brief words

December 2007
North & South;Dec2007, Issue 261, p170
The article traces the origins of the rules regarding the use of apostrophe. The conventions that, ideally, govern the use of the apostrophe were standardized in the 19th century, before the advent of universal free education. Using the apostrophe according to these rules thus became a way of demonstrating the user had received a good education. In other words, of signaling class. The function has changed but the rules remain, although the apostrophe is believed to be devolving out of the language.


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