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    #1

    Arrow [Grammar] Apostrophe

    Can any one help me with this question? Can't find rule for such usage of apostrophes.


    Which example illustrates how an apostrophe is used to form the plural of a single letter?
    too many gs
    too many gs
    too many gs
    too many gees

    Any Help much appreciated.

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    #2

    Re: [Grammar] Apostrophe

    Apostophes are the most misused of punctuation marks. How many times have I wanted to take my red pencil to a sign reading "Mens' and Womens Restroom's" Agghrrrrhh! Or "We sell CD's and DVD's" or even, "He was raised in the 1960's" [I'm fighting a loosing battle on that one, I have to admit.]

    Generally, the apostrophe is used to represent letters left out (Rock 'n' Roll; can't; the '60s); or to show possessives, and never to show plurals.

    But, for the plurals of single letters and numbers, the apostrophe is required for clarity's sake.

    The Oakland A's is a sports team. Be sure to dot your i's and cross your t's. I deleted all the 9's from your list.

    It is also acceptable to use it, if you are 100% consistent in the same text, to avoid confusion with other words. For example, if you are writing a book on deer or rabbit raising, you may wish to comment in the foreward that you know how to spell the plural of doe, but just for the sake of easier reading, you are going to spell it as "doe's". That way, it doesn't screw up the reader with does (rhyming with duzz) vs does (rhyming with toes).
    Last edited by jlinger; 16-Oct-2009 at 06:29.


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    #3

    Re: [Grammar] Apostrophe

    The Oakland A's is a sports team. Be sure to dot your i's and cross your t's. I deleted all the 9's from your list.
    this is lil bit confusing to me.
    1st) Oakland A's is a sports team. ( what does capital a refer to, more than one "A?" ( did I use quotaion mark correctly (?) with the question mark inside?

    2) what does lowercase i's and t's refer to? single letter? ( very confusing to me!)
    and I suppose in the last sentence 9's is a plural (99999...)

    thanks a lot, jlinger!
    Last edited by Hope !; 16-Oct-2009 at 06:30.

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    #4

    Re: [Grammar] Apostrophe

    I have no idea why they are called the Oakland A's. Perhaps because there is more than one person on the team, and they are all "A" list players in their minds. I mean, you wouldn't want to be the Oakland B's would you?

    No, you did not use the question mark properly. Do not include it within the quotation marks unless it was part of the quotation. You are quoting only the letter A, so you you ask about the "A"? The exception to this rule, in North America only, is that a comma and a fullstop period ALWAYS go inside the quotation marks, unless it is confusing, and single letters are always confusing, so you would still write "A". (period outside). Or, for example, the instruction to hit the key marked "ENTER". (period outside)

    Cross your t's - refers to each single letter "t" in your text. Be sure to cross them. It means, to make sure you have looked over everything very very carefully and left nothing out. It's a silly saying. If you dotted your i's and crossed your t's, your i's would have two dots over one vertical line, and your t's would look like double crosses!

    I meant by the 9's example, that I simply took a number, like 3459089 and deleted all the 9's (both of them) and you end up with 34508. It doesn't mean anything; it was just an example of usage of a single number in plural form, as I couldn't think of anything else at the time!

    If you have double letters or numbers, you don't need an apostrophe to show the plural: CDs, 99s. "Bring the batteries. What size? AAAs would do."


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    #5

    Re: [Grammar] Apostrophe

    I think I know the answer, it should be "too many g's"

    Thanks, once again, for excellent explanation, jlinger!

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    #6

    Re: [Grammar] Apostrophe

    I am not a professional teacher, but for a different perspective on the importance of the apostrophe, I recommend reading these articles by people who are teachers of linguistics:
    That redundant punctuational paraphernalia | Stuff.co.nz
    Lauri Bauer

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    #7

    Re: [Grammar] Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by Hope ! View Post
    Which example illustrates how an apostrophe is used to form the plural of a single letter?

    too many gs
    too many gs
    too many gs
    too many gees

    Any Help much appreciated.

    • too many gs
    • too many gs
    • too many gs
    • too many gees


    Forming plurals of lowercase letters

    Apostrophes are used to form plurals of letters that appear in lowercase; here the rule appears to be more typographical than grammatical, e.g. "three ps" versus "three p's." To form the plural of a lowercase letter, place 's after the letter. There is no need for apostrophes indicating a plural on capitalized letters, numbers, and symbols (though keep in mind that some editors, teachers, and professors still prefer them).

    Source Apostrophe - The OWL at Purdue

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    #8

    Re: [Grammar] Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by stuartnz View Post
    I am not a professional teacher, but for a different perspective on the importance of the apostrophe, I recommend reading these articles by people who are teachers of linguistics:
    That redundant punctuational paraphernalia | Stuff.co.nz
    Lauri Bauer
    Thanks for those links Stuart. I agree absolutely, use the apostrophe only when absolutely necessary; when not using it would lead to confusion.

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