Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Photo by Darren Lewis
Here on earth, we don't capitalize it. Sure, Mars and Jupiter get a capital letter, but the convention is that earth doesn't. It bothers me. Earth, the spinning top of iron and water with this mostly-nitrogen but oxygen rich mist that infuses us with life, doesn't rate it's place with the proper nouns. It sets me on edge the same way that, at some point, someone decided that the plural of DVD and the myriad other acronyms somehow should include an apostrophe. When I read DVD's, all I see is something belonging to the DVD.*
Please forgive me when I insist that we live on Earth, which is covered in water, sand, earth and other things, and that here on Earth, people love their DVDs, CDs, and other data storage media. But don't forgive me for my Oxford commas, because I'm unapologetic in my support of the Oxford comma.

Let's start a list of the other writing conventions that make our teeth itch. Which irritate you most?

*Per my favorite style manual on plural abbreviations, "[t]he trend is away from using an apostrophe to pluralize an abbreviation." Hopefully that trend will hold. Diana Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual (Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000), 70.

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