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Deprecate apostrophe’s

Lose them altogether, they are an ugly hack
  [vote for,

I propose that over the span of a generation or so, start removing the apostrophe. I consider it an ugly and inelegant hack. It is trying to emulate the aural effect of hearing a rapid contraction of saying two words run together. It is also for an entirely separate and unconnected purpose, to indicate a relationship of a thing to another thing. I propose you cant have your cake both ways.

In the case of aural contraction, the running together of words or contraction of a word should not rely on an apostrophe to get the job done. Either just run them together as the contraction, or preferentially, spell out the whole word(s). I prefer to separate them out, and if one is being formal, spotting contractions that use apostrophes and replacing them with the expanded uncontracted words is I feel a good plan anyway. However if being a bit more colloquial and writing it as it is spoke, then run them together but simply avoid apostrophising altogether under any circumstances and according to any rule.

Im quite convinced that complex arrangements of rules are dangerous in the hands of the many and indicative of systemic inelegance. Mainly dangerous though. For example and from another domain area, if programming were a lot simpler and more straightforward and less convoluted then more people actually doing it would make not as many mistakes and fixing those mistakes would be better. I am in favour of removing dangerous complexity that only a few people innately understand while many people actively involved in using the subject do not necesssarily fully understand. I view this as a source of systemic risk. This risk could be removed.

Ian Tindale, Jun 23 2017

Trump outstaring the sun https://www.theguar...h-no-eye-protection
Trump stared at the sun, and the sun blinked first. [xenzag, Aug 22 2017]

How to tell if you damaged your eyes during the eclipse https://www.theguar...-eclipse-eye-damage
[hippo, Aug 22 2017]


       Yahbut, apostrophes are how I tell people "Yes, I can spell: I just choose not to".
FlyingToaster, Jun 23 2017

       Some of us 'ave glo'al stops in our accents. Wo' are we s'posed to do?
nineteenthly, Jun 23 2017

       Shutuppa ya mouth, of course ...
8th of 7, Jun 23 2017

       It's not that I don't like this, is just that I don't think I could give up apostrophes.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 23 2017

       Maybe the unused apostrophies could be harvested, reprocessed, and turned into vowels for use in welsh ?
8th of 7, Jun 23 2017

       I t'nk w'ds sh'ld h'v m'r 'pstr'ph's
hippo, Jun 23 2017

       The apostrophe is meant to indicate the place where some letters have been omitted.   

       Should we introduce a new symbol to mark the place where an apostrophe has been omitted?
Wrongfellow, Jun 23 2017

       I like apostrophes. They enable one to do things like type " 'phone " and " 'flu' " in a knowing sort of way which confers a sense of condescending superciliosity whose eschewment is loath me. That said, I think they should be replaced with the letter E in possessives right now, although I reserve the right to change my mind next week sometime, probably Tuesday.
nineteenthly, Jun 23 2017

       // I think they should be replaced with the letter E in possessives right now// You mean, as in "his hates brim was turned down"?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 23 2017

       Good point [MB]. In cases such as that we should double the final consonant and affect a Swedish tone of voice.
nineteenthly, Jun 23 2017

       Now if only the idea read: Defecate Apostles then we could ruminate on the possiblities offered by consuming laxative tablets that take the physical form of miniature religious figures.
xenzag, Jun 23 2017

       But then we'd wonder if someone was "as mad as a hater".   

       Perhaps the simplest option would be to declare "apostrophe" to be a letter with equal standing to A-Z. Doing so would have several advantages:   

       (1) Just like the other letters, it could pop up all over the place in various contexts, so we'd get a lot more new words once we decide how to pronounce things like "fret'acle" or " 'll".   

       (2) We'd expand the available repertoire for car number plates.   

       (3) People would stop saying that a misplaced apostrophe is simply a punctuation error. It would instead be a spelling error, and everyone agrees that that's a bad thing.   

       Personally, I'd like the new letter, ' , to be pronounced as a click, like some of those cool African languages. A double-' (or a ' followed by consonant-e) would be pronounced as a whistle. In certain contexts, the ' would be psilent.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 23 2017

       //But then we'd wonder if someone was "as mad as a hatter// I'm reading that as a compliment. Aside: Is the opposite of being "as mad as a hatter" being "as sensible as a person who never makes any hats, especially ones that require the unprotected use of lead in their construction"? If so, then it's frightfully long winded to be described as someone sensible.
xenzag, Jun 23 2017

       I think the problem with hatting was mercury, not lead.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 23 2017

       'erethism mercurialis' to be precise
xenzag, Jun 23 2017

       Remove all apostrophes from Tam O'Shanter? Och... How on earth would it be recited with an outrageous Scottish accent? G'away wi' yer.
Ling, Jun 23 2017

       I want to agree, but I'd've no way to use double contractions, so t'isn't something I can support.   

       Also Irish names and o'clock.
tatterdemalion, Jun 23 2017

       Also, some ships have fo'c'sles, while others have fo'c's'les.   

       Can you imagine taking your ship to the docks, asking for a new fo'c'sle, and getting back to find they'd fitted a new fo'c's'le at three times the price?
Wrongfellow, Jun 23 2017

       I’d prefer it if we’d start by deprecating “'” in favour of “‘” & “’”.
pocmloc, Jun 23 2017

       Ah, that would be nice, [poc]. Alas, so many characters and punctuati have been lost. My keyboard offers me no more than ' and `. And what of the huge family of dashes, usurped completely by the bland, uniform hyphen? And of true quotation marks?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 23 2017

       You're clearly unacquainted with the plethora of additional characters available merely from a skilled employment of the ALT key combined with the permutations offered by the numeric keypad ...   

       Do you crave an uncommon diaresis ? They're all there at your fingertips. Then again, what you do in the privacy of your bedroom is your own business.
8th of 7, Jun 23 2017

       Tish and pooh. I don't want perfectly respectable puncuati hidden away under an Alt key like some sort of second-grade cousins at a wedding. I want them right there, rubbing shoulders with "?" and "!".   

       Fortunately, there will soon be the option to accommodate one of these characters on the key formerly known as €.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 23 2017

       <Chief Brodie>   

       "You're gonna need a bigger keyboard..."   

       </Chief Brodie>
8th of 7, Jun 23 2017

       I don't want to change the current system as I believe in punctuation equilibrium.
AusCan531, Jun 23 2017

       If it happened right this second it wouldn't be punctual enough.   

       [MB], you probably already know this but in some languages the apostrophe is already regarded as a letter. It also already stands for a glottal stop. So yes, I approve and agree, and there should also be capital and lowercase apostrophes, which already exist in a sense in the form of question marks without dots at the bottom.
nineteenthly, Jun 24 2017

       // It also already stands for a glottal stop   

       And glottal starts later one presumes.   

       Curious when is it necessary to write a glottal stop? I thought that was something people did with their mouth parts.
tatterdemalion, Jun 24 2017

       sp. glo’al
pocmloc, Jun 24 2017

       //when is it necessary to write a glottal stop?// Well, for instance, when it is necessary to try to convey a speaker's accent in writing.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 24 2017

       Various languages use glottal stops as regular phonemes, such as Polynesian and Semitic languages, and of course various English accents have them. They're not unusual.
nineteenthly, Jun 24 2017

       How will people from Yorkshire differentiate between taxes and t'axes?
hippo, Jun 24 2017

       There are no people in (or from) Yorkshire.
8th of 7, Jun 24 2017

       On the contrary, [8th]. I've met many people who say they come from Yorkshire. What I've never met is anyone who says they're going _to_ Yorkshire.   

       Incidentally, I've seen "wouldn't'v'd" in use, as in "he wouldn't'v'd an 'ope in 'ell."
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 24 2017

       There are more people living in Yorkshire than there are in the whole of Australia, but they're hidden. The Yorkshire Troglodyte is shy and seldom seen, but they do come out at night to forage for their favourite food... sheep droppings, especially the nice soft ones left by juvenile hoggets. Over eating of these causes a malformation of the mouth interior resulting in a sort abrupt collapse of certain words. For example: "up at twilight to go foraging for evening meal" becomes: "up't twilight to go foraging for't evening meal". These hideously deformed and mentally vacant creatures are best left alone to avoid any possibility of them acquiring a taste for human flesh, or taking up some other nefarious habit, like ironing their trouser pockets while they contained bars of Lifeboy toilet soap.
xenzag, Jun 24 2017

       //up't twilight// Sp.: "oop' twalaat"
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 26 2017

       //There are more people living in Yorkshire than there are in the whole of Australia, but they're hidden.//   

       The rhubarb triangle is bigger on the inside.
bigsleep, Jun 27 2017

       Don't omit letters. There's your ensolutioned thing.
Ian Tindale, Aug 19 2017

       Yes, but without the apostrophe, how will you know if someone has omitted letters or not?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 21 2017

       Look for gaps.
8th of 7, Aug 21 2017

       //Look for gaps.//   

       Probably too late by then. In a fragile world conomy as soon as stuff starts to go missing things really start collapsing. Losing some punctuation on top of a few presidential IQ points and we are facing the kind of disasters we see in so many post-apostrophe movies.
bigsleep, Aug 21 2017

       //Look for gaps.//   

       Mind the gaps ? That can be deceptive. Last week the letter between b and d in the alphabet ceased to function on my keyboard at work.   

       Reports and emails this week have spa es in them representative of when I grew weary of opy/pasting the letter c when it was required.
normzone, Aug 21 2017

       In my experience with students, most of them have no idea what apostrophes are, or when to use them. For example, the word 'you're' has been universally replaced with the word 'your'. The world is dumbing down. One look at America and you simply shudder.
xenzag, Aug 22 2017

       Well, there's your problem - don't look.   

       (or, to do it the way I'm suggesting:   

       Well, there is your problem - do not look. )
Ian Tindale, Aug 22 2017

       Sometimes it's good to look. Without looking yesterday, I wouldn't have seen Trump staring directly up at the sun without any filtration because he believes that the need for eye protection during the eclipse is "fake news". Sometimes you just have to laugh.
xenzag, Aug 22 2017

       //the need for eye protection during the eclipse is "fake news"//   

       Actually, it is. It is perfectly safe to look at the sun with bare eyes during a total eclipse. Even looking at the sun for a few moments without an eclipse will do no worse than leave you dazzled for a while. Have you ever met a blind person who is blind because they caught a glimpse of the sun? No, thought not.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 22 2017

       You and Trump now share a common bond - thinking that NASA generates fake news! ha (something else to add to those pretend moon landings)   

       "Staring directly at the sun for a few seconds without eye protection at any time … can cause damage to the center of the retina," said Dr. Neil Bressler, a professor of ophthalmology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. That includes a partial eclipse, as well as when there's no eclipse at all, Bressler added.   

       "There's no absolute cutoff regarding a safe amount of time for any individual [to stare at the sun], but the longer one stares directly at the sun, the greater the chance of damage to the retina," Bressler told Live Science.   

       That's good enough for me, but Fake news according to Trump etc.
xenzag, Aug 22 2017

       Yes, NASAs advice is of course wise and sage. But it's also bollocks. No doubt you also send for biohazard incineration any food in your fridge that is 1 second past its use-by date.   

       Go look at the sun (when next available in France) for 10 seconds. Let me know if you go blind.   

       The idea that we should all be so terrified of the sun is one of those sad, moronic little ideas.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 22 2017

       You and Dr. Neil Bressler should battle it out. Meanwhile, I'll make you up a nice little badge, that says: "Hi - my name is Max, and I like to stare at the Sun, just like Donald Trump. Not that bright. Awesome." (features a braille version on the back for future use)
xenzag, Aug 22 2017

       [Max] that reminds me of a Richard Feynman story, when he witnessed an atom bomb test. He was advised to look at it through smoked glass but reasoned that it would only be a very bright light and so, like the sun, would just dazzle him. Thus he became the only person to view the test with the naked eye. Later he died of cancer but that's probably unconnected...

Also, see link
hippo, Aug 22 2017

       Link: ho ho.   

       But, seriously, where did people get this strange idea that looking at the sun will cause near-instant damage? Sure, through a telescope would be very, very bad. And sure, staring at it for days will be bad (ancients who wanted to blind themselves for religious reasons used to do this, though generally without great success); and lifetime exposure to high UV increases the risk of cataracts. But a few seconds, or minutes? Don't be silly.   

       True story: I was in New York once during a partial eclipse. I was standing in the street watching it through squinty eyes, and some idiot woman actually hit me with her handbag and said "You're not allowed to look at it!!!"
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 22 2017

       // can cause damage to the center of the retina //   

       This is correct, but it's not the important thing.   

       The important thing is "Will it cause serious, irreversible damage ?"   

       If you drop a heavy item on your unprotected foot, it will cause pain. The severity of the pain will depend on the weight and shape of the object.   

       But will it cause serious, ongoing pain and disability ? That is possible. A full can of beverage with a mass of about 500g will probably produce a yelp, bad language, an impromptu hopping dance, and lots of laughter from onlookers. A chisel of the same mass, dropped blade down from the same height, could result in excruciating pain, a visit to the ER, reconstructive surgery, and make walking an unpleasant experience for the remainder of your life.   

       The answer you get depends on the question you ask. It is extremely important to ask the right question ...
8th of 7, Aug 22 2017

       Is this a question to which you will give me the answer "no"?
hippo, Aug 22 2017

       // You're clearly unacquainted with the plethora of additional characters available merely from a skilled employment of the ALT key combined with the permutations offered by the numeric keypad ... //   

       You're clearly unacquainted with WinCompose…
notexactly, Jan 10 2018

       //But, seriously, where did people get this strange idea that looking at the sun will cause near-instant damage?//   

       Because safety has a sort of positive feedback effect, a bit like how a single agitated chicken will have the whole coup clucking in alarm. This doesn't apply to the rational world of science however. As you know, the 10mg of ethidium bromide we have in the fridge could easily maybe shorten the life of a sickly mouse if the whole bottle were accidentally injected (it would be sensible to concentrate the solution down first as a whole ml of pure water would probably kill the mouse before the superscary mutagen got chance). Its not difficult to imagine a sequence of events where several hundred bottles are accidentally ordered, opened and consumed one by one by a determined lab tech. That there's enough cadmium in a NiCd AA cell to kill a 4yo isn't a priority in this context, the risks of a 4yo mishandling a toy simply do not compare to those of trained professional scientists handling miniscule quantities of a cattle medication.   

       The sun is the same, if it blinded people babies on their backs would blind themselves on every sunny stroll 'round the park. What are the chances of accidentally overexposing the only tissue specifically adapted to sense light? Your irises close down, you squint, your eyes water then you look away, at that moment your night vision would be truly dreadful, until all the various pigments regenerated. Now INVISIBLE light, there's your danger, all the protection mechanisms don't work, your iris stays open and all the lensing faithfully focuses the UV/IR onto the retina... that gives me an idea.
bs0u0155, Jan 10 2018


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