Apostrophes are important!

The Judge

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We all know apostrophes are important for clarity. Now the lack of a possessive apostrophe in a Facebook post has resulted in a legal action for defamation in Australia.


Basically, if the apostrophe had been there in "employee's" it would have been clear the writer was talking about money owing to only one person, himself; by omitting the apostrophe, his comments suggest that his former employer owed money to all his employees, implying a systematic pattern of conduct, which is potentially libellous.

So the moral is -- use them, and use them correctly. (Especially when making disparaging remarks about other people!)
 

tinkerdan

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That slippery beast plain t'see,
The ne'er-do-well apostrophe.

Its favored trick to disappear,
It's bedeviling quick to reappear.

Then magically it comes-in three,
With a litigates no'postrophe.

Added note:
The failure to include an apostrophe should be considered non-intent since the sentence--which I don't see here and I might assume involves possession--for him to have intended to include all employees in the possession would require the apostrophe--employees'--to demonstrate intent. In fact placing the apostrophe anywhere by anyone else other than the original author--after the fact--might constitute slandering the original author.
 
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HareBrain

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The failure to include an apostrophe should be considered non-intent since the sentence--which I don't see here and I might assume involves possession--for him to have intended to include all employees in the possession would require the apostrophe--employees'--to demonstrate intent.
I was thinking the same, since the lack of any apostrophe leaves the interpretation up to the reader. But I have no idea what standard of proof/intent is required in an Australian libel case. It would be interesting to know how it pans out.
 

Pyan

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:giggle:
 

Astro Pen

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I love Eric Johnson's performance here but the title (on the video) "Cliff's of Dover" ???

 
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paranoid marvin

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Interestingly the signs with the £ or $ symbol, for example

Save ££££££'s off your bills at XYZ

seem to be pretty much the norm and if they've haven't already become grammatically acceptable, I think they soon will.
 

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