes is ignorance, not clarity (IMNSHO). I've seen boards outside
electronics shops advertising TVS, VIDEOS, PHONES, FAX'S. I've also seen
variants with apostrophes in any or all of the other words, but why
FAX'S rather than FAXES?
Michael Lewis
Brandle Pty Limited, Sydney, Australia
PO Box 1249, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012
Tel +61-2-9310-2224 ... Fax +61-2-9310-5056, or

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