Wednesday, December 22, 2010

not necessarily a grinch

This holiday video is going viral. I first found out about it on the Alaska Magazine site. Then it was in the Anchorage Daily News. I've shared it with other people.

It's quite charming: a fifth grade class and other residents in a small coastal Alaska village flash cards with words or syllables printed on them to the tune of Hallelujah. Even those of us who aren't religious can see that it was probably lots of fun for the kids, elders and other residents of the village, especially when it came time to view it at the Christmas program at the school.

Yet, here I am twitching. Because I'm a stickler. As I pointed out to another stickler at a solstice party last night: "Sticklers are so annoying, unless they're me." And that's the thing, isn't it? I'm not perfect. I make mistakes, some in writing; some verbal (like today at lunch when I commented that Jon had given me a little spoon so I could eat my salad; only it wasn't a spoon, it was a salad fork). I do these kinds of word errors frequently enough that in public I sometimes have to stop to think about what to call something.

So, what's my beef with the video? An apostrophe, that's all. Okay, it's not just that apostrophes are mistakenly used on pluralized, non-possessive words. It's that the video, and I assume the flash cards, were made by a teacher. It is a very simple rule: we don't use an apostrophe before the letter "S" when a word is pluralized.

That's it. I've said it. And if that makes me a grinch, at least I'll be a grinch whose apostrophes are in the right place's. I mean "places."


Tim said...

Those apostrophes drove me nuts when I watched the video.

Karen said...

The misuse of the apostrophe drives me crazy, too! Check out for a few laughs. People submit photos of signs which have used apostrophes incorrectly.
BTW...I'm a first time commenter but long time reader. Love your blog and your Mountain Bike Anchorage book.

bikegirl said...

Karen, a little late, but thanks for reading & for posting the link. I'm glad you like the book, too.

One of these days I'll post some shots of poor grammar - I have a small collection.