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Strunk & White must die; -S posessive

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Strunk & White must die; -S posessive

Postby sluggo » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:13 pm

Soliciting thoughts on this (I could set up a poll but have never figured out how):

I'm working on setting up a page for a band on MySpace.com [awaits and acknowledges waves of sympathy from audience] and in their template they have a box listing your Friends on that site: ("Name's Friends" where Name=the user name). In this case the name Minas ends in S and the box ends up reading "Minas's Friends", a construction whose visage makes me nauseous. I haven't determined if it's possible to correct to "Minas' Friends".

Long ago I heard about the Strunk & White treatise and acquired one somewhere as reference material; on the very first page they set about the business of IMHO discrediting themselves with exactly this question, wherein they advocated the use "Jesus's". I'm not sure if I burned that book to death or just tore it apart.

oops, I might have given away where I stand on this...

Is there any justification for this use's uses? Is it useless to sue if such uses ensue?
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Re: Strunk & White must die; -S posessive

Postby Palewriter » Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:07 pm

sluggo wrote:Soliciting thoughts on this (I could set up a poll but have never figured out how):

I'm working on setting up a page for a band on MySpace.com [awaits and acknowledges waves of sympathy from audience] and in their template they have a box listing your Friends on that site: ("Name's Friends" where Name=the user name). In this case the name Minas ends in S and the box ends up reading "Minas's Friends", a construction whose visage makes me nauseous. I haven't determined if it's possible to correct to "Minas' Friends".

Long ago I heard about the Strunk & White treatise and acquired one somewhere as reference material; on the very first page they set about the business of IMHO discrediting themselves with exactly this question, wherein they advocated the use "Jesus's". I'm not sure if I burned that book to death or just tore it apart.

oops, I might have given away where I stand on this...

Is there any justification for this use's uses? Is it useless to sue if such uses ensue?


At the risk of being burned to death or merely torn apart, I must confess to some sympathy for the S&W view.

I have a son named Alex. Certainly, if I was looking for his tankard (just to pick a random noun), I'd ask about "Axexiz" tankard and not "Alex". Similarly, if I was enquiring about the health of my friend Buz, I'd ask about "Buziz" health, not "Buz" health. Agreed?

So what's special about Chris or Silas or Jesus? Wouldn't I ask after "Chrisiz" health? If that's the case, wouldn't I also say "Jesusiz" disciples?

If that's the case, then why should we object to reflecting this very common possessive -iz in its written form?

-- PW
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow!!! What a ride!"
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Re: Strunk & White must die; -S posessive

Postby sluggo » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:14 pm

I should have emphasized, I speak only of the written form, not the spake (and I agree on the pronunciation), but PW raises a good question:
Palewriter wrote:...

If that's the case, then why should we object to reflecting this very common possessive -iz in its written form?

-- PW


I guess my visceral objection is that it just looks like a sloppy mistake vis-a-vis the alleged "rules" of English, and my main problem with the situation above is that it makes the band look like they don't know English too good (one of them being Brazilian).

Having been taught from the embryo that the posessive drops its S when attached to same (or X), and affirmed by (to my eyes) general adherence to this rule, it does induce a sizzling wince and raises the old Typo flag up the pole. Again, I need more of a poll as to whether this is the consensus in other Agorists' views :wink: .

PS2PW: every time I read your tagline the Rolling Stones' (Stones's?) "Dear Doctor" begins playing in the head.
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Postby Bailey » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:33 pm

go with yer guts, Slugger.

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Postby gailr » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:29 pm

I tend to agree with sluggo that an apostophe after a final "s" in the written form is preferable to forms such as Minas's. [bleah]

Spoken, I have no problem with Chris-es or Silas-es (sss endings). Jesus-es or Buzz-es (zzz endings) just set my teeth on edge, however.

Don't even get me started on my personal pet peeve:
"See us first for car's, truck's, boat's, camper's and motorcycle's." [two bleahs]

But this is all a smokescreen from the real issue.

This is A-MUR-rica, sluggo! Burning books in a private display of outrage is just ... so ... private. Ineffective invective. You need to get on the agenda at your local school or public library board to challenge Strunk & White--ivory tower liberal professors--as corrupters of youth: the opening salvo of a Banning Crusade. All that loose talk about conjugation in front of impressionable children! Even their names are suspicious, if you think about it. After the first tv news spot you'll get mobs of anti-pluralism people eagerly joining in consigning that book to the purifying flames of Heck! Sure, a few algebra or history books might mistakenly get tossed in the flames in the heat of the moment, but such is the cost of preserving our freedoms!

You can see where this would be much more cathartic, and as an added bonus, you'll sidestep having to clean up the mess afterwards. Carpe candelabrum and go after Funk & Wagnalls's next.

-gailr :lol:
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Postby sluggo » Sat Jan 06, 2007 3:23 am

gailr wrote:Don't even get me started on my personal pet peeve:
"See us first for car's, truck's, boat's, camper's and motorcycle's." [two bleahs]


Just two?? I get's five. :roll:

gailr wrote:But this is all a smokescreen from the real issue.

This is A-MUR-rica, sluggo! Burning books in a private display of outrage is just ... so ... private. Ineffective invective. You need to get on the agenda at your local school or public library board to challenge Strunk & White--ivory tower liberal professors--as corrupters of youth: the opening salvo of a Banning Crusade. All that loose talk about conjugation in front of impressionable children! Even their names are suspicious, if you think about it.

hmm... conjunctions... prepositions...?
transitive verbs???
My goodness gracious, I'm calling Rumsfeld and Ashcroft. tsk tsk.

gailr wrote:After the first tv news spot you'll get mobs of anti-pluralism people eagerly joining in consigning that book to the purifying flames of Heck! Sure, a few algebra or history books might mistakenly get tossed in the flames in the heat of the moment, but such is the cost of preserving our freedoms!


That's OK, we can always have the Arabs bring us back to speed ...again.

gailr wrote:You can see where this would be much more cathartic, and as an added bonus, you'll sidestep having to clean up the mess afterwards. Carpe candelabrum and go after Funk & Wagnalls's next.

-gailr :lol:


I knew I could count on you to s'spearhead this movement. :lol: Up against the wall, Funk & Wagnallses's! Thanks for voting, and for the chuckle on the joke down there in the subjunctive (or should I spell it out in case the little urchins are reading?)

Bailey thanks for the gut reaction- if I knew you wuz here I woulda said "urpy" 'stead o' nauseous
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Postby Bailey » Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:34 pm

as far as S & W its' plurals are what it's going for.

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Postby sluggo » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:06 am

OK, new wrinkle:

Had occasion to be using the noun "Tim Horton's" -as in one of the Tim Horton's chain of coffee shops sadly confined to Canada. So if one such shop is "a Tim Horton's", two of the same must be "two Tim Horton'ses"

Worse, this begs the question how to denote something belonging to both of them:

These Tim Horton'ses' customers...

Exceptional! :lol:
If only Tim's name had been O'Seàmus.
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Postby Perry » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:13 am

I keep getting reminded of Gollum cursing those 'tricksy hobbitses'.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby Bailey » Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:36 am

hahhahaha, but he was a Gollum.

mark tricksy-hobbit Bailey

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Cool writin's

Postby sluggo » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:58 am

Didn't know the grave of S&W had been only recently dug up (if not dug) until I stumbled upon this discussion-

''The Elements"'s new clothes can't hide the worsening limp and spackled complexion that plague this aging zombie of a book.

- giving also this tome on White's writings:
The Blowing of Each Other Up

...All of which from the bountiful archives of Nielsenhayden.com, whose sidebar even gives us a lead to a 72,000 word version of the palindromic chestnut "A man, a plan, a Canal, Panama".

Some mighty good readin'.
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Postby Bailey » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:48 pm

While s&w is a bit pedantic, sometimes I find myself wistfully looking backward as I hear the constant hip-hoppy/val girl [how it does like, hang on] dialogue every where I turn, Please, just spell out the whole word I get so confused.

mark anti-quated Bailey

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Postby gailr » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:32 pm

dud, Y do U nEd d whol wrd spLD out?

Yes, another painfully rhetorical question in the War On English! Ye gods! (zounds!--should that be just 'ye g-d'?) Where are the Culture Warriors when they're really needed?

-gailr

1ce mo unto d breach, dEr fRnds, 1ce mo,
o clOs d wall ^ w our eng spLN!
n (-<-) therz Nuttin so bcumz a mang
az gud spLN & grammar;
bt wen d blast of txtN bloz on our monitRz,
thN imitate d actN of d tigR:
Stiffen d sinews, summon ^ d bl%d.
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