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Friday, February 22, 2008

Apostrophes Lead to Catastrophes

Irish Voice editor Niall O'Dowd resorted to "giving up his national identity" to book a flight to Atlanta. As often happens, the computer just wouldn't accept an apostrophe.

"I dropped the apostrophe and ran my name as 'ODowd,"' he said.
The Irish apostrophe began with the British, who put it there because they believed the O looked odd without a link to the rest of the name. Many native Gaelic speakers in Ireland refuse to carry an apostrophe, considering it a vestige of colonial days.

"Maybe that's the solution," said O'Dowd, who just last week was rejected by an online alarm clock service. "Maybe we should just drop the apostrophe altogether, not just as a nationalist statement but because I'd like my alarm call to work in the morning." [Link]
[Thanks, Nancy!]

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