Kats (wildrider) wrote,

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Could it all be the fault of Microsoft?

Pet Peeve of the Day: Apostrophes and Plurals

I have been wondering for some time why it is that so many people use apostrophes in plurals. Such as actually arguing that "The Smith's" is correct when you put a sign on a house (when, of course, it should be "The Smiths"). (I see this a LOT in email.)

Today I was working in Word and I noticed that when I typed the word "O'Connors" (plural), it marked it as incorrect (red underline). When I clicked it to see how the program THOUGHT it should be spelled, it gave two options: "O'Connor" and "O'Connor's." I jumped to the conclusion that people assume a word processing program's dictionary is infallible; they take the second suggestion because "the program says so."

I (and my fellow Word Processors, who are pretty snappy on grammar and spelling) noticed when we first updated to Word at my office that there are NO correct plurals in Word's dictionary. We of course added them to our personal dictionary as needed. But I wonder how many people out there actually think that the programmers of Word at Microsoft had any notion of how to correctly write plurals and take that as gospel instead of looking it up somewhere.

Next time you see someone typing something like "the Smith's," remember, that's possessive. It should be followed by something, like "The Smith's new convertible." (BTW, the spell check program here in LJ just isn't that awesome, either, since it doesn't have any contractions in it.)
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