Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » BYU Is Apostrophizing Again

BYU Is Apostrophizing Again

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 18, 2009

From the Instructor, January 1939 —



  1. Yikes, that’s sad to see in a university’s announcement.

    Comment by Craig — November 18, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

  2. That just makes me cringe. It’s bad enough when errors like these appear on signs and fliers generally, but it’s doubly embarrassing when a university does it. (I hope they didn’t run it past the English department.)

    Comment by Keri Brooks — November 18, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

  3. heh, heh — It’s possible that this was the fault of the Instructor’s advertising staff and that nobody at BYU saw it before it was in print — but it’s still fun to tease BYU about it!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 18, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

  4. Its’ great to make fun of!

    Comment by Steve Evans — November 18, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

  5. This one is almost as bad as the “Quorum of the Twelve Apostates” typo from the BYU daily several months ago. Ouch!

    Comment by Hunter — November 18, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

  6. So its not a new pehonomenaneana taht BYU’ers cant spel.

    Comment by Dan — November 18, 2009 @ 3:57 pm

  7. Oh, boo hoo! It wasn’t that long before 1939 that spelling was anything but “correlated” in English, to say nothing of odd punctuation like apostrophes.

    At least there is some argument to be made from analogy for putting that apostrophe in “its”. It’s the people who put them in random plural words who need remediation. Maybe Energy Solutions could help.

    Comment by Mark B. — November 18, 2009 @ 7:23 pm

  8. Someday I am threatening to write a blog about the differences between:

    then and than;

    its and it’s; and

    effect and affect.

    Than, I am gunna write about the affects of bad grammer and the use a commas as periods, there is nothing worse then run-on sentences.

    Comment by S.Faux — November 18, 2009 @ 8:12 pm

  9. Awesome post title.

    But I dont really see what the problem is. Or are there two problem’s?

    Comment by The Right Trousers — November 18, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

  10. Do you have a collection of CDs or CD’s?

    Comment by Bookslinger — November 18, 2009 @ 11:34 pm

  11. This misspelling wasn’t a mistake. It is repeated in the text. This was purposeful.

    Comment by Dan — November 19, 2009 @ 5:52 am

  12. Making fun of BYU? Good times, good times!

    Comment by NorahS — November 19, 2009 @ 6:58 am

  13. #11 Even if its repeated, its still a mistake.

    Comment by Researcher — November 19, 2009 @ 7:38 am

  14. Man, a whole room full of comedians. :-)

    Comment by Mark B. — November 19, 2009 @ 8:06 am

  15. The fun thing about it, Mark, is that we can now block-and-copy their comments, quote them elsewhere out of context, and embarrass them at will!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 19, 2009 @ 8:21 am

  16. Was “Leadership Week” the precursor to “Education Week” ?

    Comment by Bookslinger — November 19, 2009 @ 8:47 am

  17. I wonder why there’s no address or telephone number given in the ad. I suppose it’s because anybody who would read the magazine would already know what to do.

    Comment by Wm Morris — November 19, 2009 @ 9:09 am

  18. Bookslinger, yes.

    Never thought of that, Wm Morris, but I’ll bet you’re right. I’ll have to notice that in other ads!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 19, 2009 @ 9:46 am

  19. S.Faux,
    You need to add to your blog
    you’re and your
    they’re and their
    These are the two that drive me crazy, along with it’s and its

    Comment by Maurine — November 19, 2009 @ 9:54 am

  20. And I before E except after C, except when pronounced as “a,” as in neighbor and weigh. But what about weird and society?

    Comment by Bookslinger — November 19, 2009 @ 10:01 am

  21. It’s too esoteric for S.Faux’s list, but I always get a wicked sense of pleasure from typing “cant” and “wont” in their less common senses (not contractions, that is) without an apostrophe.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 19, 2009 @ 10:01 am

  22. “… and except seize and seizure,
    And also leisure,
    Weird, height and either,
    Forfeit, their, neither.
    And financier.
    And as Bookslinger notes, society.
    And probably so many other exceptions as to make the rhyme almost useless.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 19, 2009 @ 10:03 am

  23. For those interested, I have improved on my pseudo-poem in #8, and I have posted it at the BOTTOM of my blog under the title: “The Evolution of Bad Writing.”

    Comment by S.Faux — November 19, 2009 @ 10:20 am

  24. problem is that there is another wrong apostrophe in the piece.

    “Life at It’s Best”, too, is found in the rich educational opportunities given the year ’round at the Church university.

    year ’round? The sentence is oddly structured too. Read it out loud.

    Comment by Dan — November 19, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  25. Dan, I’d think that a leftist like you would appreciate an apostrophe at the left end of a word. :-)

    But that’s not “another wrong apostrophe.”

    It properly shows the dropping of the letter “a” from “around.”

    Next thing, you’ll tell us you’ve never seen a rodeo and don’t know what a “go ’round” is.

    Comment by Mark B. — November 19, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  26. Hm. I didn’t think the structure was all that odd. Poetic, maybe. But back then, weren’t all abbreviated words possessed of an apostrophe? e.g. Hallowe’en. (But, then, I’m a BYU grad, so what can I say?)

    Comment by Coffinberry — November 19, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

  27. Ardis, you said:

    I always get a wicked sense of pleasure from typing “cant” and “wont” in their less common senses (not contractions, that is) without an apostrophe.

    You do know that this comment alone qualifies you for induction into the Nerd Hall of Fame, right? I’m not pointing fingers — when I was in law school, some of my classmates elected me a member of the little-known fraternity “Phi Kappa Nerda.”

    Comment by Hunter — November 19, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

  28. given the year around at the university? That’s odd. My wife agrees.

    I actually have been at a rodeo. I used to live in Texas long long ago, and I went to a rodeo once.

    But I could be wrong. After all, my bachelor’s is from BYU. What do I know about grammar? 😉

    Comment by Dan — November 19, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

  29. I think it’s…

    “I” before “E” except after “C”
    And when sounding like “A”
    As in neighbor and weigh
    And on weekends and holidays
    And all throughout May
    And you’ll always be wrong
    No matter what you say!

    I can’t claim credit for this. It’s from Brian Regan.

    Yes, my kids will know this version.

    Comment by The Right Trousers — November 19, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

  30. When we come across excessive apostrophe usage, Mom likes to tell me about you protesting over-users by signing everything as Ardi’s. Do you still do that?

    Comment by Robin — November 29, 2010 @ 5:42 pm