Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 14:03:42 -0500
From: "Donald M. Lance"
Subject: Re: plural's - a new development?

>From Bryan Gick, Thu, 18 Jun 1998 00:52:21:

>I've been noticing something for the last few months that I can't ignore
>anymore: Lots of people seem to be using the orthographic apostrophe-s
>plural only after (orthographic?) vowels! A text will typically have lots
>and lots of standard -s plurals with one or two -'s ones tossed in. So
>far, all and only those words ending in a, o and i get -'s, and I haven't
>found any final u's or syllabic (non-silent) e's from people who do this.
>Examples - Here's the grand total of -'s plurals I've seen since I started
>noting them (omitting proper nouns, abbreviations and acronyms):
>1. In an insect repellent ad (
> forums/ontbuysell/messages/463.htm):
>-'s: mosquito's (x3), patio's
>-s: bugs, insects, lotions, sprays, humans, animals, waves, decks, doors,
> wholesalers, distributors.
>2. Web page for a renovations company (
>-'s: patio's
>-s: renovations, carports (x2), enclosures (x2), covers, rooms.
>3. Local air service webpage
> (
>-'s: jacuzzi's
>-s: languages, places, amenities, rooms, pilots, floats, adventures,
> years, maps, rafts, canoes, stoves, bags, trips (x3), rates.
>4. Personal email from a 13-year-old family member:
>-'s: extra's
>-s: guys (x2), rides
>5. Department store poster ad (women's "Sunsations" bathing suits):
>-'s: bra's
>-s: contours, ruffles, colors, prints, stripes...[there were more but I
> stopped transcribing].
>So, am I losing my mind?

Maybe they use apostrophes in words to which they want to draw special
attention. The salient insect is the mosquito, not just any bug. And it's
people who sit on the patio that need the bug spray most. ??

Like using quotation marks to draw attention in signs when no one is being

"Patio Doors"
Special bargain price
Available thru Thursday
Come by "today"

Not totally random behavior.