Monday, July 30, 2007

Grammar Guerilla

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.


Sharon said...

This is amusing. I can totally relate, as I edit copy and prepare newsletters for my business. One of my favorite local signs is, "We do lamps" (rather than, "We repair lamp.")

Sharon said...

Oops...I meant to say lamp(s). BTW, thought of you yesterday when I was reading the latest issue of Newsweek. There's an article about the adventures/excursions baby boomers are participating in after retirement. The article might interest you.

MILLY said...

Thankyou for your comments. Yes the graphitint are worth getting out again. Youur pencil work is super, and they will give it some added colour.