Friday, January 30, 2009

We can't blame the Canadians this time.

"England's second-largest city has decided to drop apostrophes from all its street signs, saying they're confusing and old-fashioned."

Oh, and the rehabilitation of Amy Whorehouse is a more rewarding cause worth hanging on to? She may not be old-fashioned, but she sure is confusing.

I'm working on my degree in English. I'm a word nerd. I love my commas. And I totally believe in starting sentences with the words And and But. Apostrophes have always been a punctuation-phobe's worst nightmare, especially when the possessive ends with the letter S. *shudder* No. Apostrophes are not my friends. But does this mean that we should kick them to the curb because we don't feel like dealing with them? Pluto suffered from the same curb-kickin' not too long ago. As did the Republicans. It doesn't mean we don't need them! I've always been a huge fan of Pluto. (And Republicans, for that matter.)

"Apostrophes denote possessions that are no longer accurate, and are not needed. More importantly, they confuse people. If I want to go to a restaurant, I don't want to have an A-level (high school diploma) in English to find it."

What kind of retarded statement is that? Is this person implying that the residents of Birmingham are not smart enough to find a lousy restaurant even though these same British fools found Plymouth Rock without a damn Tom-Tom? And even learned how to spell Massachusetts?

*I do not know how to spell Massac...whatever. I totally had to copy/paste.

Anyway, thank God for Marie Claire who says, "They are such sweet-looking things that play a crucial role in the English language. It's always worth taking the effort to understand them, instead of ignoring them."

Wouldn't you agree? I mean, taxes are old-fashioned and confusing but the American public spends a buttload of money and time on their vain attempts to learn more about getting/not getting ripped off by the government. Why don't we get rid of taxes instead? Keep the apostrophe!

Lynn Truss, author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves, said, "Those spineless types who talk about abolishing the apostrophe are missing the point, and the pun is very much intended."

More fun with the English language:

1. Always avoid alliteration.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. Avoid cliches like the plague--they're old hat.
4. Employ the vernacular.
5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
7. Parenthetical words however must be enclosed in commas.
8. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
9. Contractions aren't necessary.
10. Do not use a foreign word when there is an adequate English quid pro quo.
11. One should never generalize.
12. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
14. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
15. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
16. It behooves you to avoid archaic expressions.
17. Avoid archaeic spellings too.
18. Understatement is always best.
19. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
20. One-word sentences? Eliminate. Always!
21. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
22. The passive voice should not be used.
23. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
24. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
25. Who needs rhetorical questions?
26. Don't use commas, that, are not, necessary.
27. Do not use hyperbole; not one in a million can do it effectively.
28. Never use a big word when a diminutive alternative would suffice.
28. Subject and verb always has to agree.
29. Be more or less specific.
30. Placing a comma between subject and predicate, is not correct.
31. Use youre spell chekker to avoid mispeling and to catch typograhpical errers.
32. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
33. Don't be redundant.
34. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
35. Don't never use no double negatives.
36. Poofread carefully to see if you any words out.
37. Hopefully, you will use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
38. Eschew obfuscation.
39. No sentence fragments.
40. Don't indulge in sesquipedalian lexicological constructions.
41. A writer must not shift your point of view.
42. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
43. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
44. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
45. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
46. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
47. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
48. Always pick on the correct idiom.
49. The adverb always follows the verb.
50. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
51. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
52. And always be sure to finish what


Sra said...

I pretty much think I'm in love with you for this post.

Do away with apostrophes? Is that an Onion article? You're putting me on, right? The only time I think apostrophes are confusing is when they are used with pronouns. With pronouns, they are always contractions, and never possessives, but that is the opposite from most other words, hence the confusion. I have to monitor my it's and its very carefully, and I still screw up sometimes, but seriously, it's not so difficult that we should just give up on them for being "archaic".

Geekzilla said...

Very well written and humorous!

Giving up on something just because it's confusing is ridiculous. Should we give up on quantum physics because only a fraction of the population understand it? Should we give up on modern art because it makes no sense to most people? Should we give up on morals to make life easier for everyone? Why don't we just give up on life because it's so hard?


Now... semi-colons... that's another story!

Dena said...

I used a hyperlink in the first paragraph that would lead readers to the article. But I actually saw it in the newspaper this morning. Apparently, it's a big story!

I like semi-colons, commas, apostrophes, and metaphors/similes, but I have yet to get a clear explanation of dangling participles. Hmmph, it's fun to say, though.

Geekzilla said...

I like how my participles dangle. They look quite nice and festive.

Chris said...

This is one of my favorite post of yours. Or is that your's? Yourn? Youins? ;)