Apostrophe, or not?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by tablariddim, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,793
    Is it correct to keep the apostrophied words in these phrases? It seems more logical to drop the apostrophe, but is it good grammar?

    bald as a baby’s arse

    as she spoke in the big man’s ear

    sitting so close to the redhead’s pungent aroma

    would have been proud of his namesake’s resourcefulness

    the world’s second oldest profession that is

    hawk’s eyes darting about and focusing on

    the water’s movement

    more clues to these people’s eroticism

    Peter’s mental state prevents him

    main suspect in Claudia’s murder

    obsessed by Claudia’s purity and

    before George’s mother returns

    on the bitch’s well worn gash
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
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  3. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

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    Apostrophe.

    Edit: those are all wrong, the apostrophe should be after the s.
     
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  5. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

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    Apostrophe...damn'. Thanks for correcting that Nick, if only Plazma could correct the title.

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  7. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

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    That's what I thought, but MS Word marks them as wrong.
     
  8. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    No.
    tablariddim has them correct.
    You should put the apostrophe after the "s" when the "s" is making it plural, or when the "s" is part of the word...


    Jesus' words were...
    Bulls' tails are... (indicating the tails of more than one bull)
     
  9. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

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    10,581
    You're right, its only when there are more than one e.g babies: The babies' room (if there are more than one babies etc.)
     
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    This is not correct. You, like millions of people, were confused during the 1980s and early 1990s, when newspapers saved space by adopting the horrifying practice of leaving off the final S in constructions like "Mr. Jones' Hat." It is "Mr. Jones's Hat" and it is pronounced JONZ-EZ, two syllables, not JONZ, one syllable.

    The practice spread and became utterly ridiculous, when you'd see headlines like "President Gomez' Speech" or "The Peace Process' Failure." You would never think of pronouncing those possessive forms without the extra syllable, if you hadn't seen it in the newspaper, the final arbiter of style in the English language.

    Fortunately they stopped doing this ten or fifteen years ago and now write Gomez's and Process's correctly. However the damage was done, and you can hear uneducated people say "Mr. Jones' Hat" as if JONZ were one syllable instead of two. Ditto for Gomez', although these people get so confused that their tiny brains explode when they try to figure out how to pronunce Process' without a third syllable.
    This is simply incorrect. Don't do it, ever. I'm sure you'll still see it in writing because the illiterati picked it up from the newspapers 20 years ago, but it's still wrong. No decent editor or professor will allow it.
    This is correct, but it's because the S is a plural ending, not part of the basic word. The paradigm is:

    Bull -- Bull's
    Bulls -- Bulls'
     
  11. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    13,406
    I'll take your word for it Fraggle.
    It never seemed right to me, but I was often corrected on it.
     
  12. physik Registered Member

    Messages:
    10
    It may be true!
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Check any style manual. It's in there.
     
  14. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    will you people make up your minds?
     
  15. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    10,296
    Fraggle is correct. For one thing it should NEVER be used to indicate plurality ("I saw five dog's" is totally incorrect).

    It's used to indicate one of two things - posession/ownership ("It's Bill's hat.") and as a contraction (" Bill's wrong" - meaning "Bill is wrong).
     
  16. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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  17. Oniw17 ascetic, sage, diogenes, bum? Valued Senior Member

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    Actually that's exactly what I was taught.
     
  18. matthyaouw Registered Senior Member

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    162
    Language evolves, innit?
     
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Get a Wren & Martin, folks
     
  20. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

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    1,888
    babies' arses
    a baby's arse

    I know this has already been said, so consider it a vote.
     
  21. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Those are all correct.
     
  22. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    I don't think this is correct: "the world’s second oldest profession..." I think it should be "The worlds oldest profession..." Ditto for "the water’s movement..." It should be "the waters movement..."

    I'm also curious why no one has mentioned such terms as "it's", a contraction for "it is" ...and others like it.

    Baron Max
     
  23. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    51,734
    "the worlds oldest profession" implies more than one world.

    "waters" is acceptable in a different construction, as in, "the waters moved", but "water's movement" is correct.

    http://www.apostrophe.fsnet.co.uk/
     

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