Monday, January 12, 2015

Writing 101: Decades Can't Be Possessive (Or, Why 1960's Is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong)

In all but the rarest of circumstances, the rules of grammar don't change. They stay the same all the time, for every word. This is why its so very confusing when people make decades possessive. If you write 1970's or 60's anywhere, for any reason, you are wrong. And I'm here today to tell you how to be right.

Apostrophe S

I cant seem to stress it enough: apostrophe s is there to show possession. This is Jade's blog. I'm using Blogspot's software.

Because the blog belongs to Jade, it's Jade's. The apostrophe s shows possession. And a decade can't possess something, can it?

Well, in rare cases it can, but for the purposes of this exercise the answer is no. It's no because every time I see someone talking about that decade, they are doing it wrong, wrong, wrong. When you are talking about a decade, it's 1960s. It's not 1960's.

It gets just a little more complicated. Sometimes, people don't say 1960s. Sometimes, they just say the main decade. They say '60s, but most people don't write it that way. Most people put the apostrophe in the wrong place. But you won't. Because you understand that the apostrophe at the beginning of the decade is there to do the other job that apostrophes do: it represents the missing numbers (or letters, in other cases of apostrophe usage). So when I say '60s, that's right. 

And, once and for all, other uses are wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

[+/-] Show Full Post...


Post a Comment