Apostrophe Abuse: Usability Problem?

David Burrowes on apostrophe abuse and parallels in software development:

Usually, when people criticise the abuse of the apostrophe, they seem to have the attitude that the abusers are somehow ignorant, uneducated, or just incompetent.

Perhaps they are.

Yet, as I read through this blog, I realized that this attitude sounds very similar to the attitude of some software creators: “That user isn’t smart enough to use my software!” In the usability field, we see this kind of thing as a problem of the design of the technology, not of the users.

From this viewpoint, the misuse only indicates that there is a usability problem in the written language.


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3 thoughts on “Apostrophe Abuse: Usability Problem?

  1. his discussion on usability problems is interesting. though i think he’s trying to make the english language more complicated than it is, which in turn only creates excuses.

  2. Apostrophe abuse is not a symptom of a 'usability problem'; it's a symptom of ignorance and the inestimable influence of greengrocers.

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