Tag Archives: plurals

Apostrophes and Plurals: Once in a Great While

27 Jan

I almost always agree with Michelle grammatically; we took the same Professional Editing course, after all, and she was witness to an embarrassing incident in which my *white trash roots shone through my carefully cultivated English-nerd façade.  She recently posted about plurals and apostrophes, and while I most certainly agree with her, I must talk about the exception to the **rule:

Three Ts of Stewardship

Here–on this PowerPoint slide announcing my pastor’s sermon this morning, which was a very good sermon that included a testimony from the best organ player ever who also happens to wear awesome, gigantic brooches every Sunday–we have an acceptable way to use an apostrophe to form a plural.  Because everything is capitalized, we need some way to distinguish the T from the plural-making S or else the end product looks like TS, which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The only problem is this:  Why does everything need to be capitalized?  It doesn’t.  Hardly ever does everything need to be capitalized.  Unless you’re yelling at someone on the internet.

*In Professional Editing each spring, the class produces a magazine about the English department.  One of the features we were going to do was about professors and their pets.  We were discussing other features, and I suddenly remembered about this pet thing and got worried we wouldn’t have enough room, so I–naturally–said, “What about them dogs?”  There was silence then and laughter to follow.

**The takeaway here is clarity.  If everything is not capitalized, we can also use an apostrophe, such as when we’re talking about more than one letter x (x’s).

Book 'Em, Jan O

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