Thursday, November 05, 2009

Apostrophe Disease: a remedy?

I rejoiced at the discovery today of a web page dealing humorously and effectively with the use of the apostrophe. I've blogged before about apostrophe disease, but then I was inspired by a piece on typography. This new discovery, tweeted by @nmcintosh, actually makes a wonderful stab at setting down the rules and using illustrations and jokey examples (I do not =* don't like putting honeybees in my underpants) to drive them home. The site contains other examples of things you might have forgotten - like all the stuff you need to pass your driving test - and maybe it's ok for the apostrophe to join road signs: linguistic road signs?

Of course, every teacher knows you can have a riotously jolly lesson in which everyone has fun learning about whatever bee currently inhabits your bunnet (as distinct from your underpants) but seems to have forgotten the point of the exercise the next time they have to use the bee (if you get me). And maybe this would have no greater success. But it's a valiant effort and a good reference point the next time someone's struggling.

And struggle they will - it's the surest thing in written English that the most unexpected people will exhibit the symptoms of apostrophe disease. But at least we don't have to reinvent the wheel any more.

*I really need to put an arrow here, but have lost the will to work out to how to. Anyone?

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