Thanks for the link! I followed it and tried to look at the forum but The Chairman had deleted it. I bet there were some wonderfully snarky comments in there :-)
My introduction to the 'postrophe problem was when I picked up a used copy of Kipling's The Phantom 'Rickshaw and Other Tales, a wonderful collection of eerie tales. It was the first time I'd seen rickshaw with an initial 'postrophe so I "looked that up in my Funk & Wagnells" (I have an old edition that belonged to my grandmother) and found that rickshaw is from the Japanese word jinrikisha which means "human-powered transport".
@Antedeluvian: ...Maybe you have to have been to South Africa to find it funny, but I still dine out on it...
The late, great Gary Smith (RIP) once told me a story about some junior assistant from a print publication who called him up and told him she was fact-checking an article -- one of the things she wanted to confirm was the spelling of "E-D-A" LOL
A lifetime ago, when the South African police still pretended to care about petty crime, I went into a police station to report that someone had slashed one of my tyres. The police officer started to take my statement: my name, my address, my profession- and then he paused and seemed to scratch around on the paper. He looked up at me and in a very thick South African accent asked: "How do you spell engineer?". So I started "E-N-G-I-N" ... "Ag, no", he interjected, "in Afrikaans!"
("ag" is pronounced "ach", but that hasn't much to do with the story)
Maybe you have to have been to South Africa to find it funny, but I still dine out on it.
One of my peeves -- a "foster peeve" rather than a "pet peeve" -- is omission of initial 'postrophes. For example, one reason I never get a 'flu shot is that they leave off the initial apostrophe ('flu = short for influenza). Now after 50 years or so you can drop the initial apostrophe (so I'm being silly about 'flu), but for 50 years or so you should leave it there so that readers can tell you left something out. So a "weblog" should be a 'blog and not a blog. I may be the only person on the planet who cares about this.
The other reason I never get a 'flu shot is I'm still waiting for an anti-flu shot :-)
Speaking of dogs' balls, here's a favorite classified ad courtesy of Michael Feldman:
Lost dog: Missing an ear, blind in one eye, walks on three legs, recently emasculated. Answers to "Lucky".
I know many engineers can't write well, but I think most people can't write well. I find frequent solecisms in every newspaper except the most elite, and those are written by people with degrees in journalism. Newcasters can't conjugate "to lie" or use the past perfect properly. I speculate that engineers probably have above-average grammar and spelling. I admit that the spelling and grammar in IEEE papers is abominable, but that's probably because many authors don't speak English well and the IEEE does not bother to edit.
I would think that since spelling and grammar is based on memorization and algorithms, engineers would do better in these areas. Many of the rules are arbitrary, but that's true of many things in engineering as well.
I don't know why the apostrophe in plurals is so prevalent. Using one in initialisms like "FPGAs" is much less of a sin than what I often see. Just today I saw a sign advertising "Manicure's and Pedicure's".