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Pedants’ revolt...

Mind that apostrophe.
Itsallaguess
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Pedants’ revolt...

#628323

Postby Itsallaguess » November 18th, 2023, 7:11 am


One for this place, I think...

Pedants’ revolt brings back their apostrophe -

Residents of St Mary’s Terrace are celebrating after the possessive apostrophe was returned to their street sign.

Villagers in Twyford, near Winchester, were upset when the punctuation mark disappeared from new street furniture as part of a council ban supposedly aimed at making signs easier for paramedics and delivery drivers.

Oliver Gray, 75, a former language teacher, complained about “the missing apostrophe” and told the council: “There definitely should be one there, firstly for reasons of correctness and secondly because that is the street’s name, according to both the Land Registry and the Ordnance Survey.”

Gray was astonished to learn that Winchester council had adopted a “no apostrophe” policy for all new signs.


https://archive.is/xFTV8

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

GoSeigen
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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628330

Postby GoSeigen » November 18th, 2023, 8:20 am

But there's a period after the St in St Mary! Urgh.

It's not an abbreviation, if anything another apostrophe should mark the contraction thus: "S't Mary", but that is never done of course.


GS


EDIT: I've always wondered about St./St for Street and similar for Ave, are they contractions or abbreviations? Other road descriptions can fall into either category: Rd, Blvd, Ct versus La., Clo., Br., Sq.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628335

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 18th, 2023, 8:39 am

GoSeigen wrote:But there's a period after the St in St Mary! Urgh.

It's not an abbreviation, if anything another apostrophe should mark the contraction thus: "S't Mary", but that is never done of course.

No. It's not a contraction, it's an abbreviation. Like Mr and Mrs, which similarly have no apostrophes.

EDIT: I've always wondered about St./St for Street and similar for Ave, are they contractions or abbreviations? Other road descriptions can fall into either category: Rd, Blvd, Ct versus La., Clo., Br., Sq.

Aren't some of those simply cartographers' contractions of convenience (less clutter in a crowded map than if the names were printed in full) that then made their way into somewhat wider usage?

I totally agree with the residents. Having lived several years in a flat in a house calling itself "Beech Villa's"[sic], I know how painful it is to face that sign every bloomin' day!

DrFfybes
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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628340

Postby DrFfybes » November 18th, 2023, 8:59 am

I thought the Pedant's revolt was started by Wat Tyler's lesser known brother, Which.

bungeejumper
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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628342

Postby bungeejumper » November 18th, 2023, 9:05 am

As any fule kno, abbreviations are as old as writing itself. Partly to save on expensive vellum, and partly because the scribes (or the monumental masons) didn't have the time or the space to write everything at full length. Some interesting info on the medieval thinking at https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/manuscript ... tions.aspx .
GoSeigen wrote:I've always wondered about St./St for Street and similar for Ave.

As in Maria Ave, or Cuthbert St? :)

BJ

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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628382

Postby monabri » November 18th, 2023, 11:36 am

"Pedant's revolt"..? Huh, they can't even spell it correctly - They're missing an "n" !

;)

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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628389

Postby marronier » November 18th, 2023, 12:06 pm

There is a world of difference between an elision and an apostrophe . "I'm " ; "it's " ; "can't " have elisions while "Mary's" and " Pedant's" have apostrophes.

CliffEdge
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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628391

Postby CliffEdge » November 18th, 2023, 12:11 pm

Good to hear.

Mike4
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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628405

Postby Mike4 » November 18th, 2023, 12:49 pm

I imagined the difference between a contraction and an abbreviation would be the former is pronounced in speech 'as written', whereas the abbreviation when read out aloud is pronounced as the full word.

So "ave" is pronounced "avenue", while "maths" is pronounced "maths".

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628423

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 18th, 2023, 2:02 pm

Mike4 wrote:So "ave" is pronounced "avenue", while "maths" is pronounced "maths".

Avenue Maria, grazia plena?

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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628469

Postby stewamax » November 18th, 2023, 6:44 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:Avenue Maria, grazia plena?

Winton maxima culpa

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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628522

Postby redsturgeon » November 19th, 2023, 9:24 am

A quick job with a sharpie would have solved the issue.

GoSeigen
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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628531

Postby GoSeigen » November 19th, 2023, 10:45 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
GoSeigen wrote:But there's a period after the St in St Mary! Urgh.

It's not an abbreviation, if anything another apostrophe should mark the contraction thus: "S't Mary", but that is never done of course.

No. It's not a contraction, it's an abbreviation. Like Mr and Mrs, which similarly have no apostrophes.

It is a contraction per this random page from many similar Google results. If you want to use different terminology I suggest you propose your own.

We evidently agree on the absence of apostrophes.

EDIT: I've always wondered about St./St for Street and similar for Ave, are they contractions or abbreviations? Other road descriptions can fall into either category: Rd, Blvd, Ct versus La., Clo., Br., Sq.
Aren't some of those simply cartographers' contractions of convenience (less clutter in a crowded map than if the names were printed in full) that then made their way into somewhat wider usage?

You've missed the point again. I know what they are. What I don't know is whether St is an abbreviation consisting of the first two letters of the word Street, or a contraction, consisting of the first and final letter. It really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things but is the kind of thing that occupies the mind of a practising pedant.

I suspect you didn't read my post very thoroughly, or I have a very poor way with words and can't explain myself adequately.

I totally agree with the residents. Having lived several years in a flat in a house calling itself "Beech Villa's"[sic], I know how painful it is to face that sign every bloomin' day!


It's not quite the same issue though, is it? One apostrophe ("Beech Villa's") is clearly wrong (barring the most convoluted justification); the other ("St Mary's Terrace") could easily be correct, depending on the meaning and local context and history. The period after St is just vulgar.

GS

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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#628539

Postby GoSeigen » November 19th, 2023, 11:22 am

Mike4 wrote:I imagined the difference between a contraction and an abbreviation would be the former is pronounced in speech 'as written', whereas the abbreviation when read out aloud is pronounced as the full word.

So "ave" is pronounced "avenue", while "maths" is pronounced "maths".


That's not the way I was using the words (see previous message) but I agree it's an important distinction.



As an aside, I tend to think of writing as recording or representing speech, rather than speech being spoken writing...

Maybe I spent too much time in Japan.

cul8r

GS

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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#629104

Postby bungeejumper » November 22nd, 2023, 8:45 am

Humpty Dumpty, of course:
"When I say a word, it means exactly what I want it to mean. No more and no less."

So there. :D Anybody got a spoon?

BJ

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Re: Pedants’ revolt...

#632504

Postby stevensfo » December 8th, 2023, 9:31 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
GoSeigen wrote:But there's a period after the St in St Mary! Urgh.

It's not an abbreviation, if anything another apostrophe should mark the contraction thus: "S't Mary", but that is never done of course.

No. It's not a contraction, it's an abbreviation. Like Mr and Mrs, which similarly have no apostrophes.

EDIT: I've always wondered about St./St for Street and similar for Ave, are they contractions or abbreviations? Other road descriptions can fall into either category: Rd, Blvd, Ct versus La., Clo., Br., Sq.

Aren't some of those simply cartographers' contractions of convenience (less clutter in a crowded map than if the names were printed in full) that then made their way into somewhat wider usage?

I totally agree with the residents. Having lived several years in a flat in a house calling itself "Beech Villa's"[sic], I know how painful it is to face that sign every bloomin' day!


Sorry to come to this rather late. My bible for this sort of thing many years ago was 'Fowler's Modern English Usage'.

He explains that while a full stop or apostrophe may be grammatically correct, the overall look of the text should also be considered, especially in lists and signs where too many would make it look ugly. This is particularly relevant where the abbreviation has been accepted as a word in its own right, e.g. Dr, Mr, Mrs, Prof etc.

The example I remember is a list of GPs outside our surgery. They had used 'Dr." everywhere instead of 'Dr' and the long list looked terribly untidy!

Of course, there is also the problem of education. Our young teachers these days seem to have very little grasp of grammar and punctuation marks.

Steve


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