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Author Topic: The dreaded apostrophe...!  (Read 10561 times)
RFPhotography
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« Reply #40 on: October 17, 2011, 09:05:23 AM »
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"Hence, Ikea (or IKEA) cannot possess and using the possessive form would be incorrect."

Oh ? Just try walking out of the store with one of their items and see how possessive they are.  Grin  

 Grin
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #41 on: October 17, 2011, 09:17:03 AM »
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... only live beings can possess.  Inanimate objects or things do not have the power of possession.  Hence, Ikea (or IKEA) cannot possess...

I do not know for grammar purposes, but for legal and political purposes, corporations are considered people Wink
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« Reply #42 on: October 17, 2011, 09:26:33 AM »
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"Now that is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I shall not put."
~ Sir Winston Churchill

Jack, The actual quote was "offensive impertinence, up with which I will not put," but there's some doubt whether or not Winston actually wrote this. By the way, note that he said "will" not "shall." Do you know why?
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #43 on: October 17, 2011, 11:31:59 AM »
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Jack, The actual quote was "offensive impertinence, up with which I will not put," but there's some doubt whether or not Winston actually wrote this. By the way, note that he said "will" not "shall." Do you know why?

The British are stickier on the use of 'shall' and 'will'.  In British grammar, 'shall' is used to express futurity in the first person whereas 'will' is used to express futurity in the second or third person.  'Shall' is also used in the British lexicon to connote a greater sense of determination on the part of the speaker or writer.  In N.A., 'will' is used nearly universally and 'shall' has pretty much been tossed onto the grammatical scrap heap except in certain areas such as legalese.  More's the pity.

Quote
I do not know for grammar purposes, but for legal and political purposes, corporations are considered people  Wink

I wasn't intending a legal definition.  What the law defines rarely has relevance to reality.  As for politics, can corporations vote?  Nope.  Ergo not people for political purposes either.  And for political contributions, I believe personal and corporate contributions are defined separately.   Grin
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« Reply #44 on: October 17, 2011, 12:03:08 PM »
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Exactly, Bob. When Churchill wrote (or didn't write) that, "will" was the emphatic form both in England and in the United States. Since then we've gotten a lot sloppier. For instance, nowadays people tend to use "notorious" in place of "famous." Here in Colorado Springs there's even a plaque beneath a large sculpture of a generous farmer, who used to give away pumpkins to all the local kids at Holloween, that says he's "notorious." Most of the officers' efficiency reports I used to review in the Air Force would use "enormity" without a clue to the word's nasty connotations. Churchill understood the difference between the word "persistence" and the word "perseverance." Nowadays even my online dictionary doesn't know the difference. And we've reached the point, in the United States at least, where nobody Jack's age seems to know the difference between the verb "to lie" and the verb "to lay."
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kikashi
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« Reply #45 on: October 17, 2011, 01:42:31 PM »
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Jack, The actual quote was "offensive impertinence, up with which I will not put," but there's some doubt whether or not Winston actually wrote this. By the way, note that he said "will" not "shall." Do you know why?
Good point. Note the difference between

   I will drown and no-one shall save me
and
   I shall drown and no-one will save me

Jeremy
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #46 on: October 17, 2011, 02:01:20 PM »
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-In one of his famous drunken stupors?

No, if memory serves, Churchill said this in response to a student who corrected him for ending one of his sentences with a preposition.




But back to RR's point (I think it was RR) that only humans can possess things; I think the more accurate way of putting it would be that only live beings can possess.  Inanimate objects or things do not have the power of possession.  Hence, Ikea (or IKEA) cannot possess and using the possessive form would be incorrect.  Roll Eyes  Tongue  Grin

I could live with this premise actually, in the sense that a house or a hat cannot actively "possess" things, for examples.

However, I would strongly disagree with your premise that Ikea is not a "being." In point of fact, Ikea represents a collection of beings, who do own and possess many things, as degrub so cleverly illustrated with his refutation of your faulty premise.




Here's another favourite (or favorite for the Philistines in the group):  Using 'that' to describe a person.  A person is a who, not a that.  That refers to things or objects or non-human live entities (e.g., dogs).  Who refers to people.  Conversely, using who to refer to things or objects (i.e., The company whose policies..... ) is equally incorrect and galling. Kiss  Shocked

I agree and disagree here too.

I agree that humans should be referred to as "who," and objects as "that"; however, once again a company represents a collection of human beings ...

Jack


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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #47 on: October 17, 2011, 02:05:12 PM »
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Jack, The actual quote was "offensive impertinence, up with which I will not put," but there's some doubt whether or not Winston actually wrote this. By the way, note that he said "will" not "shall." Do you know why?


Right and wrong.

Winston did use the word "will" (not "shall" as I originally wrote).

However, Winston did not write this, I believe he said this in the middle of a speech to a student body. During his delivery, one of the students pointed out that Winston just ended his sentence with a preposition, to which Winston retorted, "That is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put."

At least that is how I remember the tale ...

Jack


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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #48 on: October 17, 2011, 02:07:30 PM »
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I do not know for grammar purposes, but for legal and political purposes, corporations are considered people Wink

Exactly right, and that is because corporations represent people who can and do own (possess) many things.

Jack
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #49 on: October 17, 2011, 02:10:19 PM »
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...  where nobody Jack's age seems to know the difference between the verb "to lie" and the verb "to lay."

Your assumption that I do not know the difference is in err ...

A person lays his baby down to rest, and then he lies down to rest himself.

Jack


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RSL
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« Reply #50 on: October 17, 2011, 04:27:40 PM »
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Sorry, Jack, but you illustrated my point over in User Critiques, in your post: "The Nymph and the Queen."

And chickens lay eggs.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #51 on: October 17, 2011, 04:56:23 PM »
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Sorry, Jack, but you illustrated my point over in User Critiques, in your post: "The Nymph and the Queen."
And chickens lay eggs.


Whatever Russ. I guess because you failed to have subject-verb agreement in one of your sentences this means that you really don't know the difference either then, right?

Are you sure you want to commit to the posit that mistakes = lack of knowledge in all cases ... or could this be yet another mistake on your part?

You're beginning to prove that humans lay eggs also

Jack



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« Reply #52 on: October 17, 2011, 05:17:31 PM »
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Are you really debating whether or not non-living things can possess?

Would you write, "The suns rays" or "The sun's rays"?  Would you write, "The chairs legs" or "The chair's legs"?

IKEA can possess attributes or qualities in the same manner as the sun or a chair, such that expression in English requires a possessive apostrophe.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #53 on: October 17, 2011, 05:23:34 PM »
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Exactly right, and that is because ...

It must be SOOOO cool to know everything.
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degrub
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« Reply #54 on: October 17, 2011, 05:25:35 PM »
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Photographers......
.....
....
...
..
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Untie !
 Wink
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kikashi
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« Reply #55 on: October 18, 2011, 02:27:30 AM »
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Whatever Russ. I guess because you failed to have subject-verb agreement in one of your sentences this means that you really don't know the difference either then, right?
He didn't.

Jeremy
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #56 on: October 18, 2011, 06:28:56 AM »
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Jack, a corporation may or may not be a collection of people.  But the corporation in isolation is not a person.  It is not an animate being.  A corporation, based on my definition, cannot possess.  It is just like the house or the hat in your examples.  A corporation cannot be ascribed the characteristics of a live being.

Just because Churchill may have been addressing a body of students doesn't preclude a drunken stupor.  Grin  Some of his best known lines came while drunk.

Here's another  grammatical pet peeve.  Use of the singular when referring to multiples.  It happens all the time both in speech and in writing.  Chuck Westfall did it in his talk with DPReview on the new Canon 1 DX:  "There's a couple of things we......"  Simply atrocious.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 06:42:50 AM by BobFisher » Logged
JohnKoerner
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« Reply #57 on: October 18, 2011, 07:38:10 AM »
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It must be SOOOO cool to know everything.

I'm curious, Jeremy, were there any men in your family?




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He didn't.
Jeremy

He did.

Please try to remember, Jeremy, that each time you have come here to "correct" me you have not only been incorrect yourself, but you have added further blunders of your own [mis-identifying both a clause (on another thread) and a gerund (on this thread)--not to mention improper apostrophe use on this thread about apostrophes, etc. ).

Oh, and the next time you take quotes directly out of The Elements of Style (i.e., "I will drown and no one will save me," etc.), at least have the decency to provide quotations around the material and cite your reference ... rather than trying to pass-off the material as your own

There must be some kind of curse on the name Jeremy




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Jack, a corporation may or may not be a collection of people.  But the corporation in isolation is not a person.  It is not an animate being.  A corporation, based on my definition, cannot possess.  It is just like the house or the hat in your examples.  A corporation cannot be ascribed the characteristics of a live being.

I agree that a corportation represents one or many people. And while I agree that a corporation is not a sentient being itself, per se, a corporation is still represented by people who most definitely can possess many things. Hence the appropriate use of apostrophes to signify such possession.




Just because Churchill may have been addressing a body of students doesn't preclude a drunken stupor.  Grin  Some of his best known lines came while drunk.

True




Here's another  grammatical pet peeve.  Use of the singular when referring to multiples.  It happens all the time both in speech and in writing.  Chuck Westfall did it in his talk with DPReview on the new Canon 1 DX:  "There's a couple of things we......"  Simply atrocious.

Agreed!

Perhaps the most common example of this is, "Here's a hundred dollars ..."

Jack




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kikashi
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« Reply #58 on: October 18, 2011, 11:40:41 AM »
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Please try to remember, Jeremy, that each time you have come here to "correct" me you have not only been incorrect yourself, but you have added further blunders of your own [mis-identifying both a clause (on another thread) and a gerund (on this thread)--not to mention improper apostrophe use on this thread about apostrophes, etc.

Oh, and the next time you take quotes directly out of The Elements of Style (i.e., "I will drown and no one will save me," etc.), at least have the decency to provide quotations around the material and cite your reference ... rather than trying to pass-off the material as your own
I had never heard of The Elements of Style. I see now that it is a book on the American dialect of English and I propose to read it with relish. The example I gave was, I think, far too widely-known and well-used to be attributable.

Russ was right; you were wrong. The word you used was a gerund and your choosing to call it a participle does not alter its nature, any more than my choosing to describe either occurrence of the word "choosing" in this sentence as a participle would render it other than a gerund. As Lord Templeman rather beautifully put it some years ago, "[t]he manufacture of a five pronged instrument for manual digging results in a fork even if the manufacturer, unfamiliar with the English language, insists that he intended to make and has made a spade".

However, just as none is so blind as he who will not see, none is so ineducable as he who believes himself omniscient and infallible. Save when you wrongly "correct" others' perfectly correct grammar, I shall henceforth allow you to stew in the juices of your own ignorance.

Jeremy

Incidentally, as a parting shot but without breaking my self-imposed rule set out above, "There's a couple of things..." is correct. The word "couple" is singular. Its plural is "couples".
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #59 on: October 18, 2011, 12:16:18 PM »
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I had never heard of The Elements of Style. I see now that it is a book on the American dialect of English and I propose to read it with relish. The example I gave was, I think, far too widely-known and well-used to be attributable.

Russ was right; you were wrong. The word you used was a gerund and your choosing to call it a participle does not alter its nature, any more than my choosing to describe either occurrence of the word "choosing" in this sentence as a participle would render it other than a gerund. As Lord Templeman rather beautifully put it some years ago, "[t]he manufacture of a five pronged instrument for manual digging results in a fork even if the manufacturer, unfamiliar with the English language, insists that he intended to make and has made a spade".

However, just as none is so blind as he who will not see, none is so ineducable as he who believes himself omniscient and infallible. Save when you wrongly "correct" others' perfectly correct grammar, I shall henceforth allow you to stew in the juices of your own ignorance.

Jeremy

Incidentally, as a parting shot but without breaking my self-imposed rule set out above, "There's a couple of things..." is correct. The word "couple" is singular. Its plural is "couples".
Hi Jeremy,

I've been trying to clean up and "modernize" your comments here, especially with respect to possessives, and I've run into a couple of difficulties. Perhaps you can help me.

Some points are easy. For example, "The Elements of Style" should obviously be "Style's Elements."

But I'm not so sure about "the American dialect of English." Should it become "American English's dialect?" Sounds a bit awkward.

I was pleased to see "its nature" rather than "nature of it."

But "stew in the juices of your own ignorance" should be "stew in your own ignorance's juices." But I'm still undecided about "There's a couple of things" as opposed to "There's things' couple."

As for your point about the numerical status of the word "couple," I agree. Often near the beginning of a dance, one couple will venture onto the dance floor, soon followed by other couples.

Now if I can find some photographs to illustrate the key photographic features of this thread (Oops: I mean, "this thread's photographic features"), then I will (or is it "shall?") try to post them.

Eric

P.S. Oh, horror! I just noticed my own error: Please replace "couple of difficulties" by "difficulties' couple."  Sad
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 12:21:05 PM by Eric Myrvaagnes » Logged

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http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
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