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Possessive's and Apostrophe's - Page 2

post #31 of 53

Thanks for the Mother's Day info!  I did further research and the British use the style of omitting the apostrophe if the word means "for."  For example:  Girls school.  (A school for girls, as opposed to the school belonging to the girls.)

 

In the US there is controversy over every apostrophe placement it seems.  I'm guessing that eventually we will ditch the apostrophe.  

 

If you really want to go crazy, try and figure out where to put the apostrophe or not for Presidents' Day.  What is Presidents' Day?  When I grew up there was Lincoln's birthday and Washington's.  Then they combined them in to "Presidents' Day."  

 

Today, it seems, that holiday includes all presidents that ever lived.  I think technically, on the books, it's only legally Washington's birthday still.  But I don't have the patience to read about it again.  It's so confusing.

 

Never mind where the apostrophe goes, I'd settle for finding out exactly what the holiday Presidents' Day is celebrating.  I challenge anyone to find concrete evidence.  It's up for interpretation.

post #32 of 53

The more I think about Lands' End the more disturbing it gets! I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep now.

Grammar Girl does talk about Farmers Market. It seems it could be written both ways, that it's contentious. Then there's a comment that it's Farmer's Market because: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-apostrophes.aspx

Michael Hewitt
3/12/2009 4:45:17 AM
Nup, wrong.
Research the genitive case. Farmers' Market is correct - the plural noun Farmers is modifying the second noun Market.

 

Mother's Day Article which explains the apostrophe.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=c942370c-cdbb-43b2-af59-71ad4b546854

Found it linked from: http://www.apostrophecatastrophes.com/2008/05/mothers-day-mothers-day-or-mothers-day.html

 

There's yet another site, ApostropheAbuse. It had a blurb on the Lands' End thing:

http://www.apostropheabuse.com/2006/10/lands-end-apostrophe-placement-a-typo.html

 

So far though, unnecessaryquotes.com is the best for humor anyway with all the photos.

post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM View Post

Thanks for the Mother's Day info!  I did further research and the British use the style of omitting the apostrophe if the word means "for."  For example:  Girls school.  (A school for girls, as opposed to the school belonging to the girls.)

That is how I did it when I was a copy editor -- I was able to use a particular style (AP at one job, Chicago at another) but massage things to my liking, as long as I was consistent. Some (many) things aren't black and white in the English language, surprise! 

post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

 Some (many) things aren't black and white in the English language, surprise! 


LOL, very true!

post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM View Post

 

If you really want to go crazy, try and figure out where to put the apostrophe or not for Presidents' Day.  What is Presidents' Day?  When I grew up there was Lincoln's birthday and Washington's.  Then they combined them in to "Presidents' Day."  

 

Today, it seems, that holiday includes all presidents that ever lived.  I think technically, on the books, it's only legally Washington's birthday still.  But I don't have the patience to read about it again.  It's so confusing.

 

Never mind where the apostrophe goes, I'd settle for finding out exactly what the holiday Presidents' Day is celebrating.  I challenge anyone to find concrete evidence.  It's up for interpretation.

I have yet to find the cast in stone evidence. Even in Washington they're using paper these days ;-).

 

Officially apparently, it's not up for interpretation at all. The federal holiday is Washington's Birthday. Individual states have made their own designations. Marketers have created "Presidents' Day" or "Presidents Day" to combine Lincoln's and Washington's Birthdays.

 

The "President's Day National Committee" was formed in 1951 by Harold Stonebridge. (I'm not sure which spelling of President's or ts' or ts was original though.

They never were able to get the name through and it's still officially Washington's Birthday.

 

btw, I learned this on the internet. Wikipedia gives a good overview. In the little searching I did the other sources aren't all that official either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington%27s_Birthday
 

post #36 of 53

Aaah, the "Genitivo Sassone" (Itl) - Sachsicher Genitiv (De)...is really only addressed as "Possessive" in the English grammar? I can't believe that it has such an "exotic" name in my language and not in its own!!

Anyway,  I see it isn't a nightmare only for us, poor foreigner students...

post #37 of 53
*is still waiting for the dreaded Stag's Leap vs. Stags' Leap Cab & cat fight. *

popcorn.gif
post #38 of 53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nobody View Post

Aaah, the "Genitivo Sassone" (Itl) - Sachsicher Genitiv (De)...is really only addressed as "Possessive" in the English grammar? I can't believe that it has such an "exotic" name in my language and not in its own!!

Anyway,  I see it isn't a nightmare only for us, poor foreigner students...

Well I thought it was the Genitive Case in English, but now I'm more confused after looking it up. Maybe segbrown is more conversant with it.

 

From:  http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Genitive_case

Quote:

The genitive case is a grammatical case that indicates a relationship, primarily one of possession, between the noun in the genitive case and another noun. In a more general sense, this genitive relationship may be thought of as one thing belonging to, being created from, or otherwise deriving from some other thing, usually in a way that can be expressed by the English preposition "of".

 

It is a common misconception that English nouns have a genitive case, marked by the possessive -'s ending. Linguists generally believe that English possessive is no longer a case at all, but has become a clitic, an independent particle which, however, is always written and pronounced as part of the preceding word. This can be shown by the following example: 'The King of Sparta's wife was called Helen.'. If the English -'s were a genitive, then the wife would belong to Sparta; but the -'s attaches not to the word 'Sparta', but to the entire phrase 'King of Sparta'.

 


 

post #39 of 53

Good info about Presidents' Day, but if the Feds say it's Washington, and some states have their own interpretation and advertisers have their own individual idea, then I can't really get a sense of what it is officially, nationally.  I doubt the feds are not celebrating Lincoln's birthday too, even if technically on the books it only says Washington.

 

Also, with advertising, they sometimes show more presidents than just Washington or Lincoln.  A car commercial running in New York for two years in a row showed Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson.  

 

If anybody asks me What is Presidents' Day, I'll answer that it's a combination of Lincoln and Washington's birthday.  (I think.)

 

As far as where the apostrophe goes?  I don't care!  LOL

post #40 of 53

One of my old girlfriends once told me I felt badly. Maybe that's why I never got past second base. 

post #41 of 53

I recall editing some presentation slides a few years back when  former boss berated me for removing apostrophes from dozens of acronyms because they weren't being used in a possessive manor. 

 

"The ISAM's are this"

The TAM's are that"

on and on and on.. 

 

I just put it back and rolled my eyes as her bosses snickered during the presentation.

 

Now I have a question..

 

Is it "New Year's Day"

Or is it "New Years Day"?

 

Or how about... "The twelve previous New Years' Days bla bla bla"??

post #42 of 53

Posaune, I can relate to your frustration.  It's like when I ride up the lift and see people pivoting.  Just grates at me.  Most others don't notice is, don't even realize it's there, but I do.  It's as though they're screaming at me, "I'm pivoting, I'M PIVOTING".  Drives me crazy.  wink.gif

 

Here's one that confounds me.  It's cold outside, isn't it.  Do you end that sentence with a period, or a question mark.  Could be I'm just making a statement about the temperature, and the "isn't it" is not really a question, but rather just a way pull the person I'm speaking to into participation in a conversation about it.  In those cases, I use a period.  On the other hand, there are times when using that same sentence that I can actually be asking a question.  Someone walks into the house from outside, and I haven't been outside yet.  I say, "It's cold outside, isn't it", just speculating, and hoping they will tell me how cold it is outside so I can dress properly.  In that case, I use a question mark.  Not sure if how I'm doing it is actually proper, I just do it that way because it seems to make sense to me.  Unfortunately, trying to do things that makes sense, when it comes to the English language, has led me astray many times in the past.  

post #43 of 53

I'd classify enticing someone in to a conversation using "isn't it" as "interrogative".  Interrogatives definitely need a question mark.  I would agree that we don't use the same inflection at the end of the sentence that the question mark recommends us to when reading that sentence instead of using it as described above..

post #44 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post

 Do you end that sentence with a period, or a question mark.  


A question mark.

 

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post

 Do you end that sentence with a period, or a question mark.  


A question mark.

 

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.


Beat ya to it. 

 

And, how about answering that like this?

 

"It's cold outside, isn't it?wink.gif

 

ISSSSsss it?wink.gif

 

This using an interrogative phrase using statement inflection is kind of like saying.. "Awesome!"  when you really mean "Oh crap!".

post #46 of 53
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:


Beat ya to it. 

 

 

Well, no, you didn't.  I was trying to be flippant.  Read my post carefully and you will discern my bad manners.

post #47 of 53

Were you.

post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post


 

Quote:


Beat ya to it. 

 

 

Well, no, you didn't.  I was trying to be flippant.  Read my post carefully and you will discern my bad manners.

Rick... re-read your post #42 above... biggrin.gif (He's not evil - just observant!)

Also, consider the many books you've read with variations on your ending theme phrase like:
Isn't it.
Isn't it!
Isn't it?
Isn't it...?
Isn't it!?
Isn't it?!!

Before emoticons, punctuation was the only meaningful way to impart emotional content and voice inflections. And we're certainly not above inventing our own,,,,,,,,,,, right? biggrin.gif


---
I'd be the first to admit 'Spelling' has always been my own arch-nemesis. I enjoy endeavors that employ thinking, reasoning and logic because a person can usually figure out what to do and how to do it with little or no assistance. Endeavors that require memorization are still OK - so long as they follow a well-reasoned path and can be reconstructed from some base rules somewhere. 'Spelling' doesn't meet either of those requirements! Spelling Rules are more like a list of generic rules with many arbitrary exceptions.

Desiring proper punctuation on a forum like this might seem anal - but reading posts with proper punctuation sure is a lot faster while making the material presented a lot easier to comprehend.

.ma
post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

 

Desiring proper punctuation on a forum like this might seem anal - but reading posts with proper punctuation sure is a lot faster while making the material presented a lot easier to comprehend.

ma

It is.

Isn't it?

Really, it is.

It is really!

 

This is why I believe we have, or used to use,  " 'tis " . That takes the place of all of them.

I'm with cgrildart, "Isn't it" needs a question mark. A rhetorical question is still a question, no? I believe 'tis.

However, I await the ruling of segbrown...

 



 

post #50 of 53

Lynn Truss wrote a small book about punctuation called "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves".  The largest chapter is about Apostrophes.  She is very definite about what's right and wrong.  She's English and not American.  She gives lots of examples, showing the right way and the wrong way.  However, about 20% of her examples of the English usage is different from what would be used in America.

post #51 of 53


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

 

Desiring proper punctuation on a forum like this might seem anal - but reading posts with proper punctuation sure is a lot faster while making the material presented a lot easier to comprehend.

ma

It is.

Isn't it?

Really, it is.

It is really!

 

This is why I believe we have, or used to use,  " 'tis " . That takes the place of all of them.

I'm with cgrildart, "Isn't it" needs a question mark. A rhetorical question is still a question, no? I believe 'tis.

However, I await the ruling of segbrown...

 



 

I decree that question marks shall be used in formal or otherwise nonfiction writing, in which the proper usage of English is paramount, and that whatever the hell punctuation so desired by the author shall be used in informal or fiction writing, in which the proper conveyance of the tone of the speaker is paramount. 'Tis the only way.

post #52 of 53

From Dave Barry's "Tips for Writer's":

 

Dear Mister Language Person:
  What is the purpose of the apostrophe?

Answer:

 

The apostrophe is used mainly in hand-lettered small business signs to alert the reader than an "S" is coming up at the end of a word, as in: WE DO NOT EXCEPT PERSONAL CHECK'S, or: NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ITEM'S.
post #53 of 53



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post

From Dave Barry's "Tip's for Writer's":

 

Dear Mister Language Person:
  What is the purpose of the apostrophe?

Answer:

 

The apostrophe is used mainly in hand-lettered small business signs to alert the reader than an "S" is coming up at the end of a word, as in: WE DO NOT EXCEPT PERSONAL CHECK'S, or: NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ITEM'S.


Fix'd!

 

Hilarious by the way...

 

 

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