Her description of transformational generative grammar as a method of teaching English is very odd, to say the least.
I'm so glad she get's right to the point and put's that argument to rest.
I agree with everything she says except "If the word ends in two sibilant sounds (ch, j, s, sh, x or z) separated only by a vowel sound, drop the s after the apostrophe (Kansas' climate; Texas' population).". Gross. Texas's population, please.
It doesn't seem his question was answered. As far as I can tell, he was asking why plurals are possessivized by adding ' rather than 's. Which seems to me like asking why sky means that thing above us, or why cow is spelled with a c and not a k.
Sanders's stubbornness still astounds.
As terrible as my grammar (and punctuation and spelling and structure and probably pronounciation but you can't hear that part) on Slog is - this stuff really fascinates me. American English is one crazy language.
One of my first production art jobs I had I worked closely with technical editors and the they would love to argue this stuff to no end, compounded by the fact that at the time words like "E-mail", or "E" anything really, were pretty new to print (and have sadly yet to be standarized that I'm aware of).
"Appendices" vs. "Appendixes" vs. "Appendix" still gives me the shivers.
What are your favorite Style & Usage manuals?
One thing this does not address is the issue of the use of apostrophes in the plural form of a number, as in "1980's". It should be "1980s", if anything. That always annoys me, because I'm just that kind of nitpicky SOB.
Sorry, couldn't resist. Carry on.
I warned you!
TSM, are both example correct? (ignore the sentence structure please):
In the 1980s, Webster was on television, but To Close for Comfort had better 1980's fashions.
@10 - I'd object to the second usage, because it's still not being used in the possessive form - the year 1980 does not own the fashions in question. You're just using "1980s" as an adjective there.
Thanks tsm. I suppose "1980s" can't be possesive like I was attempting, which I guess was one of your original points.
I suppose it wasn't the 1980s the owned those fashion, it was Monroe. Monroe owned those fashions.
Another annoyance - and I think this comes from the APA, a music editor friend of mine just told me his publication has started using the rule: NOT capitalizing the "T" in "the" when printing band names (assuming the band's name officially begins with a "The" of course.)
@8: It does address that, if you keep reading. From Page 3:
"As to the question above (and frequently submitted) of why we put apostrophes in decades (the 1960's) and in the plural of some all-capitalized initialisms (DVDís), the answer is we don't anymore. Phil Corbett, the deputy news editor who is in charge of the stylebook, eliminated those anachronisms last October, with this comment:
Our main reason for using the apostrophe had been to avoid confusion in all-cap heds, but with those heds long since eliminated everywhere but Page One, that rationale is no longer compelling. And the apostrophe annoyed many readers, who thought we were mistakenly using a possessive form instead of a plural.
We hear you, and obey."
I often misuse the contraction "it's" when I mean the possessive "its" but I don't understand what the big deal is.
The use of the apostrophe s is appropriate in both cases at other times, such as:
Possessive: "Joe's tool."
Contraction: "Joe's a tool."
"E-mail" is an abomination promulgated by Microsoft, which has sadly almost superceded the much earlier and correct "email". Ironically, when Microsoft was spreading theirs, they didn't even know what the fuck email really was. Some would say they still don't. And I say that as someone who humps Exchange Server all day long.
I may be forgetting a legitimate use or two, but none of the other "e-" formations are tolerable at all. Email is one thing; e-commerce and, god forbid, e-tailing (bleaauargghhh) are just plain wrong. People who use these words, and related atrocities like "webinar" should be drowned.
I fucking HATE it when people pluralize with apostrophe-s. I can understand mixing up more complicated grammar/punctuation things, especially since most Americans have never studied grammar or a foreign language, but why is it so fucking difficult to just put an s for a plural? English is absurdly easy to make plurals in, so why complicate it?
I'm sorry. I wanted post a comment earlier, but I fell asleep.
While we're groaning, can I add compound proper-nouns or however it is you'd describe every new technology related company with names like WebSense or ActiveCard or AmberWave and so on and so on and so on. I know WHY they do it, but it's evil.
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