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Radical Shot
01-17-2005, 01:23 PM
When to use an apostrophe. Lesson 101.

"you are" = "you're", not "your"

The apostrophe is used to denote a missing letter. In the case above it's the "a" that is missing, so the apostrophe takes it's place.

If the English language must be destroyed on the net, perhaps "ur" can be used....shudder !

Kind regards,

Henry Higgins

p.s. Go Federer.

raftermania
01-17-2005, 02:07 PM
Game, set and match: Radical Shot.

Don't get too disappointed when you see more of the same though brother... With the increasing rise of computer laziness.. ppl are using really bad english like saying smth like ttyl for talk to you later, l8r for cya later. ect... it's really bad some ppl just write like this subconsciously, it's very hard to control.

Lets just hope it doesn't transfer over to the academic papers.

btw, on a serious, in the case above - is it "lets" or "let's?" thx

Radical Shot
01-17-2005, 02:49 PM
Raftermania,

I belive the correct spelling would be "Let's". The phrase you're using is "Let us". Due to the fact that the "u" is missing, you need to substitute it with the apostrophe.

alienhamster
01-17-2005, 05:18 PM
Well, since you broached the topic . . .

The apostrophe issue has been confusing, and even unstandardized, for the majority of the History of English. If you look at the it's/its issue, writers used both of these forms interchangeably (for both the possesive and the contraction) for centuries. Eventually, prescriptive grammarians decided to push for the inherent correctness of one unique form for each item, and we still re-institute their views on a regular basis today.

It's not really a big deal since you will rarely misunderstand a statement if either form is used. Case in point: You yourself, Radical, use "it's" for both words in the sentence, "In the case above it's the "a" that is missing, so the apostrophe takes it's place." We're just encouraged to think we need a different form for every word we say, even though we encounter spoken (and sometimes written) variation in language all the time. (Theater/theatre, different pronunciations of route, etc.)

Raftermania: why do you think it's "laziness" that drives the acronyms and spellings you see on the computer? I don't think l8r saves much (if any) time at all. And is ttyl really that different from scuba or NBA or any other number of words we use on a regular basis? I don't think the internet talk is "bad English," but rather a specific manner of writing that has been conventionalized by computer users to help identify them as a community (and perhaps in some cases to save time typing, though that can't always be the case).

<Let's> is usually seen as the "correct" spelling, but <lets> has also been occurring in written language for a long while.

Radical Shot
01-17-2005, 05:29 PM
AlienHamster, good post. Actually, re-reading my sentence, I can see that I've actually made a mistake on the second "it's". Here's my sentence.

"In the case above it's the "a" that is missing, so the apostrophe takes it's place."

The first use is correct, because the contracted words are "it is". The second is incorrect, because it's (there I go again) possesive - substituting the "i" back in would not make sense. The expanded version would become..

"In the case above it is the "a" that is missing, so the apostrophe takes it is place."

Obviously the red is illegitimate use of the apostrophe in the original quote.

Good stuff. I failed Apostrophe 101.

Frodo Baggins
01-17-2005, 05:44 PM
Is There gonna be a test on this???

raftermania
01-17-2005, 06:36 PM
Well, since you broached the topic . . .

Raftermania: why do you think it's "laziness" that drives the acronyms and spellings you see on the computer? I don't think l8r saves much (if any) time at all. And is ttyl really that different from scuba or NBA or any other number of words we use on a regular basis? I don't think the internet talk is "bad English," but rather a specific manner of writing that has been conventionalized by computer users to help identify them as a community (and perhaps in some cases to save time typing, though that can't always be the case).

Well, cumulatively, I'm sure I've saved at least 4 minutes in the last 8 or 9 years from using these trusty acronyms.

I think it's more of a cognitive type of laziness. It takes that much more cognitive effort to produce these common phrases on a regular basis. Because, these acronyms can be used and understood nearly universally - why not use them?

Radical Shot
01-17-2005, 06:44 PM
Here's an idea...Learn to touch type!

Phil
01-17-2005, 06:52 PM
Well, cumulatively, I'm sure I've saved at least 4 minutes in the last 8 or 9 years from using these trusty acronyms.

I think it's more of a cognitive type of laziness. It takes that much more cognitive effort to produce these common phrases on a regular basis. Because, these acronyms can be used and understood nearly universally - why not use them?

And that's 4 more minutes to spend on your rambling, drug- or alcohol-induced posts (e.g. recently in the Proplayers section). Yeah!

raftermania
01-17-2005, 07:53 PM
ouch! that hurt!

I explained this in my Federer the Robot post, I'm a bit ill at the moment so yes I do have a bit of time on my hands. It was very amusing for myself to create, and it seems like others enjoyed it too.

It's sad that when a person steps outside the conventional box, the first thing some people assume are drugs/alcohol. Do you think all the big CEOs produced their multimillion dollar ideas at the bar? I'm sure TW would not exist if there were no drugs and alcohol, right? I'll be a kiss***** for now, but TW could not be a major tennis distributor without some inventive thinking.

You should learn the theory of personality. Do you think all people think the same??? Yeah? And when somebody thinks in an extreme fashion... They MUST be under the influence of some mind-altering substance? People were born with different minds and abilities. Deal with it and stop complaining.

The world would simply not evolve without radical ideas and radical thoughts, especially when they do not have malicious intent. (e.g. unfortunately not everyone thinks the same way you do, isn't that disappointing?)

Would you be offended if I assumed you're a run of the mill, 9 - 5 office worker who follows the exact same routine, robotically executing commands given to you from a superior and wearing the same shirt and tie each and everyday? A person who can't think for themselves???

That'd be pure prejudice, I don't think that way. If you want to believe and judge somebody you do not know personally is on drugs/booze - go for it.

Though, don't expect to have any sort of exciting friends.

I don't want to argue about this, I'm sure TW created the ignore function just for this. To avoid this kind of non-sense and negativity. It seems like you haven't enjoyed my posts in the past - so put me on your ignore list and then I won't have to hear any more of your insinuating and offensive comments.

Thx!

ps, to get back on topic, Grammar Police! Please examine my punctuation!

Phil
01-17-2005, 08:31 PM
Take it easy there, tiger...besides the fact that you probably proved my point, you need to get some rest. As for the Grammer Police, they should be along shortly...

Radical Shot
01-17-2005, 08:37 PM
Phil, this is the Grammar Police. Log off your computer and take your hands off the keyboard immediately.

You've just been observed mis-spelling "grammar" as "grammer". This is unforgivable. Please read the dictionary, chapter "G" and report back when finished.

We've been tracking you for some time now. We knew that you'd mess up sooner or later and now we have you where we want.

Detective Superintendent Radical Shot

Noelle
01-17-2005, 08:53 PM
LOL!

(Oh, darnit, I'm probably going to get a citation for using an acronym.)

;)

LafayetteHitter
01-17-2005, 08:57 PM
Abbreviate as you will, forget to use caps and periods at any time you like, let's just rejoice that ebonics is used little to none on here, it looks horrible when typed out.

Scott

Phil
01-17-2005, 08:58 PM
Yes sir, Det. Supt. Radical Shot. Thanks to your strict enforcement of spelling protocol I now understand my egregious error and I promise never to mispell that word again. I have caused shame and disrespect to the English language and all those who speak it.

However, with all due respect, aren't you operating out of your jurisdiction? Not to tell you how to do your job or anything, but spelling and grammar are different departments, right? Where are your colleagues from the Spelling Enforcement Division? Shorthanded? Short of hands?

BTW, I can't spell worth a dang, but that's why God invented spellcheck.

Radical Shot
01-17-2005, 09:04 PM
LafayetteHitter, this is the Grammar Police. Log off your computer and take your hands off the keyboard immediately.

You have what appears to be a chronic case of comma-itis and poor sentence structure. Please review the grammatical rules for using commas within a sentence and return to these forums when done.

Detective Superintendent Radical Shot

LafayetteHitter
01-17-2005, 09:09 PM
Radical Shot, here is a recommendation! Take your hands off your keyboard and go hit some balls, notice I do not mention play tennis, because it is with little doubt that you are NOT a tennis PLAYER! How you like them apples.

Scott

Radical Shot
01-17-2005, 09:10 PM
Phil, glad to see you are rehabilitated and can now return to these boards never to mis-spell "grammar" again. I look forward to your progress and will keep a keen eye trained upon you. Regarding my jurisdiction, wherever poor English and bad spelling are, that's where I patrol. It's a big job, especially now that the web has taken off, but that's my commission and my passion.

Now that you're a reformed mis-speller, there is a vacancy in the SpellCheck division. Interested?

Radical Shot
01-17-2005, 09:13 PM
LafayetteHitter, I don't like apples, I love apples.

LafayetteHitter
01-17-2005, 09:15 PM
Apples are great! Let's all go eat apples up in hear...

Lil' john said it best, Whatcha gon do

Phil
01-17-2005, 09:44 PM
Phil, glad to see you are rehabilitated and can now return to these boards never to mis-spell "grammar" again. I look forward to your progress and will keep a keen eye trained upon you. Regarding my jurisdiction, wherever poor English and bad spelling are, that's where I patrol. It's a big job, especially now that the web has taken off, but that's my commission and my passion.

Now that you're a reformed mis-speller, there is a vacancy in the SpellCheck division. Interested?

I am humbled and awed in the shadow of your august presence. I may know how to spell "grammar" now, but, sadly, I will never reach the level of spelling competence commiserate with the highly professional standards required of SpellCheck Division personnel. Therefore, regretfully, I must decline your generous offer.

Always in your debt,

Phil the "mis-speller"

ty slothrop
01-18-2005, 07:02 AM
uh, phil, that would be "commensurate," not "commiserate" ; )

Dedans Penthouse
01-18-2005, 12:53 PM
uh, phil, that would be "commensurate," not "commiserate" ; )

commensurate.....commiserate.....

Ah! NOW I know why the cross-eyed seemstress couldn't work during that time of the month: she couldn't mend straight.

raftermania
01-18-2005, 01:29 PM
Take it easy there, tiger...besides the fact that you probably proved my point, you need to get some rest. As for the Grammer Police, they should be along shortly...

Excuse me?? I probably proved your point?? You're (you are) very good at dropping cute one liners devoid of any explanation or detail.

Can you elaborate just a bit? When you offend somebody, you expect little reaction?

If you don't respond, it'll (it will) mean you have no explanation or I'm on your ignore list - both are ideal!

Please don't start something something you don't want to finish appropriately.

Thx again,

Phil
01-18-2005, 03:49 PM
uh, phil, that would be "commensurate,"
not "commiserate" ; )

Yes...No! I was, what I was trying to say was, I was COMISSERATING with the Detective, I was, it was, COMMENSURATE with my statements, it...oh, phooey-my bad!

ibemadskillzz
01-18-2005, 03:50 PM
who cares about this. This is just a forum of tennis players. Who cares, this is not an spelling exam, we are not writing essays for colleges, we are not trying to be english teachers here.

Phil
01-18-2005, 03:52 PM
Excuse me?? I probably proved your point?? You're (you are) very good at dropping cute one liners devoid of any explanation or detail.

Can you elaborate just a bit? When you offend somebody, you expect little reaction?

If you don't respond, it'll (it will) mean you have no explanation or I'm on your ignore list - both are ideal!

Please don't start something something you don't want to finish appropriately.

Thx again,

Ahhh...you're not on my "ignore list", and neither is anyone else, and I don't really feel the need to "explain" if you can't figure it out. Keep up the babble, Tiger and try not to be so sensitive.

Radical Shot
01-18-2005, 04:01 PM
who cares about this. This is just a forum of tennis players. Who cares, this is not an spelling exam, we are not writing essays for colleges, we are not trying to be english teachers here.

Ok then, let's apply this thread to tennis specifically. (although the original intent was to raise a bit of awareness of correct grammar and spelling when discussing TENNIS).

How do you spell the thing that you hit the ball with?

Is it racquet or racket?

Gaines Hillix
01-18-2005, 04:58 PM
LafayetteHitter, this is the Grammar Police. Log off your computer and take your hands off the keyboard immediately.

You have what appears to be a chronic case of comma-itis and poor sentence structure. Please review the grammatical rules for using commas within a sentence and return to these forums when done.

Detective Superintendent Radical Shot

A lot less grammar and spelling are needed than one might think. Take a stab at reading the following;

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cuod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg.

The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at
Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it ddeosn't mttaer in waht ooredr the ltteers in a
wrod are.

The olny iprnoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the
rghit pclae.

The rset can be a ttaotl mses and you sitll raed it wouthit a
porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey
lteter by isltef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig! I awlyas
tghouht, "Slpeling was ipmorant!" :-)

ibemadskillzz
01-18-2005, 05:52 PM
yes gaines you are right, this study by cambridge was done a long time ago. Yes only the first and the last letter. good work

Radical Shot
01-18-2005, 06:22 PM
Ganeis, tihs is ibnrielcde stfuf ineedd. Waht a fnie ttnemeast to the pweor and fiilxelbtiy of the huamn barin. I tnihk I'm gnoig to rnhtiek my psiiootn as the slef aeonitppd gmrmaar ploice and jsut tpye wehvetar I lkie, rarsdgeels of the splilneg. If eenyrvoe can raed it OK, tehn tehre is no pebolrm at all. Mnay tanhks for anitlreg us all to tihs msot fsnaticaing pehmnnoea.

Phil
01-18-2005, 07:34 PM
A lot less grammar and spelling are needed than one might think. Take a stab at reading the following;

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cuod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg.

The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at
Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it ddeosn't mttaer in waht ooredr the ltteers in a
wrod are.

The olny iprnoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the
rghit pclae.

The rset can be a ttaotl mses and you sitll raed it wouthit a
porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey
lteter by isltef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig! I awlyas
tghouht, "Slpeling was ipmorant!" :-)

Gaines is right. And, coincidentally (Sp?-I better use this any time I'm not sure now!), a friend sent me the following from the Times of London-it's a bit long by Board standards, but worth the read if you're interested in this sort of thing:

Traditional grammar teaching is waste of time, say academics
By Tony Halpin, Education Editor

TEACHING formal English grammar to children does not help to improve their writing skills, a government-funded study concluded yesterday.
Teachers were wasting their time explaining the meaning of nouns, verbs and pronouns to pupils as part of the national literacy strategy in primary schools, academics at the University of York said.

They were more likely to improve children’s compositions by abandoning the rules of syntax and encouraging them to try experimental methods of sentence construction.

The study by the English review group at York was funded by the Department for Education and Skills, which did not distance itself from the conclusions, even though the literacy strategy emphasises “the centrality of grammar in the teaching of writing”. A DfES spokeswoman said that the national curriculum “supports a range of approaches to teaching of grammar”.

The review group said that the curriculum should be revised to take account of its conclusions. They emerged from what the group called the largest systematic review of research from the past 100 years into the effect of grammar teaching on writing in English-speaking countries for children aged 5 to 16.

It found “no high-quality evidence that the teaching of grammar . . . is worth the time if the aim is the improvement of the quality and/or accuracy of written composition”. Richard Andrews, the group’s joint co-ordinator, said: “I would not like this to be seen as a swing back of the pendulum to 1960s liberalism. I would like to see it as a clearing of the ground to put behind us the notion that teaching formal grammar would help to improve the writing of the nation.

“We should have a series of studies evaluating different approaches to see which of them are the most effective. I would not want to feel that teachers and pupils are wasting their time learning formal grammar when there would be better ways of teaching writing.”

Professor Andrews said that the Government was frustrated by the failure of the literacy strategy to achieve targets for achievement in English by pupils at age 11. He suggested that it placed too much emphasis on grammar.

“I am not saying that grammar is not interesting in its own right, but there is no evidence over 100 years to show that there is a strong connection between the teaching of formal grammar and improvement in writing,” he said. “There will be better ways of teaching writing and our findings suggest that the teaching of sentence combining may be one of the more effective approaches.”

“Sentence combining” has been used in America since the 1960s. It had been shown to achieve sustained improvements in writing. Children practised ways of combining simple sentences and “embedding” elements of language into them to express more complex ideas.

Michael Plumbe, chairman of the Queen’s English Society, described the research as “absolute balderdash”. He said: “I hated being taught grammar at school, but I now appreciate in later life that it is extremely useful. If the tools of language are instilled at a young age in primary school, then children don’t even have to think about using language because it comes naturally. Lack of grammatical knowledge is also a key reason for the failure to learn a foreign language.”

Nick Seaton, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education pressure group, said: “This research looks like it is advocating a return to the laissez-faire attitudes of the 1960s, when youngsters were not taught grammar because teachers thought it would restrict their creativity. Now we are left with a generation of teachers who don’t know grammar.”

LEARNING CURVES

The place of grammar in school has long been disputed. Rote learning was the norm until the 1950s, but the tide turned against formal teaching in the 1960s, particularly after the Plowden report on child-centred primary education

The conversion of grammar schools to comprehensives in the 1970s accelerated the trend at secondary level

The pendulum began to swing back in the 1990s, with national curriculum testing at 7, 11 and 14

Labour introduced the literacy hour in 1997, with explicit requirements for formal grammar learning

Radical Shot
01-18-2005, 07:46 PM
Pihl, tnakhs for piontsg tihs arcitle. It is vrey ientirsetng. I can see Sskepreahae roillng in his gavre. I aerge aobut the prat whree a lcak of gammarr usrdinndntaeg wolud hneidr oens atbiliy to lraen a fgeorin lagnague. By hnvaig a depeer aiapcorieptn of the lganague and its crtustcnos, one is betetr albe to be wttiy, utndsreand pnus, scsaram as wlel as egange in eniitannretg ctisooanevrn. I am a frim bleeevir in clrhdein bneig tuaght gmamrar and snatyx form a vrey elray age. Waht wolud Dr. Seuss thnik of tihs!

Phil
01-18-2005, 08:09 PM
Radical Shot - Be careful of unfriendly board members who may print out this post of yours and slide it under the door of your supervisor. That could lead to possible suspension from the Force, transfer to a desk job, or, at the very least, drop in rank-, back down to "spelling beat cop".

Radical Shot
01-18-2005, 08:36 PM
Phil, effective immediately I am retiring from the force. A man's got to know his limits, and there is no way I can work the internet alone any more - it's just too much. I've started a ripple on this very board, and can only hope that it spreads and starts a wave of grammatically correct tennis discussion to last throughout the season and well into the off-season and beyond. Phil, you've been one of the sucess stories of my short, but lively career as a representative of the Grammar Police. Use your knowledge to help others. Carry on the good work, fight the fine battle, and uphold the purity of the language.

To everyone using a keyboard everywhere, my final words are..

"Re-type and misspell no more."

Former Detective Superintendent Radical Shot of now defunct Internet Spelling and Grammar division signing off.

alienhamster
01-18-2005, 09:00 PM
Man. I'm really glad we're talking about these things.

Phil--That article doesn't do a good job of distinguishing the different meanings of grammar that are thrown around in education and general media. On one hand you have prescriptive grammar, the set of should and should-not rules we try to teach children in schools (and also judge people during job interviews, applications, general evalutations of "intelligence" both formally and informally, etc.) This includes rules like not splitting infinitives, not ending sentences with a preposition, whether or not speakers/writers have actually *done* this in their language for centuries. Linguists are generally much more interested in descriptive grammar, the patterns of usage (and internalized/cognitive rules that produce such usage) in actual speech/writing by actual people. Fact is, people have been splitting infinitives for centuries in English, but grammarians in the 18th century decided that because Latin didn't have split infinitives, English shouldn't either. (The problem of course is that Latin can't split infinitves since they consist of only one word, whereas English can: "to quickly go").

I think that article is arguing against prescriptive grammar, and there is evidence that simply teaching prescriptive rules won't magically produce good writers. But descriptive grammar should absolutely be taught for many reasons. Radical Shot mentions a great reason--you *have* to develop a sense of grammar (how to understand the functions and forms of parts of speech, to be able to analyze how words modify one another, etc.) to grasp foreign languages if you aren't fully immersed in them before age 11 or so. This sort of analysis is also just generally good for cognitive development in the way math, science, and even art and music are--it helps with pattern recognition, teaches students how to articulate relationships between parts and wholes, etc. And, well, socially it's important to describe the different varities of language people use to express themselves, whether it's in literature or in casual conversation. Just makes you culturally smarter, more aware of a critical component of social identity.

And quickly, about that Cambridge study . . . people often misunderstand the methods and conclusions of this study. Yes, it is true that certain words are primed when you read (or listen), so that even the first letter of a word will trigger all sorts of possible words in your head. These possibilities will be limited out as further letters/sounds or other contextual cues disallow possible words in the context. But what's very critical in your understanding of the scrambled passage is the *syntactic* cues you're getting. For example, as soon as you get "couldn't" in "I cdnuolt blveiee taht", your brain already expects a verb to follow. That limits out a lot of possibilities. As soon as you get "believe," "that" is likely to follow because "believe" commonly collocates with "that."

These sorts of studies are really very interesting, and I'm glad people around here are into this stuff, too.

Radical Shot
01-18-2005, 09:18 PM
Alienhamster,

Thanks for your post. I firmly believe that I have attained many things out of life because I was fortunate to receive a solid education in English, with a particular emphasis on grammar, punctuation and spelling at a very early age. One of my early primary school teachers instilled within the class an appreciate for poetry and many of the poetic devices and constructs of the English language which allow an author to express a thought through prose. I believe that I have used this as you say for job interviews, academic success and in establishing and running a successful business. I love listenting to other languages and enjoy interacting with different culture and humour. A good understanding of the basics of the English language goes a long, long way.

If there are any parents reading this, do your kids a favour and help them to understand the deeper things of the language that they are going to rely upon for the rest of their lives. It will pay off for them in countless ways. Being able to articulate themseleves and have an insight into what people are really saying is priceless. Watch "My Fair Lady".

If they are not interested in grammar, then give them a Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 85 and let them know Pete used it. Take them out on a tennis court and they rest will be history.

Morpheus
01-19-2005, 04:10 AM
Alienhamster,
I love listenting to other languages and enjoy interacting with different culture and humour. A good understanding of the basics of the English language goes a long, long way.

If there are any parents reading this, do your kids a favour and help them to understand the deeper things of the language that they are going to rely upon for the rest of their lives. It will pay off for them in countless ways. Being able to articulate themseleves and have an insight into what people are really saying is priceless. Watch "My Fair Lady".

Radical, I wonder why you choose to use the British variant for humor and favor. Are you British or merely being pretentious? I, for one, admire pretentiousness because it is a sign of self-confidence. Since we are of like minds, here are two questions:

1. How would you punctuate the singular possessive form of Charles. Would you use Charles's or Charles'? I know the answer, but it is often a source of great debate in my circles.

2. What is the difference between a cat and a comma? I heard this joke whilst sipping Earl Grey at the opera (he said, whilst pretending to be British.)

Kevin T
01-19-2005, 07:09 AM
2 the gramir puhleese:

Git a gurlfrind.

Sined,

Kevvin Tee

alienhamster
01-19-2005, 08:35 AM
Kevin T:

Didn't anyone tell you that grammar has sex appeal? It's even on the hot list for 2005. (It's like nerd chic, you know.) Conjugate that, baybay . . .

alienhamster
01-19-2005, 08:43 AM
Morph--

I know you didn't direct it to me, but I personally believe both possessive forms are acceptable. I know other English profs and teachers who make a strict case for one or the other. But since people have two different pronunciations for the possesive of Charles (one with one syllable, the other with two), I don't see why we can't have two spellings: Charles' (one syllable)and Charles's (two syllables).

I'd also love to hear the answer to question 2.

Lastly, thanks for being the first person I've ever encountered who's made any sort of case for the appeals of pretentiousness. I'm usually a pretense-hater, but you make a good point.

raftermania
01-19-2005, 08:57 AM
Ahhh...you're not on my "ignore list", and neither is anyone else, and I don't really feel the need to "explain" if you can't figure it out. Keep up the babble, Tiger and try not to be so sensitive.

I can take a good joke about myself, but not a personal attack. I think you need to learn to be a little less insensitive. I'm not the only one who's got angered by your short one-liner attacks. Stop them, and this place will be a happier place.

There are moderators on this board in Chris and Don and they don't need you and your attitude. Do you think your magnifient post count and "professional" status gives yourself the right to play the bully?

Calling me Tiger makes you feel really dominant doesn't it? Well, whatever makes you happy.

You seem to have the need to explain this whole Cambridge University letter mixing thing, which is completely trivial. I think you need to stop and explain you thoughts and behaviours to me, because I don't get it. If you don't have an explanation, admit it, or apologize.

Thank you,

Morpheus
01-19-2005, 09:40 AM
Morph--

I know you didn't direct it to me, but I personally believe both possessive forms are acceptable. I know other English profs and teachers who make a strict case for one or the other. But since people have two different pronunciations for the possesive of Charles (one with one syllable, the other with two), I don't see why we can't have two spellings: Charles' (one syllable)and Charles's (two syllables).

I'd also love to hear the answer to question 2.

Lastly, thanks for being the first person I've ever encountered who's made any sort of case for the appeals of pretentiousness. I'm usually a pretense-hater, but you make a good point.

Alien, you are correct, either is acceptable but I prefer to add the 's. I tend to default to "Strunk & White" when in doubt, and that little book has served me well. It seems that the current vogue is to drop the s, but that's less clear to me and often makes words look a bit naked, dangling their apostrophe.

As to the second question:

What is the difference between a cat and a comma?

I'll give you the first half, you can supply the second half.

Answer: A cat has claws at the end of its paws, and a comma has?

BTW, I was kidding about the pretense thing. Excessive self-confidence is merely arrogence.

Radical Shot
01-19-2005, 01:38 PM
...and a comma has a pause at the end of a clause?

My vote for the apostrophe thing would be to leave the apostrophe dangling in the air. The double "s" causes a lot of interesting pronunciation for inexperienced readers in my experience.

Oh, and Morpheus, my spelling is the British variety because I'm from the colony down under - actually, we're having a big tennis tournament here at the moment - you might have heard of it. ;-)

Morpheus
01-19-2005, 02:07 PM
...and a comma has a pause at the end of a clause?

Oh, and Morpheus, my spelling is the British variety because I'm from the colony down under - actually, we're having a big tennis tournament here at the moment - you might have heard of it. ;)

Well done Radical!

And who would have thought there would be so many tennis players who appreciate geeky humor (well at least two?).

And, Rad, enjoy your summer. I hear its rather cold in the states right now.

Radical Shot
01-19-2005, 02:20 PM
Thanks Morpheus, our summer is blazing away and it's great weather for tennis. Speaking of the weather, how's this.

The farmer wondered whether the wether would weather the weather or whether
the wether would die.

Morpheus
01-19-2005, 03:26 PM
Here's a site dedicated to preserving the correct usage of the apostrophe:

http://www.apostrophe.fsnet.co.uk/

Radical Shot
01-19-2005, 03:34 PM
Fancy that! People so passionate about the apostrophe that there is a society for it's preservation and correct usage. From now on, I'm hanging out on their message board - these guys are the real Grammar Police.

...maybe later...

Thanks Morpheus.

Morpheus
01-19-2005, 03:35 PM
Thanks Morpheus, our summer is blazing away and it's great weather for tennis. Speaking of the weather, how's this.

The farmer wondered whether the wether would weather the weather or whether
the wether would die.

I believe you are talking about sheep. Here's a good one:

"It is possible that that that that that student used in his essay was incorrect."

Radical Shot
01-19-2005, 03:43 PM
Good one. This is a bit of a brain bender. To make it easier, perhaps the quotes would help like this :

"It is possible that that "that that" that student used in his essay was incorrect."

A similar situation can exist with "had". eg.

Mary had had enough of English grammar lessons discussing the use of "had had" could be re-written as.

Mary had had "had had" in English grammar lessons. Now if Bill was studying Mary's progress, and he had had enough of studying 4 "hads" in a row, you could say

Bill had had "had had had had".

Now, if Sue came along....

Morpheus
01-19-2005, 04:11 PM
I found this one on the internet. It's in the same vein, but a little more fun:

The honorable Bishop Desmond Tutu went to a soccer game with his young
son (named Desmond II). Well, near half-time his son asked him what the
score was, and the Bishop didn't know, so they simultaneously asked the guy
sitting next to them. He said: (Anyone see this coming?... :-)

"Two to two," to Tutu, and "Two to two" to Tutu II too!

alienhamster
01-19-2005, 08:52 PM
This stuff is GREAT. I love ****phony/****nymy jokes. And garden-path (i.e., difficult to disambiguate) sentences.

Here's an old favorite for linguists:

"The horse raced past the barn fell."

Oh--and sorry I didn't catch your jocularity earlier about pretension, Morpheus. I think I was easily seduced by the possibility of a ridiculous argument I've never heard anyone make before. And I've definitely known at least two people who had completely unnecessary British accents (i.e., they were born and raised American). I always suspected they had a fetish for pretension, but they'd never admit it in a million years.

alienhamster
01-19-2005, 08:53 PM
Okay . . . the **** = h*o*m*o. This sort kind of censorship is getting really ridiculous.

Morpheus
01-20-2005, 03:36 AM
And I've definitely known at least two people who had completely unnecessary British accents (i.e., they were born and raised American). I always suspected they had a fetish for pretension, but they'd never admit it in a million years.

Madonna comes to mind.

Dedans Penthouse
01-20-2005, 11:46 AM
Here's an old favorite for linguists:.....

Very clever! You're all a bunch of
cunning linguists.

(if you can't join 'em, lick 'em)