May 20, 2019
Apostrophes Are Never Used to Form Plurals, Except When They AreTOPICS: apostrophes for form plurals, GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION
Plurals formed with apostrophes are among the most common mistakes in the language, with people frequently wring "There are two Bella's in my class" instead of the correct "two Bellas." But in rare cases, it is correct to use an apostrophe to create a plural. Here's what you need to know.
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'Cannabusiness,' New Meanings for 'Chipmunk' Enter the Oxford English DictionaryPosted by June on May 20, 2019
LABELS: CANNABUSINESS, GRAMMAR, NEW WORDS, OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
Dictionaries add words all the time. But really, it’s not the dictionaries adding words to the language. It’s us. Dictionaries just record the words we’ve anointed by using them enough to indicate we really have made them part of the language.
That’s an art, of course, not a science. Most dictionaries drop words, too, banishing from their pages terms we’ve banished from our speech and writing.
But there’s an exception: the Oxford English Dictionary, or OED — a historical record of the language where words check in, but they don’t check out.
“As a historical dictionary, the OED is very different from dictionaries of current English, in which the focus is on present-day meanings,” the editors explain on the dictionary’s website.
“You’ll still find present-day meanings in the OED, but you’ll also find the history of individual words, and of the language — traced through 3 million quotations, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books,” the editors added.
For this reason, the OED has a singular place in the language — an authority held above all others.
So when this dictionary adds words, it’s worth taking notice. The new words can be a window into our minds and our culture.
Take, for example, a few of the OED’s 2019 additions, which are featured in my recent column.
- 'Cannabusiness,' New Meanings for 'Chipmunk' Enter the Oxford English Dictionary
May 20, 2019
- Apostrophes Are Never Used to Form Plurals, Except When They Are
May 20, 2019
- In the long run, grammar bullies always lose
May 13, 2019
- Sentence Types: Declarative, Interrogative, Imperative, Exclamatory
May 13, 2019
- English scores the No. 33 spot on the weirdness scale
April 29, 2019
June Casagrande is a writer and journalist whose weekly grammar/humor column, “A Word, Please,” appears in community newspapers in California, Florida, and Texas. more
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