Thursday, September 2, 2010

Those Annoying Apostrophes

Thank you to a certain local television station (that shall remain unidentified - for now) and its online stories for giving me not one, but four typos to share this morning!  Two involve those pesky apostrophes, one is a letter missed in haste, and one is just downright confusing.

From a story about a robbery:

     "The suspects the ran..."

How about, "...then ran..."?  Missing a letter is a common error, and usually caused by haste or sticky keys.  Not that I would know...

Another robbery (sheesh, what was up in the Big City yesterday?) involved a shooting.  The reporter writes:

     "The suspects decision to shoot..."

Here we have an apostrophe missing in action.  The suspect possesses the decision (for the sake of grammatical argument), so the sentence should read, "The suspect's decision..."

Then there's a story about how hackers are embedding computer bugs in links within bogus e-mails.  This writer says:

     "Once inside your computer, virus' can scan documents..."

There are instances in which apostrophes are used to denote a plural, but this is not one of them.  "Viruses."  Plural, not possessive.  End of discussion.

Later in the article, the writer offers this advice:

     "Experts also recommend emailing your entire address book to know you've been hacked."


This was probably an error caused by editing on the fly, or maybe a cut-and-paste gone wrong.  (Not that I would know anything about those, either.)  I'm thinking the writer intended to say something like, " let your contacts know you've been hacked."

Just a guess...

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