U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: the grammar of spam

Re: the grammar of spam

Hi Dave
I think the modern consensus is that you use an apostrophe when forming the plural of abbreviations rarely, and only to avoid confusion.  An example is "mind your p's and q's".  Where the abbreviation uses capital letters (such as DVD), and you form the plural with a lower case "s", there is not much scope for confusion, so no real need for an apostrophe.
It is natural to expect our language to evolve towards shorter and simpler forms using fewer apostrophes.  A sign of the times in New Zealand is the directive that pupils may use txt forms like gr8 in English exams.  That means lots of abbreviations and no apostrophes at all.
Looking back to more elegant times, I am still keen to find out who or what killed Joseph Fortuné Petiot-Groffier in 1855. Does anyone know?
Don Sweet
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Soemarko" <fotodave@dsoemarko.us>
Sent: Monday, October 08, 2007 6:09 PM
Subject: RE: the grammar of spam

> >  That could be a plural form in only
> > two cases I can think of:
> > -    if the apostrophe took the place of a missing letter,
> > which is unusual
> > in a word of one syllable, or
> > -    if  "pro" is an abbreviation.
> Interesting. If I read the above correctly, it seems to confirm what I
> learned when I was small. I was taught that with abbreviation, you use
> apostrophe for plural, so one DVD, two DVD's. Is that correct?
> Dave's