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pudge (1)

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Journal of pudge (1)

Friday August 29, 2003
11:42 AM

ODE Infected With Stupidity

[ #14391 ]

From a recent Oxford Dictionary of English press release (and the "Don't worries. I gots an idea. I mean, an ideas." dept.):

The hyphen is being dropped from standard compounds such as TURNING-POINT but is now appearing in verb phrases (e.g. 'this website was SET-UP by Vicky'). Our research shows that such uses are twice as common as they were ten years ago and yet overall the hyphen is now used only half as much as it was in 1993. For example, E-MAILS have become EMAILS and we are twice as likely to COOPERATE than CO-OPERATE . We are now ONLINE not ON-LINE . The apostrophe is disappearing from where you would expect to see it (e.g. LETS GO ) and is appearing elsewhere (as in the plural PEAR'S ).

This is wrong. Very wrong. SET-UP is an adjective or noun, not a verb; PEAR'S is possessive, not plural; LETS GO is nothing at all.

The ODE says these things are "appearing". Where? In "blogs" written by illiterate Philistines? I read a lot of things, and never do I see such incorrect punctuation, except unintentionally, either as simple mistakes by people who know better, or as glaring errors by the mass illiterati who don't.

I eagerly anticipate the deaths of Williams F. Buckley and Safire, that they might be able to turn in their respective graves!

Perhaps the time for apostrophic jihad truly has arrived.

NOTE This is not the esteemed OED, but the ODE, a nasty impostor. Text above has been corrected.

Now Playing: The Waiting Song - Ani DiFranco (Imperfectly)

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  • I don't know if you saw it back then, but I've posted similarly on this subject: :-) []

  • Punctuation is important. Just look at this headline from todays new's:

    Parrot screams fool authorities

    That would be so much cooler as:

    Parrot screams, "fool authorities!"


  • Amusingly... (Score:2, Informative)

    Their Better Writing [] Tip of the Week is:

    Don't use an apostrophe to form a plural. A sentence like 'Please keep the gate's clear' is wrong. Use an apostrophe to indicate possession, or to show that a word has been contracted.
      ---ict / Spoon
  • While I'd enjoy seeing the its vs it's nonsense erradicated from the language, I lament the cannonicalization of try "our" hot dog's. These are grammar mistakes, not the emergence of a new slang.
  • Where? In "blogs" written by illiterate Philistines?

    jest [] can give you a definitive answer here. My layman's understanding is that the OED refers to usage found in print, usually from primary sources. That is, if the New York Times or Nature starts using «emails» vs. «e-mails» vs. the plural noun «email», then that usage is likely to be compiled into the OED.

    Sources like the The Plain Dealer of Bozeman MT, The National Enquirer and Joe-Bob's Guide to Tortise Hunt

    • That is my understanding too, but I cannot imagine printed sources likt the NYT and Nature using the 'plural' word "PEAR'S". As noted, I don't see that.
    • WiReD reported the trend going the other way,
      from email to e-mail [].

      NYT is an interesting benchmark; it allows
      reporters to have non-standard names such as
      Ms. 8 Lee.

  • ODE != OED (Score:3, Informative)

    by vsergu (505) on 2003.09.02 18:49 (#23758) Journal
    As jest [] has pointed out [].