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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Utahns can multiply, but they can't pluralize

   
Author Topic: Utahns can multiply, but they can't pluralize
Diosmel Duda
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There's this growing trend in Provo in particular to pluralize word's by adding an apostrophe before the s. In the past few year's--even in the last year--I've noticed more and more sign's that sport this atrocious mistake. I thought it was just a weird Utah thing, laughed a little, and left it at that. But more recently, I've noticed the apostrophe's showing up in place's other than Utah. I understand that language's change and that people will constantly butcher them until the end of time. However, this is one change I'll not take lying down. Please, spread the word: if you want to add an s to pluralize something, just add it. No apostrophe is necessary. This even goes for date's (the 1900s). Let's not confuse the many children in Utah and around the United State's about possessive and plural.

[/heated rant]

Jon Boy's not the only editor in the family. [Big Grin]

[ September 27, 2003, 10:23 PM: Message edited by: Diosmel Duda ]

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Raia
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I am so with you... that's one of the things that annoys the crap out of me.
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Morbo
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I'm with you, I hate that.

But when referring to decades, 60s 70s 80s 90s just looks wrong. Is it just me?

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littlemissattitude
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It happens all the time here in California, too. Drives me absolutely batty. I've given up trying to convince anyone that it is an incorrect usage. More than once, I've been told that I'm absolutely wrong and that the signs are perfectly correct. Sheesh. What are they teaching them in school these days?
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Jon Boy
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The interesting thing is that I'm noticing more and more possessives without an apostrophe. Very odd.
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mackillian
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You know, seeing that title, am I the only one who thought of something OTHER than grammar and punctuation?
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newfoundlogic
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Floridas sign's don't have the same problem. Must be one of those thing's on the West Coast.
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Scott R
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The problem lies in it's and its.

It's is a contraction of it is.

Its is possessive, but has no apostraphe.

Bizarro.

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Narnia
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mack, I hear ya. [Smile] A thread with this title started by one of our resident newlywed's. I have to say that I was slightly disappointed. [Wink]
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Jon Boy
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Sheesh. Don't you people know how to recognize a double-entendre?
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newfoundlogic
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Now I can. [Smile]
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Annie
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I thought the problem's with pluralization were another one of those hick Montana thing's.
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aspectre
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Actually, mackillian, I did think the title refered to 'breed and be intolerant of others'.
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Zalmoxis
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Morbo:

That's because it's '60s '70s etc. It's just like with contractions the '19' is replaced by the apostrophe.

------
I guess technically 1920's would be the year claiming a possessive. But I've never seen usage like that. Has anyone seen that used appropriately?

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ana kata
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I thought it was referring to the lack of binary fission as a reproduction method among Utahns. I had noticed that too and wondered what was up.
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Boon
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hahahahahaha

I actually told the McDonald's guy last night that the word "sandwhiche's" scrolling at the bottom of thier new order review machine at the drive though was not only not possessive, but spelled wrong to boot! Yes, that's exactly how it was spelled: "Try one of our new McGriddle Sandwhiche's!"

H said it had been there for weeks, that he'd never noticed it, and that I was the first person to comment. Dummies.

[Edited for spelling error.]

[ September 28, 2003, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: Boon ]

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littlemissattitude
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quote:
I actually told the McDonald's guy last night that the word "sandwhiche's" scrolling at the bottom of thier new order review machine at the drive though was not only not possessive, but spelled wrong to boot! Yes, that's exactly how it was spelled: "Try one of our new McGriddle Sandwhiche's!"

This so reminds me of the Wendy's I go into sometimes. They have one of those scrolling electronic message boards over the counter. It runs trivia questions and advertises the drive-thru (which bugs me enough as it is). The problem is, what it actually says is "drive-though". Drive as though what? I mentioned the misspelling, and they acted like it was no big deal, and that I was kind of freakish for actually knowing the difference.
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Boon
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Okay, I get it. I'm leaving the rest of the mistakes in my post how they are. I'm sorry, my brain is not functioning very well today. Regardless of the spelling in the post though, the story stands.

[Taunt]

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Ethics Gradient
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What is more worrying? The shopkeeper who can't spell the name of their shop correctly... Or the signwriter who doesn't know how to use an apostrophe well enough to correct them?!

[Grumble]

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aspectre
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Though it wouldn't work well for chains/franchises...
...misspelling, misuse of grammar, and "unintentionally" humorous messages are great guerilla advertising techniques for small businesses.
Get a lot of people going into the business just to tell the workers/management that the sign is wrong. And a person in the door is a lot more likely to become a customer than one who passes by, never noticing the place.
If you're lucky, you'll even get mentioned in the local/regional newspapers; many/most having columns specifically devoted to picking up such oddball/humorous sightings around town.

[ September 29, 2003, 12:24 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Lerris
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Time for Bob the Angry Flower to save the day!

Be one of those guerrilla marketing people, you know the ones that slap the eating meat sticker under the stop sign, and post this all over the place.

Lerris

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katharina
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Mack:
quote:
You know, seeing that title, am I the only one who thought of something OTHER than grammar and punctuation?
Thank you! My first thought was an announcement. Since it wouldn't be a wedding announcement unless the Boys plan on moving to Beaver, Utah, I thought it was the "I'm pregnant." announcement.

[ September 29, 2003, 04:44 PM: Message edited by: katharina ]

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BannaOj
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Lerris I love it!!!!

AJ

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mackillian
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Yes, Kat. I figured it'd be "I'm pregnant and I'm not going to marry anyone ELSE" or something.
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Sweet William
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In rare occasions, one may quite correctly create a plural by using the 's:

quote:

Usage with regard to forming the plurals of letters, numbers, and abbreviations varies somewhat. In some cases you have a choice between adding -s or -s, although the trend is increasingly to add -s alone: three As or three As; the ABCs or the ABCs; the 1900s or the 1900s; PhDs or PhDs; several IOUs or several IOUs. With lowercase letters, symbols, abbreviations with periods, and in cases where confusion might arise without an apostrophe, use -s to form the plural: ps and qs; +s; -s; M.A.s; As and Is; 2s. Mainly your goal is to be as clear as possible and avoid confusion. 23
The plural of a word being used as a word is indicated by -s: underline all the buts. Note that in typed or typeset copy, only the word but would appear in italics (the apostrophe and the s would be in regular type).


From this web site:
http://www.bartleby.com/64/81.html

But whatever you do, DO NOT, forget to underline the but's.

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Yozhik
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Hey! There hasn't been pluralization in Utah since the turn of the century! [Roll Eyes] I'm sick and tired of all the polygamy jokes already. [No No]
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Jon Boy
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quote:
I thought it was the "I'm pregnant." announcement.
O_o

Am I the only one who knew exactly what the title meant? (And no, my wife didn't tell me what it was about before I read it.) It's really not that complicated. It's just a simple pun: Utahns have lots of kids, but they can't form plurals of words. Sheesh, people.

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katharina
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The problem is that in respect to cognitive functions, only half the title was a pun. In respect to religious language, the other half of the title was a pun. Mack and I just assumed the entire title either was or was not a pun. [Smile]
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Diosmel Duda
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Wow! I intended some of the eye-popping confusion to get you all to open my thread (yes, it's shameless; I know), but you lot are a whole bunch more creative than I am in finding shocking possibilities in such a short sentence. [Smile] As a person who loves to confuse people just for the fun of it, I am pleased with my handiwork. *bows*

A pregnancy announcement? Maybe the confusion works both ways . . . [Eek!]

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