Fredericton — People in the province of New Brunswick are reeling today upon learning that, all this time, apostrophes don’t actually serve to make words plural.
The news made CBC New Brunswick yesterday. A story was published online that used apostrophes in an attempt to make several words plural.
“Give us a break — our copyeditor’s are on vacation!” a representative explained in a written statement to The Manatee. “Come on, guy’s! We can’t be expected to catch all our mistake’s.” But CBC then issued a public statement on social media by way of explanation, telling the online world that apostrophes are usually used to make words possessive, not plural.
“Well, this is a new one for me,” commented Beth McKay of Lincoln. “Our mailbox says ‘the McKay’s’ on it…maybe I should paint over that little comma thing so it makes more sense.”
“It took me until last year to figure out the ‘your’ versus ‘you’re’ spelling, and now they spring this one on me,” said perplexed Darren Olsen of Devon. “What am I supposed to do about my tattoo that says ‘I heart puppy’s’?”
As usual, many commenters didn’t read the statement before rushing to write their opinions on the post.
“The Irving’s are ruining this province!” typed one.
“Our tax dollar’s hard at work I see,” wrote another.
“Before you know it the summer will be over and the kid’s will be back at school!” penned yet another.
Of those who did read it, most are wondering how they got this far in life without this information.
“I’m not the most literate person but I was always told apostrophes are just for when you feel like it, or like, when you want to spice up the sentence and make it look better,” Susan Ellis of Hanwell said. “And aren’t ‘plural’ and ‘possessive’ basically the same thing? I’m so confused!”
In the end, most New Brunswickers blamed French immersion — even those who didn’t take French in school.
“Ever since French immersion I get all confused with spelling. Masculine, feminine, plural, possessive…how am I supposed to keep it all straight?” said Bob Wright of Minto.
“Ah well. I guess you can pretty much get by as long as you can make your Tim Hortons order,” he concluded with a shrug. “Everything else is just gravy.”
I had no idea didn’t could be plural. Thanks for the article. Now I will always know. 🙂
I get a kick out of this. There/their/they’re, then/than, two/to/too, your/you’re, were/we’re…all the same problem. And don’t forget the frenchifying of our dollar sign…in English is ALWAYS goes BEFORE the amount…not after.