Do you have a pet hate or a bugbear? Collins Online Dictionary defines it as “a minor annoyance that a person identifies as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than it may be to others”. I would like to add to this definition by replacing the phrase “that a person identifies” with “that a person believes is particularly annoying to them”. Only when we believe that CD’s instead of CDs, car’s instead of cars or your’s instead of yours are correct will we use them and vigorously defend them as being good grammar. Some will see no reason at all to be annoyed by the above examples, which I have borrowed from Google search results for “bad apostrophe use”. Others may be called grammar Nazi’s for refusing to budge from the truth that apostrophe does not form plural forms of words. Excluding perhaps examples such as “Mind your p’s” or “You use too many but’s in your writing”. But it really comes down to what we believe is true. Yes, there is only one truth, and one English grammar. However, willingly or unwillingly, just as we choose our own spelling, we choose to believe what truth is. And we seek out and associate ourselves with those who share the same beliefs.
Grammar or any other arbitrarily agreed habitual behavior can be cemented through acceptance and reinforcement. We read things, we are told how to speak, we write, and we imitate our role models. After years of doing things one way, pointing out a different way, a “correct” way, is likely to be met with disbelief and disdain. Our identification with our habits makes up our beliefs and our reality. What other habits, knowledge, and truths do we hold on to and reinforce every day? They may not be bad for us, however they may be in the way of things we want.
If we hold on to our habits and beliefs we hold on to our reality. What if we want to change our reality? Why is it even called reality? Is it reality because we can feel its circumstances in the present moment or simply because we’re experiencing it as real? I believe that if we change our habits we can change our reality. Alcoholics Anonymous define insanity as ‘repeating the same action, expecting different results’. Again, what habits, knowledge, and truths do you hold on to and reinforce every day, all the while expecting something different to happen in your life?
If you give your apostrophes some thought, you may find that giving your life an abundant amount of thought might spell out different results for you over time. No one else can do it but yourself. Write down your “apostrophes” which stand in the way of truth. Write down what’s important to you and start believing that letting go of old habits is not letting go of who you truly are. Ask yourself not only what you do and how you behave, but why you do so in the first place. Change the way you’ve done things so far. It may spell out a reality made up of why’s you desire in your life. For real.
Picture sources (top to down): www.danceswithferrets.org, www.devindrennentypo.blogspot.com and www.banterist.com
Definitely one of my pet peeves. Reminds me of a funny book titled Eat, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynn Truss about grammar and sticklers.
Thanks for your comment! I found Eat, Shoots, and Leaves hilarious. Glad to hear from you. Love to you and keep writing! A:)ex
I appreciate your thoughts and sharing them here. This little story has been in the making for some time, and despite a critical slant, I’m glad I put it out there. A:)ex
A very good read ! Thank you for this !
Maryam, you are very welcome. May your change be your life’s shining light, in adventure and creative excitement each and every day. Love, A:)ex
They are sometimes known as ‘The Grocer’s apostrophe’. I think we’re stuck with them, a product of modern education—ol’ Kermit has a lot to answer for.
But what are the rule’s for us’ing them? Is’ it every ‘s’ or only s’ome? Do they always’ come before or after the offending letter’s’s, or can we cover all ba’s’s’sess”s (bugger!) (try again) ba’s’e’s’ (eeeek!) to be sure? Or thould we thpeak with a lith to make ourthelfth thafe?
Ha ha, I love your comment. I can see a story developing there for a post of your own. Please keep visiting. I like your blog. A:)ex
I’d been thinking if it but you beat me to it … ’twas ever thus. And thanks, appreciated.