a modest grammar suggestion

Subject: a modest grammar suggestion
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 10:22:32 -0800 (PST)

Hello, all.

I greatly enjoy the discussions about using the
language with precision in helping our audience
understand the material we produce.

Even so, I have observed that many people misuse the
apostrophe. While this isn't a very big deal, IMHO it
makes the written output seem less professional.

I know this may seem like a trivial point, but in some
cases it interferes with full understanding.

For example, many writers use the form "it's" as the
possessive. Of course, "it's" is a contraction for "it
is" (sorry to be going back to fourth grade grammar).

In fact, confusing the plural, possessive, and
contraction forms is a common problem. To claim that
the living language changes, and these common uses
should predominate, is to create confusion where none
need exist.

I hesitated to submit this observation, since I really
don't want to "nit pick" or discourage contributions
of valuable points of view on the list. At the same
time, though, these mixed-up usages can make our work
product appear less professional.

I hope this observation helps.

David Neeley


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