Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Keeping You Apprised Of All Things
Awkward in the World of Punctuation

A few months ago, we brought you news about the plague of unnecessary quotation marks, which prompted a lively conversation. Now, we feel duty bound to note its kissing cousin, the missplaced apostrophe. The always-attentive Columbia Journalism Review has the whole sad story. We heartily welcome your thoughts on the matter.

21 Comments:

At 7:36 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Busted.

When I hurry to write, I often mispunctuate (word?) things. I plead guilty to often double apostrophe-ing a word, with a parenthesis instead. I rarely correct it unless *it"s* written for pay.

But then 'gain... if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? I love 'em.

Happy New Year, John!

 
At 7:39 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Kim, around here, you get credit for busting yourself (and extra credit for being such an early bird), and I post this only because we all need reminders in this area. So don't be too hard on yourself, especially during this golden week between holidays. A very happy new year to you, Kim.

 
At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, finally they've stopped picking on my lover, the semicolon. :-)


Neve Black

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

That made me laugh, Neve. Your beloved semicolon is safe.

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Double busted, a quotation mark** not parenthesis. (blushing)

I love when I get extra credit for being an early bird. Usually it's groans and projectile shoes.

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Parenthood does have a way of turning us into early risers.

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger Kass said...

My son is an editor and he busts me all the time. Sometimes I appreciate it, sometimes it gives me writer's block. I say - when in doubt - use a dash! - over and out -
Kass -
b.s. - I mean p.s. - did you know, there's a British (or maybe it's Australian) style where it's acceptable to put punctuation OUTSIDE of quotation marks? - it's confusing - learned that from another Blogger - "that's right", she said. Looks wierd.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Lucky you, Kass. Is that the son in Nebraska with whom you spent the holiday?

 
At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Lou said...

And then I sent out 450 Your Invited! cards...I guess I really meant, "this is Your Invite, get to the gig dammit", I just didn't know it.

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Mine must have somehow been lost in the mail, Lou. But seriously, good to see you back here. How goes grantwriting and lobbying the Hill?

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger June Calender said...

Didn't Lynn Truss's second book deal with apostrophes? The one after Eats Shoots and Leaves. It seemed like a particularly British problem.

 
At 6:53 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Good question. The Brits are fussy with their mother tongue, and rightly so, I think. Can anyone who's read it enlighten us?

 
At 7:14 AM, Blogger Kim said...

(@J, re: Lou ~ mine was lost, as well, and I have seniority...)

Actually, I just think it's incredible what a small world it really is!

 
At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Lou said...

@John/Kim - this was almost 7 yrs ago for a First Suburbs event; I thought you were both on the list?? jk

@John, it was a successful year for our national organization in terms of an approximate 25% increase in funding (specifically for funding housing rehabilitation) which equates to $35M which isn't bad for team of volunteer nonprofit types hitting the Hill. As prez-elect of the national board, DC will be more often in my future (to my wife's dismay/delight).

@Kim, re: small world, it definitely is, but wrapped in good people.

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Glad to hear it, Lou. Or should I say prez.

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Kass said...

John - no, the son in Nebraska is a supervisor at Nucor Cold Finish. He's a metallurgical engineer. Thanks for the opportunity to brag. Son #2 is a writer and editor for "The New Era." It's the Mormon magazine for youth. Son #3 is a prosecuting attorney. Wow, that felt good.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Kass, if we can't brag about our kids, life would have far less meaning. So come back and brag as much as you like. That's a really interesting and eclectic group of jobs. And Nucor is a GREAT company to work for, an organization that has almost single-handedly revolutionized and even saved the American steel industry.

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger Diane Vogel Ferri said...

John, I want to wish you and your family a very happy new year.You'll never know how much I appreciate all your encouraging and kind comments throughout the year.

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

The feeling is doubly likewise, Diane. Your gentle, soulful poetry has moved and inspired me all year. And finally meeting you at a writer's conference, where I got the unique pleasure of introducing your work to fellow scribblers, was a special joy. Here's to even better things for our writing and our friendship in the coming year!

 
At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Sherri Henkin said...

It's the Night Owl here (and a day late). The Lynne Truss book title (thanks, June, for mentioning this!) about apostrophes is The Girl's Like Spaghetti. A fun read and great pics! Happy new year, all.

 
At 11:35 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, Sherri. And happy new year to you too.

 

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