Pleural: the serous membrane covering the lungs and lining the walls of the
thoracic cavity; the two layers thus enclose a potential space - the pleural
But it is traditional to include at least one mistake in any post
criticising someone else's spelling or grammar. It's an old charter or
I'm not sure what you are trying to say Ian. No greengrocer would attempt to
a single cauliflower so by putting a sign up that says "Cauli's" he implies
has more than one cauliflower to sell. Hence "Cauli's" is correct whereas
"Lemon's" is not correct no matter how many he is trying to sell.
The reason "Cauli's" is correct is that the apostrophe denotes the missing
part and does not imply posession nor is it an abbreviation. These are the
uses of the apostrophe. One may only use the word "Cauli's" as a pleural, in
it would indeed be incorrect. If the shop has only one cauliflower to sell,
then the sign
"Cauli's" would be wrong, because "Cauli's " equals "Cauliflowers"
You say "Cauli's" is NOT acceptable as a plural for "cauli" but you don't
attempt to explain why.
I'm trying to show you that it's the same as the word "photo'" where
"photo's" is equal to
Tony, I know all about the apostrophe marking an elision. Look at the
sentence you just wrote. Now tell me why "photo's" is equal to
"photographs" when "photo" is apparently not equal to "photograph"?
It is arguable that the apostrophe should be used in these words - it
would be an archaic and very strange usage, but it's arguable - but if
it is, it should be used in the singular. It is never acceptable to
use an apostrophe to form a plural. *
To go back to what I said in the first place - "cauli's" is - just -
arguably correct as a plural for "cauli' " but NOT for "cauli".
* There is a more respectable exception, which I think is both archaic
and American - an apostrophe used to be used for plurals of single
letters and abbreviations. "Mind your p's and q's" and "M.P.'s" are
not so much wrong as to be avoided.
I didn't say "photo", I said "photo'" - with an apostrophe. That is exactly
I write it if I'm abbreviating. I would do the same with "cauli'" should I
the word cauliflower. However, as I said earlier, some words which strictly
use an apostrophe have become so much part of our language without that I
think anyone would argue that it should be in there. Such examples I gave
included "taxi". In that respect we are in agreement, but my original
argument that the greegocer's
"cauli's" was correct, albeit for the wrong reason possibly, still stands.
Well we seem to be in agreement - if you actually read what I said!
I'll try to rephrase it. It is not incorrect to use an apostrophe in
those abbreviated words - although in my opinion it is now unusual. It
IS wrong to add an apostrophe to form the plural.
That is why my original comment was that cauli's was acceptable as a
plural ONLY if cauli' was used as the singular.
Now, by all means read what I say and disagree with it. If you just
skim over it, tell me I'm wrong and deliver a lecture on a largely
unrelated subject you will find out just how rude I *can* be!
But the apostrophe is not used to indicate an abbreviation; it is used to
indicate a contraction (such as the wi in I'll or the o in didn't) or
possesive (as in my car's wheels) but not a plural (unless you're a grocer
and so benefit from the licence to use apostrophes in that position). If
you wish to indicate an abbreviation, use a full stop [American "period"] -
but that is not done if the abbreviation is pluralised (again, unless you
are a grocer, of course).
The correct plural of cauli is caulies. Or is it caulis? Perhaps I'll
just have the peas.
See also "Eats Shoots and Leaves" by Lynn Truss - and if you dare, the
newsgroup alt.possessive.its.has.no.apostrophe :))
In the context I used it, I hope it was clear that I used
"abbreviation" literally, meaning "shortening" - the examples being
discussed are all contractions.
If you have "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" (DO try to get it wrong when it
matters!) you might want to check it - it is Lynn Truss who maintains
that an apostrophe was formerly required in the plural of initialisms
such as "m.p.".
| Home > Library > Words > Grammar Dictionary
| A word produced by running two or more words together and leaving out some
| of the letters or sounds. For example, isn't is a contraction of is not.
| An apostrophe is generally used in contractions to show where letters or
| sounds have been left out.
| Home > Library > Words > Grammar Dictionary
| A shortened form of an expression, usually followed by a period. Dr. is a
| standard abbreviation for Doctor; MA is a standard abbreviation for
I thought I had.
Not that anyone is final arbiter for English usage, of course :))
<http://eatsshootsandleaves.com/ESLquiz.html (Flash required).
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