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April 20, 2004

A Pasta Fee
On the wall in my office is a poster that reminds me I’m not the only one who gets bothered about this.

The other day, I read a post on a popular internet movie news site that mentioned Rebecca Romijn’s soon-to-be-ex-husband John “Stamo’s.” People, that is fucking enough. This idiotic apostrophe bullshit has got to stop right now, before it becomes acceptable practice to drop apostrophes into words wherever you want for effect. You may not scatter apostrophes like you’d flick paint off a brush and call it art, wherever they land.

Typos are no big deal. Sometimes an apostrophe gets tossed in when you meant its. That’s understandable. Who cares, right? But come on, now. Putting an apostrophe into someone’s name? “Stamo’s?” I swear to God. Are you even watching where you’re going?

And you other fantasy writers in the back: You don’t get to put apostrophes in names just because you made them up. That’s ridiculous. Who names somebody Fri’li’mak? Nobody does, including you. We’re all full up on names with apostrophes. Seriously, no more.

It reveals your naming process, anyway. An apostrophe in the name of your space alien means you sat at the keyboard with your eyes on the ceiling, mouthing out syllables until you got a short stretch of pleasing sounds that you’re reasonably sure you didn’t steal from Star Wars. You look like a turkey drinking rain when you do that. It’s embarassing.

Putting an apostrophe in a name says you have no ability to wield phonics. It doesn’t make the name look like it was translated from some exotic place where the people speak in clicks and snaps of the tongue. It makes it look like you made it up, and we all know you did. An apostrophe won’t make your character interesting, believe me.

Also, no more little girls named Madison. I mean it.

—–

apostrophe: n. The direct address of an absent or imaginary person or of a personified abstraction, especially as a digression in the course of a speech or composition.

[From Greek, apostrephein, to turn away.]

Noise: Los Lobos, “Mas Y Mas”

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