Oct 12, 2010

The appalling fate of the apostrophe

This post is for the love and support of a long-time friend - the apostrophe. In friendship, it is but true that with deeper understanding, the bonding grows stronger. That is how we became thick friends. Out of many friends that I met in the grammatical highway, the apostrophe remains unique because not many people seemed to understand it rightly. It was bullied, abused and tortured. Alas,  there was even a strong movement waiting to just eradicate it from the planet. Its only respite and reason to live are a few understanding people like us. 

We feel for the tigers and small birds and oil-bathed fishes facing extinction. What about the silent murders of genuine language, friends? I, for now, raise my voice in favour of my friend apostrophe, at the risk of being called a nerd or a loser or worse still, a purist! Doesn't matter. It is for the love of the known.

Do you think Wren and Martin or Tholkaapiar did not laugh heartily for a joke in their lives? Do you think they did not love and make kids (of course in addition to making some rules) ? The point is they were normal people too, who were also smitten by the love of the known. They knew the language and its intricacies and fell in love with it. 

The apostrophe is now facing a three-pronged attack  from evil forces. Let me try to negate them one by one.

Threat #1. Problem of plenty:-
Oil is scarce. Apostrophe is not. Use it as you like it!
There is a great human tendency of adding one more lock to the already existing 1672 locks on the treasure-case, should a doubt just arise about its safety. After all, what stops them? Apostrophes are stuck in this problem of plenty with people in doubt. Who stops them from using one where ever an 'S' follows? Just Do It... O pity!
How often do you listen to people writing plurals in possession- apple's , banana's, martini's, masal dosa's .... Please note that these are rogue corrupt materialists who want everything in plurals and in their possession always. They are huge threats to the sanctity of the world and the recent global economic recession was a direct cause of their adventurous overdrives. 

Be frugal with apostrophes. You can't litter the conversation space with apostrophes just because they are free to use. Know where to use it and act wisely. In future, you definitely won't get a message like "1411 apostrophes left". But "1411 proper-users of apostrophe left" is definitely possible. 

Threat #2. There are enough curves already. Who cares? :-

There are enough curves already there.
Why bother for one more?
If you think its okay, THAT'S NOT! It has to be "it's" (or) "that's" if you were bothered about the underlying message of Paris Hilton's

Sure there is no dearth of curves around in this world. So if you think there is no point in bothering about another innocent unglamorous little curvy punctuation, (and if you think the blonde won't notice the apostrophe that you missed), think again!

There are too many people in the world who just don't care about the finer details. They don't bother to read between the lines of a loan contract and eventually sink the world in recession. They don't bother to  spot and appreciate the girlfriend's tiny ear-piercing from yesterday and end up breaking relationships. They don't bother to read all their answer options thoroughly before missing the "All the above" in the 5th option. The apostrophe is just another redundant detail that they omit. 

Wake up! Pay attention to detail! The apostrophe can teach you a a lesson of watchfulness. It can save your home, woo your girlfriend (only if you don't bother to bother about her apostrophe abuse) and earn you reputation and status. 

Threat #3. I hate possessiveness:-
Gentlemen, I thoroughly understand if you are open-minded and resent your girlfriend's possessiveness. You  may know to use the apostrophe but it is an attitude issue here with you. You don't want to show off possession. You are liberal, broad-minded and can go with anyone out there. The apostrophe is a sign of closed-thinking, possessiveness and obsolescence to you. 

Your attitude can be changed easily with a changed perception. Please do not think the apostrophe as your girlfriend's possessiveness. Think of it as the divine feeling of anger and thirst for the blood of the bas***d who takes your girl away from you. The apostrophe will look more beautiful than your girl's curves to you now. 

Have you ever noticed? The apostrophe's possession context symbolises a divine truth. You never use an apostrophe to show your material possession. It is "mine" and not "mine' ". It only reiterates the possession of the second or third or any nth person. It politely asks you not to boast about your materialistic possessions and be aware of the possession of the other man and respect it. Is it not the message given by greats like Gandhi as prescription for global peace and brotherhood?

As you see now, the apostrophe, my dear friend, is a soft and genuine symbol of abstinence, wisdom, respect to humanity, global peace and also your girlfriend's curves. There is absolutely nothing to hate about it. Please save the apostrophe!!!

-An earnest friend's open request