Sunday, May 18, 2008

Only YOU can prevent Apostrophe Abuse!!!!!

I'll try not to get soap-boxy here. Has anyone noticed that there has been a seemingly exponential increase in Apostrophe Abuse? Is there perhaps a correlation between Apostrophe Abuse and increased texting or blackberry use? I understand that language often evolves over time, as does communication; and I also appreciate use of brevity when texting or blackberrying.

But - and perhaps I'm old-school here - I still believe that there should remain some pride in one's written word, particularly when it's published. (See how I used that apostrophe there, as a replacement for the "i" in "is", forming a contraction? And earlier in the sentence, for one's, the apostrophe indicates possession?)

I think we have all borne witness to Apostrophe Abuse in local communications - business signs, newspaper ads and the like. But when this starts appearing on a more national level - in magazines, and television - then I feel this is a significant red flag.

When language adapts with communication and technological change, it often adheres to established use, as far as punctuation goes. So, when punctuation changes (incorrectly, at that), does this indicate a tipping point for the general respect for proper grammar? I sure hope not.

YOU can help prevent this scourge by correcting Apostrophe Abuse when you see it - or at least taking the opportunity to educate those who commit the offense. Surely, this abuse is only a matter of educating the offender. I hope.

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