"in the 1980's"?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by andychen, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. andychen Senior Member

    Chinese, Taiwan
    Hi, everyone,

    I did a Google Scholar search with the results.
    “in the 1980s”: 266k hits
    “in the 1980’s”: 12.8k hits

    “in the 1980s” is used over twenty times more often than “in the 1980’s”
    “in the 1980s” is used over twenty times as often as “in the 1980’s”

    Question1: Is “in the 1980’s” ok?
    Question2: Are both of the last two sentences ok? Which one is better? Or do you folks have better expressions for me?

    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    If you want to follow the traditional rules of Standard English, then write 1980s.

    The apostrophe is not used to make plurals of abbreviations or acronyms.
    Two compact disks = 2 CDs.
     
  3. Yôn Senior Member

    English
    Do you ever use an apostrophe with numbers?




    Thanks,
    Jon
     
  4. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Stoke on Trent
    England and English
    Another example of language change happening around us.

    There is no logical reason to stick an apostrophe after the number ... but it is obviously becoming quite common.

    Giving the apostrophe a new function?
     
  5. A90Six Senior Member

    London
    England - English.
    A is used over twenty times more often than B = B is used X times, A is used 20 times more than this (B=X A>B+20B):cross:

    A is used over twenty times as often as B = B is used X times, A is used more than 20 times this (B=X A>20B):tick:

    I would say, "in the 1980s” is used more than twenty times as much as “in the 1980’s.”
     
  6. A90Six Senior Member

    London
    England - English.
    Using the apostrophe with dates and abbreviations can cause confusion if it is read as a possessive.

    "We are going to look at 1980's clothing." Does this mean, clothing of the decade, or, clothing of the year?
     
  7. Yôn Senior Member

    English
    Aha! That does solve the problem. You're right, I guess there shouldn't be one.

    I do now think that 1980's clothing would be clothing of the year 1980. To say clothing of the decade perhaps one could use 1980s' clothing.




    Thanks,
    Jon
     

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