Anyone care to settle a question on grammar?

  exdragon 16:47 01 Jun 2012

Hi - is there a definitive answer as to whether there should be an apostrophe after, for example, CDs, where the abbreviation is for compact discs in the plural? To my mind, there shouldn't be, although 'the CD's jewel cases', being possessive, should have one.

I ask only because someone very pedantic insisted there should be one in my first example. I've looked in Fowlers, but my copy is pretty old and things may have changed.

It's not of earth-shattering importance, but it's niggling me!

  BT 16:59 01 Jun 2012

You are right.

Commonly known as the 'Greengrocers Apostrophe' -- Apple's, Pear's etc.

Greengrocer's Apostrophe

  Condom 17:13 01 Jun 2012


I also agree with you so I recommend you be pedantic back and stop the niggling;-)

Of course it is not just the "apostrophe" which causes problems. For example should you be Exdragon or Ex-dragon? When one of my previous employers changed its name from Cuckfield And Crawley Health Authority to Mid-Downs Health Authority you would have no idea how much time and money was spent in trying to figure out if it should have a hyphen or not. Clearly the hyphen argument won and we had to pay a fraction more to the livery artists who were respraying our whole transport fleet.

  Aitchbee 17:13 01 Jun 2012

I would go for CDs ... slightly off subject; yesterday, I used about 50 redundant plastic CD jewel cases to form a 4" raised border along the brickwork that surrounds my well-kept,, it looks quite neat, I knew they would come in handy...for something.

  Aitchbee 17:23 01 Jun 2012

fourm member - I didnt put in any apostrophies in-between the jewel they were not required. The plants seem ok about it.

  Aitchbee 17:27 01 Jun 2012

I hope I am not sectioned for making that remark.

  rdave13 17:32 01 Jun 2012

The way I try to remember is that an apostrophe is used instead of 'is'.

The CDs are here. The CD's round.

  Snec 17:36 01 Jun 2012

For the casual observer this thread seems a bit of an anti-climax following recent rants and ravings.......... come on, buck yourselves up!

  john bunyan 17:55 01 Jun 2012

I can recommend the book "Eats shoots and leaves". Brilliant for those of us of a pedantic persuasion. See

[Lynn Truss ]1

You were right BTW.

  Aitchbee 18:03 01 Jun 2012

john bunyan - correct title is EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES ...

  Forum Editor 19:13 01 Jun 2012

Apostrophe abuse is a common fault - lots of people scatter apostrophes through their letters, emails, and documents like confetti.

fourm member's suggestion on how to decide is the perfect one - you imagine what you would say without the abbreviation. That way you'll (you will) avoid the pitfalls.

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