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Pedants' corner

P's and Q's or Ps and Qs and why?

17 replies

BumperliciousAteTooManyEggs · 25/03/2008 18:19

Just been on another thread and I posted "Ps and Qs" and another poster "P's and Q's". The latter looks right but I don't know why, can anyone explain?

OP posts:
StripeyMama · 25/03/2008 18:23

Ps and Qs.

Cos its a plural. P's and Q's would mean 'belonging to P and Q'

I think...

donnie · 25/03/2008 18:25

plurals do NOT have apostrophes so therefore Ps and Qs is correct.

Saggarmakersbottomknocker · 25/03/2008 18:25

Ps and Qs. Plural.

Wisteria · 25/03/2008 18:26

Well it means pleases and thank yous doesn't it?

so technically it should be P's and 'Q's (possibly) - I doubt whether there is a right or wrong answer.

pruners · 25/03/2008 18:28

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Wisteria · 25/03/2008 18:29

but you are also missing letters which generally denotes an apostrophe doesn't it?

eg - isn't

Wheelybug · 25/03/2008 18:30

I was going to say with - for the reasons wisteria says, parts of the words are missing so you'd (like in the example of you'd) expect an apostrophe....

But might not be ....

anorak · 25/03/2008 18:30

Yes it's def Ps and Qs. It's a common mistake just like 1940's instead of 1940s, but without apostrophe is correct, because it is a plural.

NotDoingTheHousework · 25/03/2008 18:31

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BumperliciousAteTooManyEggs · 25/03/2008 18:31

Hmmm, no consensus, I thought there would be a right or wrong answer...

OP posts:
Wisteria · 25/03/2008 18:32

It's an abbreviation though........still slang technically though so not 'right' either way

BumperliciousAteTooManyEggs · 25/03/2008 18:32

Anorak surely that is true if you are saying "in the 1940s" but not if you are saying a "1940's tea dress"?

OP posts:
NotDoingTheHousework · 25/03/2008 18:34

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Wisteria · 25/03/2008 18:35

yes quite but shouldn't it be traditional rules of grammar

NotDoingTheHousework · 25/03/2008 19:01

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Wisteria · 25/03/2008 19:01

yes.........and not for the first time

FarCanal · 26/03/2008 10:05

Wiki is a bit like the Encyclopedia Galactica... it contains much that is apocryphal or wildly innacurate!

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