View Full Version : The Greengrocers' Apostrophe

Onan the Clumsy
8th Mar 2006, 22:36
...erm, or is it Greengrocer's :}

which apparently is the term used to denote extra apostrophes like Orange's, Apple's, Pear's, CD's etc seeing as how they like to use them so much.

Perhaps this (http://www.apostrophe.fsnet.co.uk/) will help. :ok:


tony draper
8th Mar 2006, 22:47
Only one I uses is 's, used to think a apostrophy was a tropical fruit.

8th Mar 2006, 22:58
Shouldn't it be:-
Buy your Xmas' trees here?

Send Clowns
8th Mar 2006, 23:46
Xmas is not the plural of Xma! If you have something belonging to Xmas, it is Xmas's :rolleyes:

8th Mar 2006, 23:50
The Greengrocers' Apostrophe would be correct if you were referring to the apostrophe of more than one greengrocer (ie a possessive plural).

But the Greengrocer's apostrophe would be correct if it was only one greengrocer ;)

So - "Apple's 50 pence per pound" would be your classic greengrocer's apostrophe (although it is a criminal offence not to use Euro-metric measures and weights these days) :E

And while we're on the subject: One of the most common errors is to 'apostrophise' (I just made that word up) decades, ie

1980's is wrong 1980s is right

Onan the Clumsy
9th Mar 2006, 04:05
The Greengrocers' Apostrophe would be correct if you were referring to the apostrophe of more than one greengrocer (ie a possessive plural).

But the Greengrocer's apostrophe would be correct if it was only one greengrocer ;)

you know, sometimes it's so easy it's not even fun :}

9th Mar 2006, 05:32
Yes, Onan; or Ye's or even Yes'.

Didacticism: "No mortal but is narrow enough to delight in educating others into parts of himself" .... "Men, especially, are as much possessed by the didactic impulse as women by the maternal instinct" (H W Fowler, "Modern English Usage").

Keep on trawling, traw'ling, trawling', Man.

Tel me, tell me, tell me true;
Is it you's, or youse, or you?

9th Mar 2006, 06:31
Ya´ll done now? :rolleyes:

A professor of linguistics was explaining to a class that the use of the double negative varied between languages. In some languages the use of a double negative was a reinforcement of the negative, whilst in others, such as in English, the two cancelled each other out. However, he stated imperiously, at his conclusion, there was no language in which a double positive indicated a negative. At which, after a short pause, an American voice rose from the back of the class.

"Yeah... right".....

9th Mar 2006, 06:39
Apostrophes are positively preposterous.

I'll do 's and thats it!

My brain has better things to do. :*

*Breathe in......breathe out......breathe in......*

9th Mar 2006, 06:54
Everyone knows that in the Blairocracy we make plural's by adding an apostrophe before the s.....

Loose rivets
9th Mar 2006, 07:25
Xmas is not the plural of Xma! If you have something belonging to Xmas, it is Xmas's :rolleyes:

You're kidding, right?http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/walnaze/fryingpan.gif

9th Mar 2006, 07:28
At least Xma goes away if you put cream on it.

Arm out the window
9th Mar 2006, 07:40
I don't think they used any apostrophes, but I fondly remember the roadside sign at the shop we used to drive past as kids on the way to play football against Wakool (small township a long way from anywhere) which read 'Smoaks, Dreenks, Orongs' plus a few other choice items.

The abuse of the apostrophe is rampant around the world and doesn't look like being fixed any time soon.

9th Mar 2006, 08:28
Best one I ever saw was at a small parking space by a shop (don't remember if it was actually a Greengrocer's shop): a chalked sign reading:

No Lorr'ys

Just an other number
9th Mar 2006, 08:34
The regional variety of Xmas in Hong Kong is - X'mas. Now can anyone explain that?

Farmer 1
9th Mar 2006, 08:42
The abbreviation for Christ is, or was, Xt. So in Hong Kong they are perhaps being absolutely correct when they write X'mas.

9th Mar 2006, 08:42
The Concise Oxford explains that one. The "X" is the Greek initial in the Greek form of "Christ". Only the initial is given, hence the apostrophe.

9th Mar 2006, 08:54
Who he? A former President of the US of A, commemorated as a doughty mangler of the English language by the modernist poet e.e. cummings (sic).

In this course I am doing, the texbooks are done by a committee of Dutch, Norwegian and English dyslexics with, of course, the support of the European Union.

I was ploughing through 'Radio Navigation,' clouds of dust rising around me, when I was assaulted by 'datum's, antenna's' and a lot of other stuff besides.

Isn't it one datum, two data, one antenna, two antennae, if you want to be pedantic or else datums, antennas, etc, if you just don't care, but who in the world is daft, ignorant or arrogant enough to write datum's and antenna's?

On a more subtle level, in 'General Navigation,' one may read that 'There are also about 2000 minor planets and asteroids,' when speaking of our Solar System. It would be interesting to know what these loons consider a 'minor planet' to be, exactly, and what proportion they form of the number 2000. Perhaps this is akin to that old 'mixed nuts' trick, when you pop the vacuum seal to find one cashew, one walnut, one pecan and 1,997 peanuts looking up at you. Being a sad pedant I was more troubled by the missing comma or space in the number 2000, since I thought it was supposed to be written as either 2,000 or else 2 000.

We had this German Training Captain who insisted on writing big numbers using decimal points, since that is German useage. But in an English text 2.000, for example, is simply two units to three decimal places, not quite what he would mean to say.

The most troubling thing about this sort of sloppy language is that no one here at the technical end seems to have any regard for the rules of English. It is as if they are saying, 'We are writing books for pilots so that English doesn't come into it.' That they are often either failing to communicate at all or else giving misinformation, well, that seems to be taken as 'not our problem.'

I noted with interest a report that UK students are going to be graded again on the quality of their written English by about 2009. I guess it will take that long to repair some of the damage done. This was in the context of a report of a UK-based company moving to Ireland, where they hope to be able to recruit people with better language skills.

Farmer 1
9th Mar 2006, 10:28
Bet you proofread that post more than once, Chuks.

9th Mar 2006, 10:41
Being a sad pedant I was more troubled by the missing comma or space in the number 2000, since I thought it was supposed to be written as either 2,000 or else 2 000.

I noted with interest a report that UK students are going to be graded again on the quality of their written English by about 2009.

Shouldn't that be 2,009 or 2 009?

9th Mar 2006, 12:15

At work I use SAP and Work Breakdown Structures, a singular of which is referred to as a 'WBS'.
For ease I usually refer to the plural as WBS's coz WBSs looks odd - what is the correct way of pluralising.

An you can **** off with your 'WBi' responses....:p

9th Mar 2006, 12:58
I write this stuff on the fly, so to speak, and every so often I hit the 'send' key and then find some real blooper staring back at me. And being a real ignoramus when it comes to computers, I have no idea how to get to the 'edit' function.

Years are, of course, written without commas or spaces. Why is that? Dunno, but I'm pretty sure it should be 2009 and not 2,009.

There are all sorts of things to whine about nowadays, yes? 'Like' for 'as' is one battle that has been well and truly lost. No one even notices that anymore, so that a once-useful distinction has been lost. 'Uninterested' vs. 'disinterested'; who knows about that nowadays, aside from pedants?

Just yesterday I came across 'our's.' What is that, the possessive of our? 'Hi's, her's and it's.' Well, why not?

The longer I look at her, the better Vicky Pollard looks to me.

9th Mar 2006, 14:08
Chuks, ouch! A sentence starting with a conjunction? Oh dear!

While we're on the subject (almost), what about "There are a number ..."? Yeuch!!! Puke!!



Farmer 1
9th Mar 2006, 15:43
Just yesterday I came across 'our's.' What is that, the possessive of our? 'Hi's, her's and it's.' Well, why not?

If you think that's bad, I've actually seen "I's" instead of "my". Heard a reporter say it on Radio 4, as well. Don't tell the BBC they're dumbing down, they won't understand.

As regards "There are a number, etc", I've never been sure about that one. Would you say, "There are a hundred", or would you use the singular? I favour the plural, but then I've been wrong once before.

"Quite" is another word that has been stolen by them as doesn't know good English.

quite /kwaNt/
1 completely; entirely o I quite understand o It's not quite clear what happened.
2 to a high degree o quite exceptional.
3 rather; fairly; to some or a limited degree o quite a nice day o quite enjoyed it. (Chambers)

So, if a bottle is quite full, is it completely full, or fairly full?
And what if it is not quite full?

Us pedants must unite!

9th Mar 2006, 16:03

Up here we use canny . . .

Farmer 1
9th Mar 2006, 16:05
So, if a bottle is canny full, is it...?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
9th Mar 2006, 16:08
WBSs is correct; WBS's is incorrect.


9th Mar 2006, 16:21
So, if a bottle is canny full, is it...?

Can be quite or very (full). Rarely empty, canny lad.:ok:

9th Mar 2006, 17:13
And what is wrong with starting a sentence with a conjunction? Given that we are here writing informally?

V. old Jewish joke: Why does a Jew always answer a question with another question?

So, what's wrong with answering a question with a question?

As to that other thing: There is a number I am thinking of (42, of course), there is a crowd of people outside, but, there are a number of people I hold dear. Is that not correct English? It reads okay on the page, doesn't it?

You guys will have to cut me some slack; I am not a native speaker of the language, having been raised among semi-literate Americans. On the other hand, you should see the knots I can tie myself into speaking German. Well, it's what I like to think of as German even though not all speakers of German would agree. It sounds okay with my ear plugs in so what do I care?

The thing is, part of the cultural patrimony is being jettisoned. I think it has to do with the need to meet some targets for success in teaching a generation that has first not learned to read properly and then not bothered to read much at all.

Not to brag, but I suppose my children, educated in a German 'Gymnasium' probably have a better grasp of the rules of English grammar than most children of equivalent age here in the UK. Your well-educated are very well-educated indeed but the most of the people I encounter, just going by the way they speak, are half-educated at best. Well, that's about all that's on offer nowadays, or so it seems.

9th Mar 2006, 17:39
WBSs is correct; WBS's is incorrect.
No they are not. Neither is correct as the final word, being structures, is already plural. WBS is correct.

Onan the Clumsy
9th Mar 2006, 17:43
...or if instead of WBS it was WMD, should the plural be WsMD?


9th Mar 2006, 17:43
So, if a bottle is canny full, is it...?

I think he meant what they drink from, which will always be empty.

Farmer 1
9th Mar 2006, 17:47
Can't be, he said they are rarely empty.

9th Mar 2006, 17:50

... adopting best Robert Robinson voice:

Ah, well, no. You see, a conjunction is exactly that; it forms a joint between the clauses of a larger sentence. It should not be used to start one, neither should there be a comma before it, unless to denote a subordinate clause. Following so far? Good. That said, it is becoming increasingly common usage to permit a sentence to start with 'but'.; not, note, 'butt', which is what started Gary Glitter's sentence. :\

As to the 'number' thing; there is no possible argument here as to what is correct. That which merely sounds correct (can anything 'sound' on a page?) does so simply through usage. How long must usage be established in order to be considered correct? You'd have to ask Mr Collins or Mr Webster. At the moment, however, it is certainly true to say that the only technically correct form is thus: "There is a number...". The number, as an expression, is singular despite referring to a group, or multitude. :}

Right. That's that, I think. Cheerio!

Send Clowns
10th Mar 2006, 00:46
Loose Rivets

:confused: Errrrm, only in the way I expressed it. Of course I'm not kidding - the posessive of Xmas would be Xmas's, not Xmas'. The apostrophe only follows the s if that s is making the noun plural, not if the singular noun ends in an s.


Pedants? Uninterested and disinterested mean completely different things! One means not being interested, the other means not having anything to gain from some fact or situation. There is no way in which anyone literate or in any way articulate could exchange them.

Having taught General Navigastion for over 3 years the that worried me most about the "2000 asteroids and minor bodies" was not the lack of comma but the fact that the figure was so clearly wrong, quite possibly by a factor of 10,000,000! One current estimate for the number of minor bodies is around 20 billion!

10th Mar 2006, 08:50
If you know their meanings then 'uninterested' and 'disinterested' mean completely different things. Well, there's no way that a cigarette tastes good like a cigarette should when a cigarette should taste good as a cigarette should but nowadays it do, it do. And... ?

My point is that the language is changing with accepted usage and not, perhaps, for the better. To insist on the proper distinction between un- and disinterested is to fight some sort of rear-guard action when everyone else has already gone home to sit in front of the television. I think better teaching of the language will need to back up this sort of insistence on the correct meaning of words.

I take the point about 'number' being singular. 'Lot' is also singular, but would you say, 'There is a lot of people I can call "friend"? Grammatically correct perhaps, but a lot of your friends would groan inwardly to hear that before trying to pretend that they just happen to be sat next to you in the pub.

And I shall try to curb my abuse of conjunctions. No! (Gets out the Tippex...) I shall try to curb my abuse of conjunctions. Hey! I feel better already! Are there pills one can take for this sort of thing?

Here on Planet CAA, one of the more minor ones I have been stranded on, Navigastion is the most fun I have had so far. These textbooks are a real mess, though. Perhaps they are the product of an EU-funded initiative to employ dyslexics on work-release from some asylum for the criminally insane but no normal, half-educated, native speaker of the Queen's English would crank out such demented prose as this. It's difficult enough to absorb everything you need to pass the writtens without stumbling over random datum's.

Bern Oulli
10th Mar 2006, 12:17
Chambers 20th. Century Dictionary is quite specific. Data is the plural of datum.

Send Clowns
10th Mar 2006, 12:25
Uninterested and disinterested are clearly of different meanings, and commonly used as such! It has never been accepted useage to mistake them as far as I am aware. Just because there is abuse there is no reason to lose the use of a perfectly good word by accepting it as synonymous with another perfectly good word, thus making it redundant!

The problem with the ATPL books is, alas, the problem with any dynamic text book with short print runs. While the proof reading can make them good enough, it can never be perfect. They change too much and te resources to correct them are not available. In my experience most schools have them acceptable now.

10th Mar 2006, 12:32
Data is the plural of datum.
Data are? :p

10th Mar 2006, 12:37
Datum, except in geographic sciences, has fallen out of use and data is now acceptable as both the singular and plural form. In the geographic sciences the reverse applies, the plural of geodetic datum, for example, being geodetic datums. :cool:

10th Mar 2006, 12:59
When you are reading along just trying to absorb necessary data (datums if you must) and then you trip over such a monstrous abuse as 'datum's' it can ruin your ability to concentrate. I would have to say that makes that particular textbook 'not good enough.'

'What we have here is a failure to communicate!' to quote one of my favourite films.

As I See It
10th Mar 2006, 13:31
This is great, but you've seen nothing when compared to the offences perpetraited by one of my colleagues. The comma S yes I,ll say it again the ,S, it,s so annoying and damned difficult to read what he,s trying to say with his prose. I can,t get past the first offence without thinking what the F:mad: , it stops me in my tracks, he,s oblivious to it. :mad: :mad: Moron.

Onan the Clumsy
10th Mar 2006, 13:33
datums if you must
Quite simply: you mustn't :*

Onan the Clumsy
10th Mar 2006, 13:40
Up here we use canny .

...as in "The oold girrrl canny take it Captain. Ah'm givin' herrr all she's gorrt."

Farmer 1
11th Mar 2006, 09:29
Chambers 20th. Century Dictionary is quite specific. Data is the plural of datum.

I hate to be pedantic, but - we are now in the 21st century.

data /'deNtB, 'dA:tB/
noun (originally plural but now generally treated as singular)
1 one or more pieces of information or facts, especially those obtained by scientific observation or experiment.
2 a collection of information in the form of numbers, characters, electrical signals, etc, that can be supplied to, stored in or processed by a computer.
[17c: Latin, meaning 'things given'; see also datum.] (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

11th Mar 2006, 09:55
Seen on a beer mat yesterday:

'The Grainstore Brewery, Davis'es Brewing Co Ltd'

The beer, fortunately, was better than the grammar.

11th Mar 2006, 10:29
How could you tell, Ark? You, drink beer? Shurely shome mishtake?


11th Mar 2006, 10:48
If one wishes for a static language where the rules and words have to be approved by a committee, may I suggest you start conversing in French.....:cool:

Onan the Clumsy
11th Mar 2006, 13:04
...or Fortran 77 :8

11th Mar 2006, 20:01

Kindly decide whether to use the "you" form or the "one", then stick to it throughout the piece.

Mixing them is anachronous and the type of solecism up with which I cannot put.

;) :\ :D

11th Mar 2006, 20:42
Quite simply: you mustn't :*
Re: datum..........data is the plural of data as far as I am aware!! :ooh: :ooh:

And (sorry to start a sentence with 'and') datum's(with an apostrophe) is just silly. (Unless it is something which belongs to the data (datum)) which clearly it wasn't!!

Onan the Clumsy
11th Mar 2006, 21:49
...don't you mean "Data is the plural of datum"? :confused:

11th Mar 2006, 21:51
You bin on the ale, fokker old lad?

I have:=

11th Mar 2006, 22:10
Sorry Onan I'm sure you're correct in your assertion!!

After three-quarters of a bottle of Wolf Blass, I'm not sure what anything means any more!! :p

13th Mar 2006, 08:34
I was leafing through an old copy of 'T.W.O.' when a letter caught my eye. Someone had previously asked if it's possible to read something with disinterest and this fellow wrote to say that he was a teacher grading papers he found completely 'disinteresting.' I guess that proves my point about losing the meaning of words.

I read somewhere that one of the tribes in New Guinea has numbering that runs zero, one, two and 'many.' One of these tribespeople cannot describe the difference between a group of three and a group of ten. I wonder if he knows there is a difference.

Farmer 1
13th Mar 2006, 08:57
I'm guessing that most people who use the word "Disinterested" have no idea of the difference between that word and "Uninterested".

adj not interested; indifferent.
uninterestedly adverb.
uninterestedness noun. See also disinterested.

1 not having an interest in a particular matter; impartial, objective.
2 colloq showing no interest; uninterested.
[17c.] (Chambers)

If anyone wants to argue the toss over that, then they can include me out.

However, the Concise Oxford English Dictionary makes it all clear:

According to traditional guidelines, disinterested should only be used to mean 'impartial' and should not be used to mean 'not interested' (i.e. as a synonym for uninterested). In fact, the earliest recorded sense of disinterested is for the disputed sense and it is in widespread use today, although it should be avoided in careful writing.

It also gives another little snippet:

ORIGIN [of Disinterest]
C17: past participle of the rare verb disinterest 'rid of interest'.

13th Mar 2006, 13:39
Hello again my friends.....

From a purely linguistic standpoint, let's take a look at the potential method in the madness of this apostrophe.

In English, we know that to use an apostrophe in some cases, means that we are talking about the "possessive".

"Farrell's high level of intelligence" or "Jerricho's lack of it" :E both indicate that the trait "belongs to" or is "of" the person or subject of the sentence.

Therefore, in essence, we could semantically twist "Apple's 50p per kilo" to mean "One kilo OF apples costs 50p." - remembering also that a "from" attribute can also be applied to the apostrophe, as in "One kilo in weight taken from this pile of apples costs 50p."

Food for thought! ;)

13th Mar 2006, 16:01
Food for thought! ;)

Only if you eat apples:}

13th Mar 2006, 16:42
I suppose speech started out as sound and evolved to carry more and more meaning. Nowadays we seem to be heading backwards to speech as sound.

No less a luminary than Paris Hilton (I think it was), currently being sued for something rude she said about someone trivial, defended herself by basically saying that she says things without regard to their meaning. This is probably true. Not to suggest that Ms. Hilton grunts and groans; she probably can use big words such as 'disinterested.' It is just that she picks words more-or-less at random that simply sound like intelligent speech.

When I was growing up, in Fifties America, we used to worry about Commies hidden under our beds. This must have taken away from time that would have been better spent teaching and learning the nuances of the English language. The ignoramuses of my generation are now teaching the ignoramuses of today, to which I can only say, 'Whatever.'

Today we have Valley Speak spreading like kudzu across the linguistic landscape, obliterating precise meaning as it goes. Instead of, 'I said,' we have 'I went,' but they don't go, they still stand there yammering away into those hateful little toy telephones. 'I was like, "That is sooo yesterday!"'

It would be alright if Vicky Pollard & Co. knew what they were doing but I fear they really think they are using standard English. They passed all the tests, didn't they? Everyone on the goggle box speaks the way they do, so what is the problem, exactly?

I think some of us must withdraw and wait out this present trouble. When Vicky's children have got the rat poison mixed up with the Raisinettes then we may be able to emerge and try to put English back to rights. For now, though, a hard rain is falling.

13th Mar 2006, 19:02
Farrell, you are confusing the Genitive case with the Ablative. 3/10. See me after school The apostrophe signifies the lack of a letter "e" which, in times gone by, signified the genitive or, as Farrell has it, the possessive. There is a theory that the "e" was in itself a contraction of "his", so: "David, his book" became "Davides book", which in turn was written "David's book". The only wrinkle is in "its" versus "it's". The first is the possessive because the second is the accepted contraction of "it is". Hence all possessives except "its" should have apostrophes. I cannot think of any plurals which should have apostrophes. Plural possessives, of course, have apostrophes after the s. e.g. "Books' pages should be treated gently". One never benefits from a classical education - one suffers from it, labours under it, carries it on one's back the rest of one's life... :(

13th Mar 2006, 19:13
one of the tribes in New Guinea has numbering that runs zero, one, two and 'many.'

Yeah, they are smart, those guys in New Guinea, but we are smart too: Regular, King Size, Giant Economy. Beats this metric nonsense that Trudeau gave us.

14th Mar 2006, 00:04

Farmer 1
14th Mar 2006, 08:27
That's thin ice you're walking on there, XXTSGR.

Hence all possessives except "its" should have apostrophes.

Not to mention other possessive pronouns, for instance:


Me, I never make sweeping statements.

14th Mar 2006, 08:45
"All possessives except its should have apostrophes.' What school did you attend, exactly? 'Pay attention children; today we have possessives: hi's, her's and its.'" I must have missed something, reading my cheap science-fiction paperbacks under the desk whenever it was time for 'Grammar.'

It is funny you should mention it, but I was just thinking about the 'Genetiv' last night. I have always had trouble with my German cases and now I wonder if I am losing my tentative grasp of the language after so many months not using it.

Farmer 1
14th Mar 2006, 08:48

You forgot I's.

14th Mar 2006, 09:08
If we are going to bring datum back can we also have computer programmes rather that the dreadful American version.

14th Mar 2006, 12:45
I's going to get around to that when I find the time. Today we have 'The many uses of the CRP-5 computer.' That's nothing at all to do with the rules of grammar. On the other hand, one of my flatmates told me he can hear me blurting out curses, through the thin walls of Sherrin House, so that it does have something to do with language. Anyway it's got me too busy to play 'Spot the boo-boo' today.

14th Mar 2006, 12:55
Is it Mother's Day, or Mothers' Day?:confused:

14th Mar 2006, 13:00
I think that might depend on just how many mothers you think you have!

14th Mar 2006, 13:02
Point is, it's not just my Mother's Day, there's lots of 'em.

Oops. There're lots of 'em.

14th Mar 2006, 13:16
A day to create as many Mothers as one can?

14th Mar 2006, 14:10
Ah, now - there's (note the apostrophe) another interesting snippet to be had - "Mothers' Day" (or "Mother's Day" - personally I prefer the plural possessive in this context) traditionally has nothing whatsoever to do with Mothers. The 4th. Sunday in Lent was the day that everyone was supposed to go to church at their "Mother" church - the main one of the parish. This was in the days when families were scattered over a wide area, as much as - oooh - eight or nine miles. This was an opportunity to see those members of the family who were living in the farthest-flung areas of the next valley. In parishes that had several churches, people were also supposed to attend the main church of the parish to pay their tithes - in other words, (pin your ears back, Mr. Draper) put their hands in their pockets and stick the resultant coins, buttons and washers in the collection plate. "Mothers' Day" has nothing to do with sending your Mum a bunch of flowers. :(

Farmer 1
14th Mar 2006, 14:15
I can remember when it was Mothering Sunday.

14th Mar 2006, 14:23
so is it one tit and two tits or tit's? Those loverly little bird's in the garden's of englund.

Who cares anyway? If we all wrote like we txt thn wd b no bttr off thn b4. strnge hw 1 cn write stf nd stl b undrstud wtht usng apstrphys.

14th Mar 2006, 14:35
Numbers smaller than 10 grand can usually be written without a comma or a space, eg 1234, but 10 grand or more should have a comma, eg 10,001.

UK branches of Aldi (a German store) print their receipts in the German way, so if you were daft enough to buy something costing just over over 2 grand the receipt would show something like 2.024,99. Try handing over a couple of quid and 3p and see where it gets you, though.

14th Mar 2006, 14:39
I liked the (Danish) idea of listing telephone numbers in groups of three digits.
Much easier to remember!

Loose rivets
14th Mar 2006, 15:51
One (still) has a bee in One's bonnet.

To me, it seems of minor importance to concern oneself with the placing of something as insignificant as a semicolon, when the spoken word is being abused in such extraordinary ways.

It will surprise some people to learn, that a significant percentage of vocal sound energy is emitted from the nostrils. Here in America, this percentage is almost doubled...in Texan women.

To add to the burden of listening to this forceful delivery of corrupted English, there is a recent tendency to throw the voice to the back of the throat. Like all speech, it is learned and fine-tuned over relatively short periods of time, and (I reserve the right to use the Oxford comma.) in this modern world, this tendency to turn the beautiful word, into a miserable cacophony, is spreading like wildfire.

The result thus far, is a nation that has a large proportion of its people, sounding like ducks.

Please, please don't let this preposterous habit spread across the Atlantic.

14th Mar 2006, 16:36
Aww, c'mon now! Lenny Bruce was picking on our southerners years ago for the way they sound, even when they are making perfect sense. I think you have to leave accent to one side and focus on word-choice and grammar.

My family always like to score cheap points by imitating my accent when I am speaking German. They can even make me laugh with that. Hey, I am an American and I speak with an American accent! What were they expecting?

I like listening to the opera on BBC3 on Saturday afternoons. Sad, I know, but it's free and I can do my homework while Scarpia is chasing Tosca around the dining table. The presenter is some American woman who has never bothered to learn how to pronounce many of them furrin names, though. She gets a hold on something like Fiordiglia to pronounce it just as it is spelled. 10 for accuracy, I suppose.