Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I'd been thinking about this for quite some time and it has taken me long enough to come to the decision that I need to eliminate apostrophes from some of my web sites. Yes, I'm staring at Rantings Of An 80's Nut above and it is a strong reminder of the error I have perpetuated. There are several reasons for this.

Visually, I think that I started using 80's because it just looks good yet the apostrophe is supposed to serve the dual purpose of standing in for something or showing possession. Not that music (or a nut) belonging to the decade is inappropriate. Grammatically, '80s or 80s is more appropriate. Since the ' in front of it kind of looks goofy (to me that is), I will be making the adjustment throughout my online work.

Another reason to make the change is that an assortment of errors arise from the current usage. If you check your current favorites area, you probably will see a messed up listing. Heck, the apostrophe in "80's Music Central" sometimes comes out like "& # 3 9 ;" which squished together are the html representation but in this form isn't visually attractive. I was able to rectify it on certain pages but I don't like having to chase down the issue.

The other concern is how it shows up in search terms. I like to search under 80's with hopes to see things like my site pop up higher in placement but from that search you will get a mixed bag that do not have the same spelling in their title. 80s would streamline the search criteria (even though I should probably add '80s, 80's and eighties in the meta tags.)

So, I'm off to start making some changes. (Heck, you can see that they've already been made above.) Here's hoping it helps and that it gets my feet back on the right path. Ahhh, the other reason that I'm making those changes... Ryan (a listener and frequent caller to the show) has made an offer to help redesign the page. For this, I'm humbled. But, the time couldn't be better to make the adjustments.


LoraLoo said...

I do dislike how apostrophes turn out like "& # 39".

So is Ryan redesigning this page or the 80s Music Central or both?

Martin said...

He's working on 80s Music Central. I am an absolute HTML hack. I've tried to keep the site very simple so that I can edit things here and there. Yet, keeping things simple can make them look simple. I'm hoping that the functionality can be kept or improved while giving it a facelift. (crossing fingers) B)

David Amulet said...

Great point. I'm a bit of a style snob, so the extra apostrophe bugs me. It's part of a sloppy writing culture that allows people to get a free pass for sins like "That blog is GREAT! I really love its humor" ... or "Thank God it's Friday!"

That said, I agree that the overwhelmingly style-correct answers, '80s, looks a bit quirky.

And I, like you, wonder whether different web browsers convert some punctuation to garbage. Which leads me to ask you a favor--in your next comment on my blog, can you let me know what browser you use and if you see any such garbles on my site? I'd appreciate it.

All that said, I say the best writing is what's natural. If that's odd punctuation, manufactured words, or profanity, fine! Each writer is, at best, unique.

-- david

BeckEye said...

Have you ever noticed that when I answer you in my comments I always refer to you as '80s Nut? It's my sly way of correcting you. ;)