80s Or 80’s Or ‘80s For Eighties – Using Apostrophe

I have been seeing incorrect uses of the apostrophe when one uses incomplete numerals for decades. Just a tip for those who aren't sure about this:
Where do I use an apostrophe (’) when I want to talk about decades using incomplete numerals?

When you want to say “Clothes worn in the eighties”, but want to use numerals, this is how it should be:

CORRECT:
Clothes worn in the '80s


WRONG:
Clothes worn in the 80's
Clothes worn in the 80s

In this example, the apostrophe is used as a contraction i.e. it replaces something that was removed from its place. Basically, the apostrophe replaces "19" in "1980".

5 comments:

banjiban said...

These instructions go against what many style books suggest. All forms are acceptable: 80s, 80's or '80s. The former is probably most widespread nowadays, and an initial apostrophe is hardly necessary in most cases. The 80's with an apostrophe is now rather old fashioned, though perhaps still useful in handwriting so that the "s" cannot be confused with a "5", for example. It is, however, quite acceptable to use an apostrophe with a "strange" plural, as in "Mind your p's and q's", or "There are three 5's in his phone number."

Anonymous said...

Disagree. '80s seems fine, as does 80s. However, not being a possessive or a contraction, it seems silly for 80's to be used, regardless of what the style manuals say, as many are lacklustre, sloppy, and too quick to accept vulgarisms.

Green Card Renewal said...

When it is a numerical and figure simply add an s. The apostrophe doesn't indicate as a possessive. It depends on you/the writer. Like Banjiban says either of these 80s, 80's or '80s are correct.
Example: list of famous songs in the 80s. However, the apostrophe is used in the letters. example. I got an A's in my physics and chemistry test however in Mathematics and C++ I got an F's.

Pradeep Gurgaon said...

How about Do's and Don'ts? Is this correct?

Thanks. Pradeep

Anonymous said...

Pradeep:
Dos and Don'ts.

Dos does not need an apostrophe, as it is not a possessive.

Always found it stupid that people write 'Don'ts' correctly, yet always make the mistake in 'Dos' by writing an apostrophe.