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Off topic: This is not about pedantry...
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:49
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Jan 24, 2014

I posted this under "the lighter side of translation" but I'm not at all sure it's light. Grrr! I turn into a rabid dog at the sight of a missing apostrophe !

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/24/campaigners-war-punctuation-cull-apostrophes-cambridge


 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:49
Italian to English
Avoid high street banks Jan 24, 2014

Tom in London wrote:

I posted this under "the lighter side of translation" but I'm not at all sure it's light. Grrr! I turn into a rabid dog at the sight of a missing apostrophe !

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/24/campaigners-war-punctuation-cull-apostrophes-cambridge


Thanks for the link, Tom.

Presumably you don't have an account at Barclays Bank or Lloyds Bank. And I won't bother to ask whether you're a member of the Translators Association icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2014-01-24 15:32 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:49
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The Serenity Prayer Jan 24, 2014

This is were you need to use the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

(And I would regard correcting signs as perfectly legitimate...)

I don't suffer fools gladly either...


 

Usch Pilz
Local time: 05:49
English to German
+ ...
I know where all the apostrophes went! Jan 24, 2014

The Germans took them all!
http://www.apostrophen-alarm.de/


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:49
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Mein Gott! Jan 24, 2014

Mein Gott! So haben Sie auch dieses Problem in Deutschland!

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nobody's perfect Jan 24, 2014

Tom in London wrote:

... Grrr! I turn into a rabid dog at the sight of a missing apostrophe !

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/24/campaigners-war-punctuation-cull-apostrophes-cambridge


Me too, usually, but you never know when you're going to slip up... I missed one out the other day myself and only caught it when revising the translation before sending it off. To err is human...
But in the article, what I find really disappointing is the "solution" the bright sparks at the local authority in question came up with ... just omit them from all street signs and... Bobs your uncle.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Goat got Jan 24, 2014

The apostrophe misuse that really gets my dinger going is when it's used to signify a plural form. For example, this one just cropped up in the text I'm translating right now: "P&ID’s". No definition, no explanation, nothing.

Just as well there's nobody else around to hear me cursing...

[Edited at 2014-01-24 21:25 GMT]

PS: P&ID stands for Piping and Instrumentation Diagram... so the plural is P&IDs.

[Edited at 2014-01-24 21:28 GMT]

However, I think this type of use is mainly perpetrated by non-native speakers, so I suppose it's not as heinous as when a native speaker does it.

[Edited at 2014-01-24 21:30 GMT]


 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:49
Italian to English
The native(')s are restless Jan 25, 2014

neilmac wrote:

However, I think this type of use is mainly perpetrated by non-native speakers, so I suppose it's not as heinous as when a native speaker does it.



Dodgy apostrophes are almost a token of nativeness these days. Any non-native who has learned English sufficiently well to write with near-native proficiency is unlikely to pepper the page with random possessive punctuation marks.

And if Shakespeare could get away with "How sometimes Nature will betray it's [sic] folly?", who are we to criticise Cambridge council?


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:49
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Use numbering system Jan 25, 2014

When Napoleon entered a new town the French at once gave each house a number, so they didn't have to read those foreign street signs at all (if they even had street signs). In our days taxi drivers see a list of street names on the navigator screen when the passenger tells them where to go, and they can choose the right one. I don't understand why rescue service does not use navigators.
Hopefully my apostrophes are all on place and none too many.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:49
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The extinct language paradox Jan 25, 2014

The Cambridge city council naming policy also bans street names that would be "difficult to pronounce or awkward to spell" and any that "could give offence" or would "encourage defacing of nameplates".

I am pretty sure that the same civil servants and politicians who feel that it is perfectly reasonable to curtail their own language's richness are always glad to send a pile of money somewhere else to protect the remains of an extinct language. Maybe they want all languages --including their own-- to be nearly extinct and prefer a more malleable language... and thus more malleable citizens.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:49
Hebrew to English
This is about.... Jan 25, 2014

12 years of compulsory education and still not being able to properly place an apostrophe.

Every time I log into Facebook or browse other social media and see the widespread misuse of the apostrophe I can't help but scratch my head and wonder "just what did you learn in those 12 years if not the basics of literacy in your own language?"


 

Lancashireman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:49
German to English
Re: Translators Association Jan 25, 2014

Whether this qualifies for an apostrophe depends on the history of the organisation, i.e. was it set up by or for translators? The Students Union - as the name of a building on a university campus – is a facility provided for the use of the students. They are, by definition, a shifting population and do not have any rights of ownership. The test I use is to turn the construction around and see whether the natural choice of preposition is ‘of’ or ‘for’.

 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:49
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
bobbing? Jan 25, 2014

neilmac wrote:

... just omit them from all street signs and... Bobs your uncle.


Fine, but then I'd want to know who or what is bobbing my uncle...


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 06:49
Turkish to English
+ ...
Belvior Road Jan 25, 2014

I know that many years ago a road name in Great Yarmouth was officially changed from "Belvoir Road" to "Beevor Road" because the latter was a more phonetic rendering of the way that it was actually meant to be pronounced.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:49
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Why not Beaver Road, while they were about it? Jan 25, 2014

Tim Drayton wrote:

I know that many years ago a road name in Great Yarmouth was officially changed from "Belvoir Road" to "Beevor Road" because the latter was a more phonetic rendering of the way that it was actually meant to be pronounced.


If they had thought of Beaver Road, at least it would have been spelt correctly...


 
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