The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Use apostrophe’s responsibly please

A quarter-century ago, E.T.:The Extra-Terrestrial was released, "which some have called ‘the greatest movie ever made. By humans,’" as Will Ferrel once said on Saturday Night Live . Today, we live in the age of E 2 .T 2 .: English Transcription Extra Travestrials. Namely, it is an extra-travesty the way today’s English-speakers make use of the apostrophe. These days it is not uncommon to see an apostrophe used to denote a plural noun. It is no longer used to denote omission or ownership; it is now only an insufferable reflection of the grammatical prowess of our population. With a state of the art English staff instructing the students of Ames High, one would think they would be immune to misuse of this important mark, but it could be that outside influence is simply too great. Trusted English teacher Mr. Schmidt points out that collective passivity could play a role in the problem. "I drive past a farm most days with an apostrophe used to make the family’s name plural, when it should just be an added s," he said. "It makes me wonder ifanyone’s ever stopped in and told them it’s wrong; I’ve been driving past it for years, and sometimes I wonder if I should stop in myself." Such mistakes are abundant in everyday life; even newspaper headlines have been known toerrantly add apostrophes. Despite the simplicity of this problem, restoring propriety to the masses is easier said than done. It may come down to a need for extreme action. Schmidt said one town in England is considering doing away with apostrophes for good. This would seem to get the job done, and would be an adequate reminder for the living generation of the importance of remembering things you learned in third grade (don’t let cursive die!) The only drawback, however, is that children of generations to come would have to be told of the legend of apostrophe, and with all the other legends they’re being taught ( The Illiad , Achilles, Urban Legend , The Legend of Zelda etc.) its value could be lost. Despite this, let it be said that sometimes in life you have to count the cost. This is one of those times. We must rid ourselves of apostrophes, or be forced to live with glaring errors for all time. Let the legend of apostrophe be taught alongside the legend of Master Chief, and let properMLA notation live forever!

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