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Dr. Shoe

Tightening Up On The Titles!

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Yes, Dr Shoe (not 'Dr.' with a superfluous stop, please!), usage brings about change, but not as quickly or markedly as many would believe or wish to be the case. And the fact that some current teaching is along unconventional (and sometimes ill-educated) lines does not in itself make it 'correct'. Giving initial caps to Company Director and the like is not 'wrong', just unnecessary, and I can see no reason other than sloppiness or misunderstanding that will make it more acceptable in future than it is now. (And I will disagree with any Member of this Board who continues to think that this is a Good Thing!)

Oh absolutely! I have never said that it's a good thing in any way. In fact it is a constant source of frustration to me that supposedly educated people will argue with me that some of the practices in written English are correct when I was always taught that they are completely wrong! Even the aberrant apostrophe is considered by some to be 'proper' English today. If I had my way I'd start a campaign to keep the language the way it is.

We will have to differ on this. I am older than you and I am surprised that you were taught to use titular capitalisation, which was considered somewhat old-fashioned when I was at school. Although common, it is certainly not mandatory and imho adds nothing. If one wants emphasis, larger or bolder type or all caps is better.

My primary school teacher was of the Old School and was an absolute stickler for correct English. Perhaps she was on her own crusade to preserve the language. Whilst I thank you for the platitude, I must point out that it will soon be a half century since Mrs. Gaye (yes, I will still use those stops) had my education in her hands.

I have ES&L amongst my fair collection of books on English usage, although it is imho far from the best of its kind. Lynne does not say that the apostrophe is correctly used currently in a plural of a foreign word such as banana's, only that this was historically acceptable for reasons of pronunciation. In any event, could one really identify all the words (foreign or not) that might justify that treatment? I would add that the apostrophe is of course also correctly used to indicate a missing letter or letters, as in don't, can't, etc. So, when meaning 'it is', we must write it's, but it's hardly surprising that many people forget that its (meaning 'belonging to it') does not, exceptionally, require an apostrophe.

Indeed. I will contend that there are situations where it is correct to use a greengrocers' apostrophe though. However, I will not defend the wholesale use of it especially in places where it is most certainly not correct. Historically it was used with words that ended with a vowel but this had passed out of vogue by the time that Queen Victoria ascended to the throne. Apostrophe usage is one area that I will crusade over, even to the point of pulling out a marker pen to correct signage. A howler I have noticed recently is on 'Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert Website' sic. As you would quite rightly point out this is not correct unless there are more than one of him called Martin Lewi.

Agreed, at9. (See above re ES&L.) We no longer feel obliged to write of MP's, the 1990's etc, although we may well consider it clearer to mind our p's and q's (unless we prefer to refer to Ps and Qs).

Right again. I have never felt obliged to write MP's or 1990's. I have only ever written MPs or 1990s and I have been a strident critic of all who have done otherwise. P's and q's have always been an exception mainly because Ps is an abbreviation of Postscript and Qs has been an editing mark for many, many years.

A corporation or defined business entity or a collective group is a singular being and should be treated accordingly; we really need is and its in your sentence. (An exception is where the members of (say) a team are the true subject, rather than the team collectively. So, 'the team has played well' but 'the team have new kit'.) But the main thing is to ensure consistent subject/verb agreement in all writing - a point often overlooked.

Indeed. This is another point in which I am a major critic: I abhorr people misusing collective nouns as a collection of singulars. For example, they would say: "The fleet are in the harbour." when the correct phrase should be: "the fleet is in the harbour.". I will agree that "The team have played well," could be an exception but "The team has played well," is technically correct where the former statement is not.

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My primary school teacher was of the Old School and was an absolute stickler for correct English. Perhaps she was on her own crusade to preserve the language. Whilst I thank you for the platitude, I must point out that it will soon be a half century since Mrs. Gaye (yes, I will still use those stops) had my education in her hands.

For the record, my infants school teacher in 1953 - 56 (for all three years, unusually) was the much-loved and respected Mrs Stedman-Jones. I well remember, at the age of 6 or thereabouts, seeing a word with an apostrophe and, noting that it came before the letter 's' and wanting to be clever, duly adding one to the next word I wrote that ended in an 's' - which was of course a simple plural! Mrs S-J saw immediately what I had done and said 'No, dear, that is an apostrophe and is used to show that something belongs to someone. You don't put it on every ordinary word that ends in 's'. A sound lesson simply given, immediately learned and never forgotten in the last 57 years.

Where are you, Mrs S-J? Your country still needs you!

(Another thing I well remember about Mrs S-J (who must have been at least 40), was her coming to school for some sort of parents' meeting wearing a pair of black courts with 4.5" stilettos. She went up in my estimation even more, especially as my mother (then about 35) never aspired to anything more exciting than a 2" cuban heel - and now at 93, still doesn't. :silly: )

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Regarding the apostrophe s incident above, in recent years we'd have been required to make a note somewhere about your suitability for a career in 'greengrocing' or editingThe Guardian.

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Regarding the apostrophe s incident above, in recent years we'd have been required to make a note somewhere about your suitability for a career in 'greengrocing' or editingThe Guardian.

Yes, indeed. And probably also a note about my obvious fascination with my teacher's stilettos. ('This boy will go far - and the sooner the better.')

In my class at infants/junior school was the younger daughter of a prominent local greengrocer. Together with her sister (and most of their contemporaries), she couldn't wait to get into stilettos from the age of 13 or so. Alas, when Saturday fruit and veg shopping for mum, I was more interested in spotting any stylish shoes (if the girls were around) than checking for apostrophe abuse. I apologise humbly for getting my priorities wrong.

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You boy! You've been abusing apostrophes again! Write out one hundred times: "I must not abuse apostrophe's" [sic] I still tend towards Shaw on the subject. Complete abolition, even for greengrocer's [sic]. I know you can contrive sentences where the apostrophe is critical to the meaning but its [sic] not hard to avoid problems in practice. i seem to be a bit [sic] this morning.

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Would it be possible for one of the mods to sensitively tweak titles with particularly bad howlers? It would give you something to do lol. I honestly don't feel it matters too much in the posts, which are written colloquially anyway, but the titles are our public face.

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I nominate meganiwish for moderator. lol! I'll keep an eye on it megan, I've honestly have not trained myself enough for spotting bad titles.

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Would it be possible for one of the mods to sensitively tweak titles with particularly bad howlers? It would give you something to do lol. I honestly don't feel it matters too much in the posts, which are written colloquially anyway, but the titles are our public face.

I like sensible titles. The universal "Help please" is about as unhelpful as you can get. At one level it's self policing. Threads with badly worded titles will get less attention and die out sooner. Another way is to rely on the reporting system so that members can flag unhelpful titles. It's essential that they suggest a better title in the report. This shares the burden.between members and the team.

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I already do tweak the titles. I add question marks to questions, change the lower cases to Titular Case, correct 'cleverness' like "camel case" which, yes, does give me the hump. I also change 'no' to 'know' and 'where' to 'wear'. Therefore (for example), "does anyone no where i can where my heels" becomes "Does Anyone Know Where I Can Wear My Heels?"

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I nominate meganiwish for moderator. lol! I'll keep an eye on it megan, I've honestly have not trained myself enough for spotting bad titles.

Seconded.

Al

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I'm very flattered, but I fear the power would go to my head. You're talking to a girl who correctly punctuates and paragraphs (!) her texts.

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May I ask the mods team and Tech. "Are there any girls on the website team as mods etc."? Megan being a teacher you should know "YOU HAVE THE POWER" (said in a loud and godly voice). Even if you can't hit the little brats! Al

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If you've got their respect you don't need to hit them. By the way, your question is missing a question mark.

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Well done Megan. I never omit to being perfect or Mary Poppins. Once you have their respect they are not brats Most errors are rushed (as in tennis). If by phone then it is often fingers, predictive text and hurried in the wrong places, I try to keep those posts simple (without a meerkat). I'm sure I could post in dyslexic and it would be more understandable than some posts we've seen recently. Al

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May I ask the mods team and Tech. "Are there any girls on the website team as mods etc."?

Megan being a teacher you should know "YOU HAVE THE POWER" (said in a loud and godly voice). Even if you can't hit the little brats!

Al

Yes, there's me!

If you've got their respect you don't need to hit them. By the way, your question is missing a question mark.

It isn't now.

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Now I'd be itching to repunctuate the whole sentence lol. When I said I thought it needed to be done sensitively, I wasn't wishing to imply that I was mistress of that degree of sensitivity. Al, if I were like anything, I'd be more like Cherie Bobbins from The Simpsons than Mary Poppins. Especially the bit where she gets drunk with Barney singing 'Wasted again in Margueritaland'.

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My ribs they hurt so much. :w00t2: :w00t2: :w00t2:

Dr Shoe

Re. Yes, there's me! Not seen you post in the girls forum except in mod mode. Can't think why? and thanks for the correction.

Megan, sorry not a Simpsons geek so I can't comment fully, I can imaging Barney singing.

The "not perfect or M.P." reference was to me, I wish I could do that kind of magic.

Thanks

Al

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The "not perfect or M.P." reference was to me, I wish I could do that kind of magic.

Thanks

Al

Take an umbrella with this wind and you can do part of it.

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I prefer broomsticks,they are a little more controllable.

Al

My thanks to George Takei (Mr Sulu) and one of many postings on facebook, this go together as heading and picturescript.

LKIE & SARHE if wrdos rimean cehornet to you dtiepse bineg jemlbud or wtitern bkawradcs.

post-2779-0-98951300-1342594202_thumb.jp

Al

post-2779-0-12655900-1342544328_thumb.jp

Edited by Alsheels

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