Poll: Do you use an apostrophe in plural dates?

Do you use an apostrophe in plural dates?

1970's
1970s

Statistics Stats

This Poll:

  • Votes: 3,407
  • Comments: 23
  • Added: September 2003

All Polls:

  • Polls: 1,034
  • Votes: 538,475
  • Comments: 4,272

Comments:

Karen Skullerud

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."

Willbut

I can't see any need to do so either.

tdol

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.

;-)

Bridget

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!

Willbut

In the UK, the correct side are losing everywhere in the apostrophe war's. <gggg>

Joan

Never.

Asif

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

lenny

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?

Boywonder

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.

Caleb Talati

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".

Daniel

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".

Gus Payne

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...

Ken Masters

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.

GB

Apostrophes are used in two--and only two situations: Possessive nouns (not pronouns) and contractions.

Any other use is nonsensical.

Gb

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.

John

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.

Jeremy

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.

Doug Bott

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.

gb

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.

Dan

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.

nana

I'm cofused in

http://linguapress.com/advanced/bald
-eagles.htm

the article has in its 6th paragraph 1960s (before contiguous USA) and then in the 8th paragraph it has 1940's. What's the difference?

Ed

No difference, Nana, but it would be better to stick to one form in a text.

Val

What if you are talking about something that only that specific decade had? As in certain types of music, etc? For instance, "the 1970's music industry.." as opposed to the industry in earlier or later decades. It almost seems like a possessive in that case.

You must vote before you can post a comment.
Browse our language polls:
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 |  Next »