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24 October 2015 @ 07:16 am
In time for holiday cards  
How to Make Your Last Name Plural

Thanx to kalimac
Tredegar Trafalgartreddytrafalgar on October 24th, 2015 01:42 pm (UTC)
I'm not generally in favor of orthographic innovation, but it might be a good idea to just eliminate the apostrophe altogether. People obviously aren't going to learn how to use it correctly, and you can generally figure out possessive or plural from context. (I know without looking that there are going to be in-depth & not-so-modest proposals out there addressing this, both pro and con.)
Avram Grumer: Post-It Portraitagrumer on October 25th, 2015 05:37 am (UTC)
“Apostrophe delenda est!” Damon Knight used to say, on GEnie.
eub on October 26th, 2015 07:47 am (UTC)
Here's my starting ploy: we use apostrophes to form possessives, so let's be rational here and use it on possessive pronouns like "it's".

After that negotiating position is staked out, everybody can happily compromise on your proposal.
Sharon Kahndreamshark on October 24th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC)
Or maybe we should just get used to the fact that people really want to use an apostrophe in this situation and reverse engineer an etymology for it. For instance - it's the English language version of the useful French construction "chez Familyname."
Toomas Nipernaadinipernaadiagain on October 26th, 2015 05:30 am (UTC)
The English speakers have it easy!

For example, here, to use proper plural for Kurk family one has to know is it Kurk meaning cucumber (then it would be Kurgid) or is it Kurk meaning throat (then it would be Kurgud).

It is, I guess, less of a problem with the people one already knows, but if someone writes in Lumed, then it would be proper plural for both family Lumi and family Lume - and if there is supposed to be a resulting official record, it might be hard for a member of Lume family to prove that the document on someone named Lumi is just a mistake a clerk made ...

eub on October 26th, 2015 07:44 am (UTC)
If we're playing this game, the table of when to add "-s" and when to add "-es" is wrong: Bach, Lemieux, Raj. Since it's which sounds are allowed directly before a /z/ in English, and which need a vowel spacer.

(Considering we all learned to speak before we learned to write, isn't it a little bit surprising that people will get so locked in to trying to do this kind of rule in terms of spelling rather than sound?)