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jca's avatar

Does it drive you nuts when people put apostrophe "S" at the end of plural words?

Asked by jca (36062points) September 11th, 2013

Does it drive you nuts when people do things like “agenda’s” instead of “agendas?”

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42 Answers

janbb's avatar

Sure doe’s.

trailsillustrated's avatar

It make’s me crazy!! And I see it everywhere!! Hate it.

jaytkay's avatar

Your right, there wrong to do that. Its not proper grammar.

Here’s a blog dedicated to Apostrophe Abuse

Brian1946's avatar

My friends wife is violently opposed to all apostrophication, and its been the bane of my literary existence.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes. And singular verbs. And nouns that aren’t plural. And even names (would you believe I’ve seen Miley Cyru’s? I have.).

I’ve just seen a post on a neighborhood website that said this:

sound’s like good new’s.but.alot of break-in’s are not reported,car theft’s,mail theft’s,are not included in report’s.our city will never be the same unless we get more police on the street’s and that mean’s paying a little more taxes,while the city spend’s money on a new soccer stadium,and pushing to get the A’s ball team here.i for one are willing to pay a little more taxes if we knew for sure that money went for that.

Why? Why? Why? Are teachers teaching this in school now?—don’t bother to remember when to use an apostrophe, just stick it in to be on the safe side?

Neodarwinian's avatar


There are more important things to be driven nuts by, such as creationism and scientific/mathematical illiteracy.

By the way, what is 1/6 + ¾ + 1/5 ?

Why is the sky blue?

Jeruba's avatar

1 7/60.

DWW25921's avatar

@Neodarwinian The chemical composition of what we call the “sky” is actually more of a light purple. We see blue because of the reflection off the ocean.

gailcalled's avatar

It’s not grammar; it’s punctuation.

How about my pet-peeve-of-the-week? A “couple whatevers” without the “of.”

Neodarwinian's avatar


Wrong. Common error though.

The ocean is blue because it reflect the color of the surrounding sky.

Scattering by air molecules and dust particles is why the sky is showing your eyes the wavelength called blue. Blue light is more easily scattered than red light. The Rayleigh effect. Blue wavelengths are at about the same size as air molecules, 400 nm, rather than red, 700 nm.

Mathematically,, the amount of scattering is inversely proportional to the wavelength taken to the fourth power.

scattering by molecules = 1/wavelength^4
—————————————————————————————-( Astronomy Today; Chaisson and McMillan, Seventh Edition )

This was know about 100 years ago.

As your mistake is a common ” urban legend, ” so to speak, I will not be driven to nuttiness here!

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Neodarwinian Wrong. The sky is usually black, or reddish/gold at the edges. Common error though.

DominicX's avatar

What are the rules for using apostrophes to pluralize abbreviations and single letters/numbers? Information I’ve found online seems to be contradictory in some areas.

It seems to be standard for lowercase letters, purely for the fact that the apostrophe helps clarify what you are reading, thus “mind your p’s and q’s”.

However, when it comes to numbers and letters, some say “C’s and 3’s” is correct; others like “Cs and 3s”.

As for abbreviations, some sites were saying that abbreviations that have punctuation or mixed letter cases take apostrophes, thus “M.A.‘s” and “Ph.D.‘s”, but abbreviations that don’t, don’t take apostrophes, thus “DUIs”.

What are your thoughts?

Neodarwinian's avatar


Another scientific illiterate.

Google, ” why is the sky blue? ”

Or, Google the Rayleigh effect.

What are are schools teaching these days???

Jeruba's avatar

@DominicX, those are typically handled as a matter of style because there aren’t fixed rules at present. Standard style guides such as Chicago and APA will specify treatment. So do publishers’ house style sheets. Consistency is the main thing—consistency within a document and across a related set of documents such as a line of books or a series of periodicals.

When not bound by someone’s style guide, I use the apostrophe for the plural of letters. “I got all Bs and Cs” doesn’t present a problem of ambiguity or lack of clarity, but I want to be able to say “I got all A’s,” not “all As.” If I do one, I have to do the other. I might also write “My address has two 9’s in it,” although I’d more likely write “two nines.” But I usually write “the 1960s.”

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Neodarwinian So I am correct, the sky is rarely blue compared to black so you tried to have me Google stuff to prove you are right under a strictly limited definition of reality? You are truly an intellectual powerhouse.

DWW25921's avatar

@Neodarwinian Are you telling me the only thing I remember actually learning in school was wrong? My 7th grade Science teacher told me that. I’m a little bummed. I need some time… Gotta soak that in…

Neodarwinian's avatar


No, your soaring intellect is telling you all of that BS!!

( I rarely use sarcasm, but you deserve it. So do the people who delusionally gave that nonsense a ” great answer ”! )

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I understand. You learned a fact, and wanted to make @DWW25921 feel small. You, however, think tree identification makes you qualified to understand the forest. When I pointed out you did not get it, and were perhaps overreaching, you got defensive. Sorry. I get your insecurity, and will drop it.

Neodarwinian's avatar


Sorry, your teacher was wrong, but it is not the end of the world.

I guess a wrongly placed apostrophe takes the end of the world prize!

gailcalled's avatar

^^^ Here are some hyphens for “the-end-of-the-world” used as a phrasal adjective.

Neodarwinian's avatar


You understand nothing and your interpretation of my answer to DWW25921 is more nonsense.

I get you very well and we are quite through here.

gailcalled Friend of yours? English major, no doubt.

gailcalled's avatar

Not me. I majored in Astronomy. And I have no friends here. I treat everyone with the same dispassion.

augustlan's avatar

Typos of all sorts bother me to an irrational degree. Especially my own!

Also: Let’s not be rude, people.

Also, again: I’m not @gailcalled‘s friend? <sob>

Pachy's avatar

Yes, and I see the mistake everywhere! To me, it’s so simple—either the noun is plural, requiring no apostrophe before or after the “s”, or it’s possessive (a jellie’s quest for proper punctuation) or possessive plural (a jellies’ comment) requiring an apostrophe after the “s”.

I see this mistake a lot in years. It should be 1980s with no apostrophe or ‘80s with an apostrophe only at the front to designate the absence of the first two digits. There should never be any other apostrophe in the year unless it’s possessive (1980s’ fashions, for example).

There are a few exceptions to the above rules but no need to cite them here.

longgone's avatar

It used to. See my link for help.

(This is part of the reason why I love Fluther, crazy guidelines and all. Like a holiday from the internet.)

ucme's avatar

No, I do hire a testicle chauffeur when idiots argue on the internet about, well…fuck all.

Neodarwinian's avatar


” Not me. I majored in Astronomy. And I have no friends here. I treat everyone with the same dispassion. ”

Then you know what I am talking about in both instances and you know what is really important also. The astronomy and internet ” friends. ”

I just took some astronomy recently for fun, biology is my main interest, generally. Friends help you move, loan you money and tell you what you need to hear. Certainly not found here.

I am sorry for the ” English major ” insult.

Harold's avatar

Yes it does. Along with people who say “PIN number”, “ATM” machine, “round circle”, “2am in the morning”, “LPG gas”, etc etc etc

Jeruba's avatar

…and “fiction novel”? and “the hoi polloi”?

gailcalled's avatar

“True facts.”
“Somewhat unique”

The addition of “wise” to perfectly normal and self-respecting words.

“nutrition-wise,” “education-wise,” makeup-wise,” or simply “wise-wise.”

I spotted this yesterday…“anorexickish.”

gailcalled's avatar

I no, I no.

morphail's avatar

“There was formerly a respectable tradition (17–19c) of using the apostrophe for noun plurals, especially in loanwords ending in a vowel (as in We doe confess Errata’s, Leonard Lichfield, 1641, and Comma’s are used, Phillip Luckcombe, 1771) and in the consonants s, z, ch, sh (as in waltz’s and cotillions, Washington Irving, 1804). Although this practice is rare in 20c standard usage, the apostrophe of plurality continues in at least five areas: (1) With abbreviations such as V.I.P.‘s or VIP’s, although forms such as VIPs are now widespread. (2) With letters of the alphabet, as in His i’s are just like his a’s and Dot your i’s and cross your t’s. In the phrase do’s and don’ts, the apostrophe of plurality occurs in the first word but not the second, which has the apostrophe of omission: by and large, the use of two apostrophes close together (as in don’t’s) is avoided. (3) In decade dates, such as the 1980’s, although such apostrophe-free forms as the 1980s are widespread, as are such truncations as the ‘80s, the form the ‘80’s being unlikely. (4) In family names, especially if they end in -s, as in keeping up with the Jones’s, as opposed to the Joneses, a form that is also common. (5) In the non-standard (‘illiterate’) use often called in BrE the greengrocer’s apostrophe, as in apple’s 55p per 1b and We sell the original shepherds pie’s (notice in a shop window, Canterbury, England).”

- The Oxford Companion to the English Language

Neodarwinian's avatar


” 1 7/60.”

I just noticed this. You are wrong.

How could it be 17/60 when one of the fractions was ¾? The denominator is 60 though.

=====Good try though!

Stephen Jay Gould!?! That porcine, pompous, and dead paleontologist?!?

glacial's avatar


1 7/60 does not mean the same thing as 17/60.

1 7/60 = 67/60

@Jeruba is correct.

Neodarwinian's avatar


Why you got three great answers for this puzzles me

1.7 = 17/10

17/10 dived by 60

same as

17/10 * 1/60

= 17/600
================Not 67/60

My TI-84 fraction function calculates this..,


= 17/600
===================Explain please or you are wrong also. 1.7/60 =/= 67/60

glacial's avatar


1 7/60 = 1 + 7/60 = 60/60 + 7/60 = 67/60

^ There’s a space in there.

Good luck in your future endeavours.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Response moderated
Jeruba's avatar

My answer was one and seven sixtieths.

The lowest common denominator for 1/6 + ¾ + 1/5 is sixty (60).

1/6 = 10/60
¾ = 45/60
1/5 = 12/60

10 + 45 + 12 = 67

Hence 67/60 (sixty-seven sixtieths), or 1 7/60, which is what I wrote.

NovDel's avatar

It certainly does. I was educated at a time when these things were taught. Spelling, grammar and punctuation seem to be regarded as irrelevant anachronisms these days. ‘Who cares, as long as you know what I mean’ seems to be the attitude.

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