Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Good Read and a Writing Tip

Any paranormal fan will enjoy...The talented author, Elena Dorothy Bowman, has created a world unlike any other with this tale and you will want to read the first book The House on the Bluff also to enjoy the beginning of the experience. I'm pleased to recommend this book as something different in reading and definitely worth the time. Enjoy. I really did." —Anne K. Edwards, author of Death on Delivery and Journey into Terror.

Question from the e-mail:  I was taught in school that if something belongs to someone, it gets an apostrophe S added to the name.  I just finished a book where half the time the possessive case Boris Woods's and half the time it's Woods'.  Also there were NO apostrophes in dates, like 1940's and so on. Wouldn't you think they could be consistent?

Answer: Well, actually...

It depends on how many people they are talking about.  Boris Woods is one person and if a car belongs to him it is Boris Woods's car. But if the car belongs to the whole Woods family, it becomes a PLURAL possessive and correctly gets written of as the Woods' family car, because Plural possessives always get the apostrophe without the S. 

Apostrophes (usually apostrophe followed by an s) are used, for possessive clauses. Mandy’s house. Tammy’s CDs. Do you see what I mean? Possessive forms of proper names take an apostrophe S even if they already end in s, such as Silas’s car. 

But plural nouns and pronouns get the apostrophe without the s in the plural form. I visited Mandy’s parents’ house. Plural form of proper names get an “es” rather than a plain s, and no apostrophe. Both the following are correct. “The Williams’ car,” for possessive, and “The Williamses came to dinner,” for plural. I know, confusing isn’t it?

Now this may all be very different to what is taught in English Class, because it comes out of typesetting tradition.  It's the same thing as we were all taught in typing class to put the period outside the quotes. But in typesetting the period always goes INside the quotes because in the old days of moveable type if it wasn't tucked safely inside, it fell out on the floor.  

Both of these are certainly exceptions to the "Always Be Consistent" rule.

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