Answer Man tracks an apostrophe marked by periodic disappearances washingtonpost.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Immigrants awarded English language certificates without training Times Online Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Examples of poor use of the English language Guardian Unlimited Take a look at an interesting article we found.
December 11, 2009
Continuing our Friday Lite Language series, after an absence of a few weeks, we attempt the apostrophe, one of our more unsung figures of speech.
(Even if sometimes it is sung.)
Or I should say, “Oh mighty apostrophe, you are power personified, an enormous literary device, as opposed to your pesky namesake that is not fit to punctuate this conversation.”
The apostrophe: from the Greek meaning, "turning away."
A figure of speech in which an absent person, a personified inanimate being, or an abstraction is addressed as though present.
In classical form, it usually starts with an, “O.”
"O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, that I am meek and gentle with these butchers! Thou art the ruins of the noblest man. That ever lived in the tide of times."
That’s William Shakespeare to earth.
In modern form:
“Hello darkness, my old friend, I've come to talk with you again…"
It’s a handy figure of speech because it’s always easier to address people that aren’t around.
“Oh Melville, if you were only here to talk your heady brew.”
Knowing Melville it was smart to greet him in absentia.
I suppose we should get to the irritating punctuation mark that has appropriated the same name.
They’re possessive little things and very annoying, since nobody exactly understands them.
Fred’s Car. The Simpsons’ show.
I just follow the rule of putting one after a name that ends with an "s." Works except when it doesn't.
And nobody seems to know whether it’s Charles’s rule or Charles’ rule. Each, I gather, is acceptable, depending on which manual of style you follow.
That's why it's wise in returning to our figure of speech, which is easier to figure.
Although as writer Doug Larson put it:
“If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur."
And to all of you who have been with us everyday, but quietly jealous of the rapport our members display towards each other:
“Envy, be silent and attend!”
Figures of Speech englishclub.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Dr. Grammar's Frequently Asked Questions drgrammar.org Take a look at an interesting article we found.
History of the English Language englishclub.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Favorite figure of speech?