Monday, July 30, 2007
All my adult life people have fidgeted when I told them I taught English. Many felt obliged to admit that English wasn't their strongest subject, that they couldn't spell, or some other perceived deficiency in reading or writing. I hope I never put somebody who wasn't in my class on the defensive, because I tried never to criticize any adult on his or her speaking or writing. That said, one of my pet peeves inside and outside the classroom is people's problems in using apostrophe S. People confuse plurals (more than one) with possessives (ownership). I admit to having changed signs on marker boards in coffee shops (bagel's $1.00), and to ranting a bit. I tried my best to make thirty three years worth of my students understand how to use an apostrophe correctly, but I suspect some people just don't care. It's just too easy to add an apostrophe any time there is an S at the end of a noun. I took a picture of this sign in Henderson, Kentucky, which massacres both the spelling and the use of apostrophe, and ranted to my husband, and now to you. Serenity now. I feel much better.