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Lewes Forum thread

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Grammar, punctuation and spelling

On 2 Sep 2020 at 10:26am Ferret wrote:
At the risk of sounding like an unimaginative pedant, I confess to being troubled by the appalling grammar, punctuation and spelling evident on local social media, particularly on Lewes Present, but in comments here too. There are so many their/there/they're mistakes, and the ubiquitous it's/its, could of, should of etc. Are the local schools to blame for these failures, or is it elderly DFLs who are giving the area a bad name?. I don't wish to sound haranguing, but its correct spelling is easily looked up these days.
On 2 Sep 2020 at 12:50pm Hyena wrote:
Cheer’s for that ferrit.
On 2 Sep 2020 at 6:47pm Nevillman wrote:
I agree up to a point. Posters who write could of and confused there should realise that it is likely that their views will carry less weight as they are appearing to be ignorant. It is up to them if they want to give that impression though.
I disagree over the apostrophe. I can't confidently tell you when the apostrophe should be used in its and can't think of a single situation when its misuse has lead to any misunderstanding. Its time it was dropped from English grammar entirely. Its only a matter of time before that happens.
You can't blame the schools. English teachers I know spend a lot of time trying to teach grammar. Parents should be trying to teach their children how to convey meaning.
On 2 Sep 2020 at 7:18pm Ferret wrote:
Oh come on, Nevillman. While I agree with you that it would be better for all if the apostrophe was abolished completely, that's not going to happen. 'It's' means 'it is'. It's as simple as that. 'Its' is used to show possession (which is why people think 'it's', whereas it's a possessive form of the pronoun it, and it's in the same group as hers, ours, theirs, yours and ones. You never see them with apostrophes, do you?
We all make mistakes, but some are more stupid than others, and in my opinion, the use of 'of' when it should be 'have' or ' 've' is the worst.
On 2 Sep 2020 at 7:20pm Ferret wrote:
Apologies for the punctuation error. An end bracket missing!
On 2 Sep 2020 at 8:45pm Mark wrote:
Theres an issue here Ferret. Yor just giving people an instruction that they need to pull their socks up and spell as nicely as you do. Its a bit showy-offy. Im not impressed by it.
On 2 Sep 2020 at 11:01pm The Old Mayor wrote:
Sad news yesterday.......the chap who invented predictive text has pissed away. His funfair is next Monkey.
On 3 Sep 2020 at 7:41am Nevillman wrote:
I don't know why you say that the apostrophe won't die away ferret. The English language is constantly evolving. I have no intention of doing anything to preserve its, it's or its'. The apostrophe does nothing to help with the meaning as it is always clear from the context in which it is used. Spell checkers will accelerate its demise. Pedants will be left looking more isolated and reactionary.
On 3 Sep 2020 at 8:56am Ferret wrote:
@Nevillman It won't die out because the vast majority of literate people have no real problem with it, and there is no single body with the authority to impose abolition. People are capable of coping with the weird and archaic spelling of words (like people) , peculiar grammatical forms, and other conventions, so why not the apostrophe?
And by the way, there is no its' in any circumstances.
On 3 Sep 2020 at 3:26pm Formerly AC-T wrote:
As an elderly DFL (if Croydon counts as London, which is debatable) who struggles to restrain their pedantry in matters grammatical, I should point out that for us old farts who did Latin, the apostrophe matter is simple: it only applies when the subject is in the genitive case.
I agree that pedantry is a bit show-offy and that's why I try not to be a pedant. But I like the look on people's faces when they're asked to conjugate the verb "to of". Could of/would of/had of shows why we still need the apostrophe imo, otherwise all sorts of contractions would become nonsensical.
On 3 Sep 2020 at 3:28pm Formerly AC-T wrote:
And while we're on the subject of matters of language, I had to chuckle when I read on the Roebuck thread that the pub is closed "permanently for the time being".
On 3 Sep 2020 at 3:53pm Ferret wrote:
@ Formerly AC-T My pedantry beats yours: the apostrophe only is used in the genitive when it applies to a noun as in Caesar's army, or Cassius' treachery, or the horse's mouth, the horses' mouths etc. As I pointed out, it is also currectly used for the shortening of words by elision (leaving out letters) e.g. I'm, you're etc.
I'm not sure apostrophes are needed at all, given that they are never expressed in the spoken language.
On 3 Sep 2020 at 4:01pm Ferret wrote:
Oops! Before anyone jumps: correctly. That's the trouble with pedantry: we all make mistakes, but some people don't know it.
On 3 Sep 2020 at 4:17pm oldbutintouch wrote:
Simple - possession or omission.
On 3 Sep 2020 at 4:25pm Dr. Livingstone wrote:
Huge sign at Tesco.... " Serving Lewes's people" (?) anyway isn't " serving Lewes people adequate ?
On 4 Sep 2020 at 11:28pm Basil wrote:
The reason most people seem to have problems writing is because they don't read. It's as simple as that. They have no idea that 'writing' isn't simply putting slabs of cliche and stuff they've picked up from advertising and daytime TV together. Still, it gives the rest of us amusement.
On 6 Sep 2020 at 1:59pm Tom Pain wrote:
So it's called predictive text. I call it mistakomatic. It's a nightmare. I hate it when it guesses my next word,it means I'm not thinking properly.
On 5 Oct 2020 at 11:07pm IDM wrote:
Test attempt
On 5 Oct 2020 at 11:15pm IDM wrote:
In English, single nouns take apostrophe s, even if the noun happens to end in s. Thus St James's Street. The only exception is Jesus'. So, hilariously, "Lewes' houses" means "houses belonging to several people/items called Lewe" IDM
On 5 Oct 2020 at 11:47pm Ferret wrote:
@IDM I don't agree. The use of apostrophe + s or not does not follow such a simplistic rule. It's more a question of style or preference, although sometimes it would be just silly to use 's. For example, rabies is a singular word, and rabies' symptoms are well known. And Jesus's teachings is a valid as Jesus' teachings, and much more common, I would say. That stuff about Lewes' houses is daft. Everyone knows what Lewes housing means, with or without the unnecessary apostrophe.
On 17 Oct 2020 at 11:36pm IDM wrote:
Hi Ferret. Slow response due to changing providers/network outage. I did not mention "Lewes Housing". Irrespective of personal preference and style, can we agree that "Lewes' Housing" is wrong?
On 30 Nov 2020 at 9:18am IDM wrote:
I have changed my mind about this to some extent. I'm happy about no apostrophe for association, including location. So St James's Street is wrong (unless he has been reincarnated and bought it from the Council!). But I would still use an apostrophe for ownership or control, hence "Judas's betrayal of Christ". I guess (and it's only a guess), that Jesus was given a strange possessive to mark Him as very different to the rest of us.

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