• Apostrophe blues
    December 12,2012

    Apostrophe blues

    A headline on the front page of the Local & State section, Dec. 7, read: “Vets home in good shape.” Glad they made it, I think, because that headline said to me “the veterans have arrived home in good health.” On the other hand, “Vets’ home in good shape” would have conveyed the intended meaning of “the home for veterans is in good condition.” The difference is just a little speck on the page, right? But I was genuinely confused for a moment, rather than merely annoyed, as I usually am at Times Argus proofreading gaffes.

    Googling both “Vermont Veterans Home” and “Vermont Veterans’ Home” yielded identical results — a mix of sites using apostrophes and non-apostrophes; but a majority of items, including state government sites, used apostrophes. VPR didn’t. Which all goes to show

    a) English teachers are asleep at the switch

    b) technology is corrupting our language

    c) who needs apostrophe’s anyway?

    Glenda Bissex


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