- For Teachers
According to the current MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, fifth edition, 2.2.7, "Do not use an apostrophe to form the plural abbreviation or a number."
I can't see any need to do so either.
There is a case for using it with single letters to breaks them up:
Mind you p's and q's.
However, you could also say:
Mind your Ps and Qs.
I believe that this mistake started when people abbreviated the decade. I can see '70s accidentally becoming the dreadful, evil, incorrect apostrophe way in a heart beat! Thank God that our correct side is winning this battle!
In the UK, the correct side are losing everywhere in the apostrophe war's. <gggg>
Not sure if the apostrophe should be used, but it looks ok! My English isn't as you can tell; need to improve it in all areas
hi everybody :)
Actualy I'm learning english so (GOOD LUCK FOR MY SELF)
I have question about this vote so I did 1970's it's wrong answer?
No apostrophe. In this example, the 1970s is a collection of years (1970, 1971, etc.) and hence “1970s” is plural which does not require an apostrophe.
In the "Penguin Guide to Punctuation"(1997), I read that the apostrophe is not needed for forming the dates of plurals in British English. However, according to the author, it is needed in American English. I find it easy writing both "1970s" and "1970's".
The apostrophe, to me, is simply wrong.
It's nineties, not ninety's. We'd use an apostrophe to denote something belonging to 1990. The decade is simply a set of years, so it is "1990s".
This is fairly straight forward: No apostrophe. We say the "seventies" not the "seventy's". The mistake I keep making is "it's" (possessive) instead of "its". E.G: "it's leg" is incorrect, while "the dog's leg" is correct. What's so special about the word "it" for us to drop the possessive apostrophe? Okay I know there's ambiguity about mixing it up with "it is", but still...
There's no reason to use an apostrophe. It doesn't indicate a contraction, neither does it indicate a possessive. It's a plural, and there's no apostrophe in a plural, surely.
Apostrophes are used in two--and only two situations: Possessive nouns (not pronouns) and contractions.
Any other use is nonsensical.
W/R/T why "its" is special as a possessive without an apostrophe--
"Its" isn't special. It is one of several possessive PRONOUNS, none of which have apostrophes in English: Mine, yours, ours, theirs, its.
IOW, "Its" is not an exception, it's the rule.
Writing texts going back decades (centuries?) say to use 's when making numbers (8's), letters (A's, p's & q's), symbols (&'s), and "non-nouns" used as nouns (if's, and's, or but's). The 70's or the 1970's is still a number. It has nothing to do with "seventies" or "seventy's."
You can write it however you want, but you can't say someone is wrong for writing 1970's. There's no Academie Anglais to make such decisions.
As far as the "its" that someone mentioned earlier, that is a possessive form of the pronoun "it." You don't use an apostrophe for the same reason you don't use one with "hers," "ours," "theirs," or "yours": it's already possessive.
This is entirely of a stylistic concern. Although pluralizing a date without the use of an apostrophe is most pleasing to MY own logic and senses, there is absolutely no definitive answer to this question.
The rationale for using an apostrophe to make numbers not in word form plural is that adding an s to, say, 1990 is a special case. 1990 a number, not a word. I remember learning it this way. I don't have a high school Warriner's English Grammar And Composition that I learned from in the 1980's. I mean 1980s. I'd like to know which form it recommended. Anyone have one? :’)
BTW, the Internet is all over the place. Google "1980's" and then "1980s". The period won't fall off.
Easiest way to remember is to write the word in letters. eg. seventies as opposed to 70s. you would not put an apostrophe in the word seventies so it does not belong in 70s either.
The matter is simple. Based on the rule of word contraction, like in "aren't" for "are not" or "int'l" for "international", the apostrophe replaces one or more subtracted letters, which means the decades can be written as either "the 1920s" or "the '20s", where the apostrophe is used to show the subtraction of the "19" prefix.