Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cause of the Month, 'Cause You Care

You've all seen it: every month there seems to be some big cause to support.  

We just survived October, the pinkest month of them all, in honor of breast cancer awareness month.  It was also National Down Syndrome Awareness month, Healthy Lung month, and National Dental Hygiene month (no, my dentist didn't pay me for that plug!).  

In November, it's Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month, National Alzheimer's Awareness month, and possibly my son's favorite, Manvember (From the Urban Dictionary: A dedicated month during the year, specifically November, when manliness is at its peak. During this time there will be no shaving, except for the head...because that is manly. Flannel shirts will be worn as frequently as possible, tobacco products will be on hand at all times, and meat will be consumed at least twice a day.).

Now, all of those are great causes (well, except maybe Manvember...that might be taking it too far).  But this is a proofing blog, so perhaps you are wondering what this is all about.  Let me tell you, 'cause I'd like nothing better...

Cause - noun: a reason or motive for an action or condition 
Cause - transitive verb: to serve as cause or occasion of :  bring into existence or  to effect by command, authority, or force

'Cause - a contraction of because (conjunction).  for the reason that :  on account of the cause that — used to introduce dependent clauses 

The difference, dear reader, is that little punctuation mark - the apostrophe. Such a little thing that wields such power to change a word from a noun to a conjunction - amazing, isn't it? The apostrophe is misunderstood, abused, and ignored...but it still is a powerful weapon. The Chicago Manual of Style tells us in 6.113 that the apostrophe has three main uses: 
  1. to indicate the possessive case
  1. to stand in for missing letters or numerals 
  1. to form the plural of certain expressions    
It's the use of the apostrophe to stand in for missing letters or words that you have to remember when you use words like 'cause for because, 'cept for except, and so on. 

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