"Dos and Don'ts" or "Do's and Don'ts"? The spelling of do's and don'ts is inconsistent.
Generally, you don't use apostrophes to make words or abbreviations plural (e.g., CDs, 1970s, books), but English has a few exceptions. For example, you can use apostrophes when they help eliminate confusion, which happens most often with single letters. Mind your p's and q's is the typical spelling, and we write that the word aardvark has 3 a's, not 3 as.
Dos and don'ts is an especially unusual exception. The apostrophe in the contraction doesn't seems to make people want to use an apostrophe to make do plural (do's and don'ts), but then to be consistent, you'd also have to use an apostrophe to make don't plural, which becomes downright ugly (do's and don't's).
Style guides and usage books don't agree.
- The Chicago Manual of Style and others recommend dos and don'ts.
- The Associated Press and others recommend do's and don'ts.
- Eats, Shoots & Leaves recommends do's and don't's.
Okay, so now that I sorted out the dos and don'ts of do's and don'ts*, where am I?
The day started like any other day.
-Wake up at 5:00 A.M. write and re-write my book.
-Revisit rewrites for the Japanese television show.
-Envision my real work day and map out meetings.
-Buy my lottery ticket.
-Drive 14 miles down the 101 freeway through Hollywood to work.
-Be a genius.
Same old, same old.
Little did I know the day would end with yours truly locked in a death dance with the worst form of evil this town has ever known.
The first sign of paranormal activity appeared around 2:00p. I had just reviewed the bottom end analytics on yet another incredible recruitment campaign when the temperature started going crazy in my office. One moment, the air was boiling hot and the next, it was colder than a Antartica spa.
Drastic temperature changes in a Hollywood office? A considerate vendor? What the heck was going on?
The brown stuff really hit the fan when I came back from lunch and found the floor empty. As in, where the heck was everyone? And to make matters worse, the power had gone out and the emergency lights were on, casting a red hue over the entire office.
I moved carefully down the hall, searching for signs of life. That’s when a misty figure stepped out of the shadows. Her movements were stiff and unnatural. Then others appeared. More and more. They all looked vaguely familiar.
The woman stumbled over, her eyes deader than the future of non-cloud-based media. “Do you not remember me?” I shook my head and explained that I meet a lot of people in my line of work.
“I am the memory of the first client you ever dropped.”
Her name was Susan something or other. Her business didn’t produce a single competitive product during our year together so I was forced to drop her. And that’s when the other faces around me clicked into place. They were all former people I worked with!
There was no doubt about it. The office was haunted. But by what? It couldn’t just be bad memories. Then every marketing department would be the devil’s playpen. There had to be something else. Something bigger.
As the figures swarmed toward me, I made a run for it. Where the heck was my assistant? It’s her job to help in these kinds of situations!
I raced toward the far side of the office and found myself in the storage area. I had never been there before, and what I found made my blood run cold. Someone had stored all our unwanted designs in there. The room was packed, floor to ceiling, with rejected arts and floppy discs.
This explained everything. The floor was haunted by rejection!
Moving quickly, I found an old rag, doused it with turpentine, and set the whole mess on fire. As the pictures burned, I could hear the faces scream. Then the memories of former vendors and clients faded away and the floor came back to life.
The events of that drean still haunt me. And they left me pondering a heavy question: Is rejection evil or is it an act of kindness?
* - Full Credit on the Dos and Don'ts goes to the Grammar Girl!