Sunday, April 01, 2007

Is there a bug going around?

Before I get started, ever notice how bloggers (plural) may use question marks (plural) in headlines (plural) even though they almost don't exist in news* headlines (plural)?

Now that I've prepared you for a lesson in punctuation, let's (contraction) get on with it.

I've been seeing a rash of news* stories (plural), blog posts (plural) and comments (plural) where the possessive case is* ignored. I would estimate over the last few hours (plural) at least 20% of the links (plural) I've accessed have had at least one such problem.

I shall give examples (plural), but no attributions (plural) because I don't want to embarrass* anyone. And I might add I'm not great at punctuation, but the missing apostrophes (plural) stand out like Great Danes (plural) at a cat show to me.
Here is Jib Jabs (plural) take on our current news* situation.

That should be Jab's (possessive), not Jabs (plural). This* isn't a case of adding an S to pluralize a word.

A good rule of thumb is* whenever you have a singular word and add an S there's (contraction) a good chance you are trying to make the word possessive and you need an apostrophe before the S.

OK, for Clinton adding an S might mean you are referring to two people named Clinton, but if the word "the" is* not in front of the word Clinton you probably also mean the possessive.
The Clintons (plural)
Clinton's campaign (possessive)
The Clintons' (plural possessive)

Pluralization is* probably never a factor with McCain. So adding an S most certainly means* it should be possessive.
McCains (plural) run for the White House...

This is* undoubtedly the possessive and should be McCain's (possessive) run for the White House...

Of course, if the word is* already plural and ends* in S the apostrophe belongs* after the S.
The countries' (plural possessive) abilities (plural) to wage war are limited.

That should cover most of the more common instances (plural) of possessive case.

Believe me, if this* stuff is* easy enough for me, anyone out there should be able to handle it. What was* surprisingly not easy was* writing this* post.

BTW, just finished this* post as* the guys (plural) in the white coats (plural) opened the door. Bwahahaha.

* S was* not added, but is* how the word is* spelled.

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