July 15, 2003
The apostrophe in the 21st century

The end of the world...

Now, there are two distinct elements to my opinion on modern English usage.

On the one hand, my rational side, Stephen Pinker reader that I am1, agrees with the article in that "language is normative, not prescriptive". English is the thing (or things) that people speak. Any 'rules' which don't reflect actual, live, usage, are bunk.

But, on the other hand, I'm a total pedant, and the 'grocer's apostrophe' drives me insane whenever I see it.

I am quite unable to reconcile these two opinions. Ho hum.

Via Something.

1 I'm reading The Blank Slate right now, and it's totally fascinating. Not quite as jaw droppingly awesome as The Language Instinct, but then, what is?

Posted to Rants by Simon Brunning at July 15, 2003 02:55 PM
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