logos or logo's

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.

logos or logo's

Post by Big Squirrel » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:32 am

What is the correct plural of the word logo: logos or logo's? I ask because it seems to me that there is a risk of confusion with the Greek word logos which appears in English texts on Theology and Esoteric Philosophy (I've just checked and it's in the dictionary).
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by gdwdwrkr » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:55 am

It is logos, and context will guide pronunciation.
I don't use the apostrophe in any plural: 70s, TVs, bananas.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by agilis » Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:50 pm

The word logo (pl. logos)is usually defined as a symbol used to identify an entity of some sort. It is really an abbreviated form of logogram or logotype, meaning any symbol that is used in place of a whole word. These are increasingly seen in text messaging, where brevity is extremely useful, if not always completely clear. 'R' for 'are', for example. More generally understood logograms might be synbols like the ampersand, or the number '7' in place of the longer 'seven'.

The Greeh word 'logos', meaning word, is the common root. When capitalized, 'Logos' may have a theological significance, in connection with such things as divine texts and trinitarian concepts.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by Big Squirrel » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:41 pm

Can I take it then, Agilis, that you agree with gdwdwrkr over the plural form of logo?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by dalehileman » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:43 pm

gd: Forgive an old fart on the brink of senility, but why would anyone use the apostrophe in bananas
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by Big Squirrel » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:57 pm

Dale, it's quite common here in the UK on market stalls. YOu often see tomatoe's, plum's, apple's, and so on. The practice periodically arouses the ire of retired colonels in places like Tunbridge Wells who fire off letters to the Times about the way the language is going to the dogs. (You may not be fully aware of the sort of reputation which Tunbridge Wells enjoys here in the UK, deservedly or otherwise.)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by gdwdwrkr » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:58 pm

dh, Forgiveness is a wonderful thing...of course I forgive you. I also forgive the fruitseller's who's magic-markered sign's advertise banana's, kiwi's and other posessive fruit's.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by agilis » Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:53 pm

Of course gdwdwrkr is correct. There may be some obscure situation where an apostrophe has some appropriate connection with pluralization, but I can't think of one.

I'm sure it's not unusual to see "tomatoe's, plums, apple's" on hand lettered signs in UK market stalls. In the US, and even more frequently in the Caribbean, that kind of thing is also found in newspaper advertisements. I think this phenomenon results from a general uncertainty regarding the fundamentals of grammar, and a consequent tendency to throw anything into the mix. The use of "quote marks" for emphasis, as in "BIG SALE TODAY" often accompanies the apostrophised fruit.

I suspect more than just retired colonels object. There may be a few on active duty as well.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by dalehileman » Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:18 pm

Big:I was surprised to learn that, as Rightponders are supposed to be better educated than we

agil: In Leftpond the apostrophe is very common with abbreviations
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by agilis » Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:31 pm

dale, any examples of an apostrophe used to pluralise an abbreviation (or anything else)?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by russcable » Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:38 pm

ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by agilis » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:00 pm

Thank you. Very interesting, especially some of the examples. I do remember having seen "mind your P's and Q's" several times. I've seldom seen individual letters like 's'or 'g' pluralized to s's and g's. If I wanted to write a sentence like "There are very few x's in English words, giving them a high point value in Scrabble" I would certainly avoid the ambiguous apostrophe by writing something like "The letter 'x' occurs infrequently in English words, giving it (etc.)" Of all the Wikipedia examples, the use of an apostrophe to pluralize individual letters of the alphabet seems to make the most sense.

I wonder which convention is most often followed when writing period references: "the 1920s" or "the 1920's". Again, the apostrophised example is unfamiliar, except as an unambiguous possessive.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by Phil White » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:05 pm

Of course, the dropping of the apostrophe in many plurals of words ending in vowels by the lily-livered liberals of the 18th and 19th centuries was a deliberate attempt to undermine the worthy standards of the day and led to the demise of civilisation as Dr. Johnson (who still spelled the plural of words such as "volcano" with an apostrophe) knew it.

If informed thinking about language upsets you and you feel like being upset, look here. The books he refers to ("How Language Works" and "The Fight for English"), however, are not his best.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

logos or logo's

Post by agilis » Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:33 am

The most upsetting thing was the eyestrain, trying to read that tiny print. I'm not sure about the cause and effect relationship you mention. Pax Britannica, after all, reached its most glorious heights after Dr Johnson's time.

Actually, I've read Crystal's book, and found it extremely entertaining. His arguments are as valid as those of any of the other warriors in that epic Fight. I am most sympathetic regarding the effects of electronic media; things like on-line dictionaries and other absolutist authorities that can overwhelm all the variation, nuance, and subtlety that give language dimension and life.

On the other hand, much of the standardization which Crystal criticizes has been for purposes of clarity, and even aesthetics. Still, the prospect of a world ruled by Spellchek and Writegood gives me the creeps. Occasionally, when writing serious stuff, I've had software intrude with unsolicited suggestions about wording and such things. Frequently these suggestions reflect some unknown programmer's limited world view. Glimpses into dreary future, I think. Something far more upsetting than incomplete sentences or the eccentric placement of an apostrophe. And I don't give a fig, really, if some readers are perplexed by property-owning volcanos. Have you ever seen Montserrat? Now there is a volcano's volcano.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

logos or logo's

Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:23 am

and volcano's are about the only things out there making their own property!
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Post Reply