Monday, August 23, 2004

Trouble with apostrophes

There's a column in the Riverside Press-Enterprise about problems with apostrophes. And readers have written in to share some mistakes.
Victoria Cunningham stumbles over "Bridget Jones's Diary." "I thought it should be Jones'." The Associated Press style gods agree. But Lynne Truss, discussing the subject in "Eats, Shoots & Leaves," cites "Fowler's Modern English Usage," which says "modern" names should end "Keats's poems," ancient names should end "Achilles' heel," institutional names (St. Thomas' Hospital) are up to the institution. And just about everything is open to violent argument.
Someone else takes the paper to task for adding apostrophes to such stores as Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons. The columnist must admit that he, too, has committed those errors.


At 9:17 AM, August 25, 2004, Blogger Mike said...

That apostrophe issue is addressed on Page 1 of "The Elements of Style", a book most English majors are taught to genuflect in front of. That's probably contributed a great deal to all of the confusion.

At 10:40 PM, August 30, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd invite people who stumble over "Jones's" to take a gander at the book jacket:

At 10:28 AM, August 31, 2004, Blogger Nicole said...

Yeah, and it would have been nice for them to look up English punctuation rules.


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