Re: Death of Apostrophe/sick hyphen

Subject: Re: Death of Apostrophe/sick hyphen
From: Peter Kent <71601 -dot- 1266 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 14:12:20 EST

>>> Has anyone out there read Charles Larson's November 6 essay in Newsweek>
about the decline of the apostrophe?>> In the essay (ITS ACADEMIC, OR IS IT?)
Larson posits that people under the> age of 35 generally have no idea how the
apostrophe ought to be used. Ever> since a colleague pointed the article out
to me, I've become hyper-aware of> how often the apostrophe is misused
today.>> Is the apostrophe on the way out of the English language? Should we
be> fighting on the front to keep the apostrophe alive or mourning its

I haven't noticed any increase in the misuse of the apostrophe. It justseems
to be about as misunderstood as when I was in elementary school (along time
ago in a galaxy far, far away). Its' sad. ;-)Now the hyphen -- there's a
much abused and misused bit of punctuation.It really seems to be a terminal
case, even among tech writers. Iregularly see compound modifiers left
unhyphenated, while other wordpairs gain needlessly gain a hyphen. Have you

I've noticed more problems with they hyphen, particulary in ad writing, of
course, which seems to epitomize the low standards of writing. I've noticed a
few other strange trends. We're losing the past forms of certain verbs. For
instance, one very rarely hears the word "spat" anymore; it's been replaced
with the word "spit." And "beaten" has been replaced with the word "beat." (As
in, "I was beat up.") Also, there seems to be a great confusion between the
words "bring" and "take," similar to the confusion between the words "infer"
and "imply."

All this isn't helped by the fact that GenX seems to have given up on books.
I was on a panel at the Rocky Mt. Book Show recently; the topic was the
Internet, but we got into a variety of subjects, one of which was, basically,
"do we need books anymore, when we have multimedia." Another participant, in
his early 20s I think, stated that for his generation the printed word really
wasn't very effective anymore, and that multimedia was a quicker way to share

Peter Kent: 71601 -dot- 1266 -at- compuserve -dot- com, 303-989-1869
Coming soon, an updated and revised Technical Writer's Freelancing
Guide. E-mail for more information. Comments/suggestions welcome.

Previous by Author: Re: Becoming a contractor without much..
Next by Author: Re: value of books
Previous by Thread: 1996 Region 7 STC Conference Theme
Next by Thread: Re: Death of Apostrophe/sick hyphen

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads