Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 13:13:09 EDT
From: Ron Butters
Subject: Re: plural's - a new development?

In a message dated 6/19/98 11:43:43 AM, someone wrote:

<'development' as you refer to it in your header line; it's
just an example of people who don't understand the rules of the language
they're speaking. Would it be a development if I were to say "there,
their and they're" or "your and you're" or exchangable with one another?>>

First, when they use such apostrophes, "people" are not "speaking the
language" at all, they are writing it. Indeed, apostrophes are unspeakable.
Second, rules involving apostrophes are not "rules of the language" but
rules of spelling.
Third, languages do indeed occasionally "develop" new rules because
someone (or group of someones) "says" there should be such a rule. For
example, that is where the rule for writing "that" instead of "which" in
restrictive relative clauses comes from.
Fourth, if everyone agreed that " 'your' and 'you're' are exchangable
with one another" that would indeed be a "development"!