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How to Use An Apostrophe

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal has just released another web project, How to Use An Apostrophe. It's a hoot! (Notice the proper use of apostrophe in the preceding sentence).

Link (for extra goodness, see the source code) - Thanks Matthew!


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"... while in many other publications the preferred abbrevation is apostrophe-number-s (e.g., '90s). It has nothing to do with its being possessive or not."

That bothered me, too. Possession has nothing to do with it. If you spelled it out, it would be "nineties fashion," not "nineties' fashion."
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Also notice the improper spelling of the word 'preceding' in the last sentence (entry 437 in the Big Book of Unintentional Ironies, '05, Houghton-Mifflin).
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The graphic is wrong about how to use apostrophe with an abbreviation of a year. In the New York Times, the preferred abbreviation is number-apostrophe-s (e.g., 90's), while in many other publications the preferred abbrevation is apostrophe-number-s (e.g., '90s). It has nothing to do with its being possessive or not.

Not to mention the fact that the site's example starts a sentence with a numeral, which is wrong. Their "90's fashion was a bit awkward" should be "Nineties fashion was a bit awkward."

Cute source code, though.
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