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Where do you put the apostrophe?

 
 
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:45 am
1. Mac 'n Cheese
2. Mac 'n' Cheese
3. Mac n' Cheese
I feel like 2 is correct, but it looks funny.
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 2,782 • Replies: 6
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contrex
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:50 am
Example 2 does not look funny to me, it looks right. Such things as Mac 'n' Cheese are not formal English. The apostrophes are not possessive ones; they show where letters have been omitted - 'n' means "and", and you need one apostrophe for the missing "a" and one for the missing "d".
Mika Anna
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:56 am
@contrex,
Yes, I realize the apostrophes are not possessive. But thank you for your response!
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dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 04:17 pm
@Mika Anna,
Mia that's really a good q I've often wondered about. Con is probably right as a purely technical issue but I've always thought the practice excessive. The same sort of q arises with compound adjectives, for instance "foreign real-estate investors," okay if they're foreigners with local real estate but requiring another hyphen if the investments are in offshore properties. Yet chapter and verse is seldom observed

So my guess is okay to omit one
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2014 10:43 am
@dalehileman,
By coincidence this morning in our Victor Valley Ca Daily Press, "…professional sports team owner and best-selling author Peter Guber….", technically missing one or maybe even two hyphens emphasizing the reluctance of the typical reporter to what he considers excessive punctuation
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2014 11:05 am
@dalehileman,
See Plethoric Pundigrions1 for screen shots showing a version of Microsoft Word (I don't know which one) that for levelheaded suggests correcting it to level-headed and for level-headed suggests correcting it to levelheaded. That should give rise to a frustrating morning of trying to finalize the draft, shouldn't it?

1 Hat tip to Bob Ladd.

You will probably want to know what The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language says about what the right answer is; and those who yearn not just for authority but for actual authoritarianism will be disappointed that it reports, "It is an area where we find a great deal of variation" (p. 1760, in the section on lexical hyphens).

If you think that nonetheless an answer should be stipulated, then go ahead and make up a stipulation. What The Cambridge Grammar is telling you is that you won't have any basis for it. You might just as well have stipulated the opposite. Educated usage will not always match your stipulation (thus showing it to be a good one), and it won't always fail to match.

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2153
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2014 11:11 am
@JTT,
Quote:
…..to level-headed and for level-headed suggests correcting it to levelheaded. …..a frustrating morning…….
Thanks JTT you've again made my day, unless just morn

Quote:
…..The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language says…….a great deal of variation" …...
Interesting inasmuch this is the typical answer to maybe 80 percent of a2k's esl q's

Quote:
If you think that nonetheless an answer should be stipulated, then go ahead and make up a stipulation.
What Jtt, who, me

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