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Author Topic: The dreaded apostrophe...!  (Read 13769 times)

Mr_S

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The dreaded apostrophe...!
« on: October 14, 2011, 09:52:43 AM »

Unrelated to photography (but still allowed in this section I read!) but It's important that I get this right.  I have a design that I'm doing currently and am unsure if I need an apostrophe or not in the text. 

I have a line which for example reads "Ikeas top of the line..."

Am I right in thinking I don't need an apostrophe anywhere in the word Ikea?


Many thanks!
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Gary Brown

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2011, 10:46:53 AM »

I have a line which for example reads "Ikeas top of the line..."

Am I right in thinking I don't need an apostrophe anywhere in the word Ikea?

You do need an apostrophe: “Ikea's top of the line…”

Depending on the rest of the sentence, it's either a contraction for “Ikea is,” in which case it needs an apostrophe, or a possessive like “Ikea's top-of-the-line furniture,” which likewise needs an apostrophe. “Ikeas” without an apostrophe would be a plural.

(BTW, I think the company spells it in all caps — IKEA — but I'm not positive about that.)
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Mr_S

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 11:00:47 AM »

Ah excellent - thanks for that.  It's not for Ikea but it applies to another company.  Thanks for your help!
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louoates

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 12:18:45 PM »

Not to muddy the waters but apostrophe use for companies seem to play by controversial rules: http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/402/402files/apostrophe.html.
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degrub

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2011, 06:29:47 PM »

Check to see if Ikea is trademarked or copyrighted. There is likely guidance on how to use  and display it. Particularly if this is not for personal use.
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JohnKoerner

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2011, 07:42:54 PM »

Not to muddy the waters but apostrophe use for companies seem to play by controversial rules: http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/402/402files/apostrophe.html.


There are no muddy waters at all: randomly dropping apostrophes is simply incorrect. (Just because many companies do it doesn't make it correct; it just makes many companies incorrect.)

While I do think the formation of an "Apostrophe Protection Society" is a bit on the daft side ( ), on the link you provided the president of this society, John Richards, made his opinion crystal-clear: "Many corporations have started to drop the apostrophe, arguing that it looks better that way. It amounts to a deliberate corporate abuse of the English language and sets a very bad example to schoolchildren."

In other words, just because a small group transgresses the rules does not make that small group right in doing so. It means only that there is a small group of lazy, sloppy users of the language. For that matter, I would estimate that at least 70% of the people who use the internet don't even bother to use capital letters anymore ... but does that make failing to use capital letters "right" now too? No, it sure doesn't. It just makes those many people who fail to use capital letters lazy and sloppy also.

Jack


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« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 07:51:00 PM by John Koerner »
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RSL

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2011, 08:09:03 PM »

+1, Jack. We use language to think, and degradation of language leads to degradation of thought, especially the precision of thought. The effects of language sloppiness are all around us nowadays. It would be interesting to do a research paper on the extent to which language degradation has contributed to the Western world's economic slump. Hey, anybody out there looking for a subject for a Ph D thesis?

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2011, 08:42:03 PM »

As usual, I am here to provide a humorous distraction to your serious debate, gentlemen ;)

An English professor writes on the blackboard the following sentence:

"Woman without her man is nothing"

and asks the class to suggest a proper punctuation. The male part of the class comes up with the following:

"Woman, without her man, is nothing"

The female part of the class, however, had this to say:

"Woman: without her, man is nothing"


RSL

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2011, 09:20:46 PM »

Interestingly, they're both right.

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2011, 11:51:29 PM »

+1, Jack. We use language to think, and degradation of language leads to degradation of thought, especially the precision of thought. The effects of language sloppiness are all around us nowadays. It would be interesting to do a research paper on the extent to which language degradation has contributed to the Western world's economic slump. Hey, anybody out there looking for a subject for a Ph D thesis?
This may be a first, for me: I am in total agreement with Jack and Russ! And I'll throw in Slobodan, too.

Capitalization and correct punctuation add clarity and precision to communication.

Down with improper u'se of apo'strophe's!!!

Eric
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wolfnowl

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2011, 12:35:22 AM »

that which is is that which is not is not is that it it is

That which is, is.  That which is not, is not.  Is that it?  It is.

One more for you, Slobodan!

Mike.

And for the OP, yes, apostrophes go where something is possessive. or for something like it is -> it's, while its, like his or hers doesn't have one.  Where things get tricky is where there's an s on the end, like Moses.  Something belonging to Moses is either Moses' or Moses's; technically both are correct, but the former is most often used.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2011, 08:25:53 AM »

There is also a school of thought that only people can possess things, but it is not widely adhered to. We often hear/see "the home's ambience" where some would insist on "the ambience of the home".

There is formal writing and speech, there is informal writing and speech, there is advertising, there are web forums, etc., it's impossible to come up with general rules. Context is important, but in the OP's case, most people would insist on an apostrophe and so would I.
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JohnKoerner

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2011, 09:43:28 AM »

There is also a school of thought that only people can possess things, but it is not widely adhered to. We often hear/see "the home's ambience" where some would insist on "the ambience of the home".

Robert, I would say this "school of thought" needs to be educated

So only humans can possess things? What kind of anthropocentric nonsense is this? Are we now supposed to write, "The monkeys banana," and drop the apostrophe, because some pale intellectual who's never set foot in a jungle postulates that monkeys really "can't possess" bananas? Please ::)

Oh, and as far as "the ambience of the home" goes, pick up a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style, as these old curmudgeons would crack a ruler over your knuckles for suggesting anyone should write in the passive voice. "The home's ambience" is better and more vigorous.



There is formal writing and speech, there is informal writing and speech, there is advertising, there are web forums, etc., it's impossible to come up with general rules.

I disagree with this effort to categorize various forms of laziness.

To my way of thinking, there is a much simpler way to categorize speaking and writing than trying to divide-up everything into arbitrary groups. It basically boils down to this: some people make an effort to speak and write correctly, while most people don't, and that's pretty much it. "Informal speech" is merely a term we use to describe our own laziness when we don't try as hard to speak well as we would in a more formal setting. One should not try to dignify the sloppiness of informal speech by calling it "correct within its context"; rather, informal speech is merely the causal, sloppy speaking we do when we're not trying so hard to be formal.




Context is important, but in the OP's case, most people would insist on an apostrophe and so would I.

Agreed. A company advertising its own sloppiness and illiteracy isn't a good way to sell products or services.

Jack


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Rocco Penny

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2011, 10:09:19 AM »

Clear conveyance of meaning is enough.

Talk with a garbage recycler from the dumps of Guatemala City for a while.
Soon I realized why he laughed so hard the first time I called him dumb as a stump...

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kikashi

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2011, 10:46:24 AM »

A company advertising its own sloppiness and illiteracy isn't a good way to sell products or services.
To be strictly accurate, that sentence should read "A company's advertising..." (since "advertising" is a gerund and hence possessed by the company, which rather makes Jacks' earlier point).

And Rocco, your first sentence is obviously true; but for an example of how incorrect punctuation can obscure meaning, and be terribly expensive, see here.

Jeremy
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JohnKoerner

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2011, 10:49:49 AM »

To be strictly accurate, that sentence should read "A company's advertising..." (since "advertising" is a gerund and hence possessed by the company, which rather makes Jacks' earlier point).
And Rocco, your first sentence is obviously true; but for an example of how incorrect punctuation can obscure meaning, and be terribly expensive, see here.
Jeremy

Correction: Jack's earlier point ;)


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ckimmerle

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2011, 10:55:08 AM »

You folks arguing that there is only one, absolute, set of rules for the written language are the same folks who strictly abide by the rule of thirds, always make sure the action is going into the frame, and level the horizon mathematically to three decimal places.
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JohnKoerner

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2011, 11:06:38 AM »

To be strictly accurate, that sentence should read "A company's advertising..." (since "advertising" is a gerund and hence possessed by the company, which rather makes Jacks' earlier point).

Regarding this other matter, Jeremy, I do not believe the word "advertising" is a gerund in the sentence I used. Gerunds all end in "ing," true, but so too do all present participles.

Gerunds are verbs ening in "ing" which function as nouns, subjects, or objects--neither of which was true for the way I used the word. The word "advertising" can be a gerund, if it is used as a noun, but I used it as an action verb within the context of my original sentence.

Therefore, the word "advertising" was a present participle in my sentence.

Jack



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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2011, 12:26:53 PM »

Guys, please be aware that Jack is an expert in macrophotography, and apparently all other micro things, so no mistake of yours is too small to avoid his scrutiny and not... ahhmm... blow it out of proportion ;D

wolfnowl

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Re: The dreaded apostrophe...!
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2011, 02:31:37 PM »

You folks arguing that there is only one, absolute, set of rules for the written language are the same folks who strictly abide by the rule of thirds, always make sure the action is going into the frame, and level the horizon mathematically to three decimal places.

Oh... you mean we were supposed to be taking this seriously?  ::)

Mike.
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