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#177692 - 06/23/08 02:02 PM the apostrophe as discussed today in wordsmith.
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6691
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
I am new to this site, and with all the screen busy-ness I am not sure where to go. But the topic today is the appearance of the apostrophe where it is not needed as in greengrocer's.
I am very irritated when it is misused, and this comes from many years of attempting to teach High School Grammar and English.
The misuse of the apostrophe appears everywhere, but it most
irritates me when used in obituaries and church announcements;
"burial will be at St. Bernard's". This indicates ownership and St. Bernard has been gone a long time. St. Mary's Church is hosting its annual carnival - that is another. Just thought I would get myself started. Apostrophe s indicates ownership.
_________________________
----please, draw me a sheep----

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#177695 - 06/23/08 02:57 PM Re: the apostrophe as discussed today in wordsmith. [Re: LukeJavan8]
mistermr Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 2
Why is the letter s even added to a church name to begin with? I went to two catholic grade schools, St. Lawrence and St. Matthew. I just looked at pictures of both schools and, in the photos, each of them has an apostrophe s added to the end of the name on the sign on the front of the school. Talk about keeping the cycle of ignorance in motion, the school is teaching the wrong thing by example.

I always thought this was a Wisconsin problem more than anywhere else. I haven't seen it in use as often anywhere else. In South Florida, there was an tendency to add a letter s to the end of mine, as in, "Give it to me, it's mines." I even heard teachers use it there. I had to fight to keep my children from using it. I'm glad I stopped them from using it while there because, after moving them to Wisconsin, they might have been tempted to add an apostrophe (mine's.) I'm sure I'd have heard then that the word shows possession.

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#177696 - 06/23/08 03:02 PM Re: the apostrophe as discussed today in wordsmith. [Re: mistermr]
mistermr Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 2
Did I type "AN tendency?" Here I am going on about the improper use of the apostrophe and the read it back and find a typo of my own. As I'm sure you know, I meant to type, "A tendency."

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#177697 - 06/23/08 03:24 PM Re: the apostrophe as discussed today in wordsmith. [Re: mistermr]
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11610
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
We don't worry a great deal about typos, here. Welcome aBoard, you two! Just for the record, we've gotten into the habit of discussing the Words a Day in the Weekly Themes category, but again, not to worry: you won't be flogged!

I was planning to start a thread here anyway, about today's Word (sort of), so I'll just add on to yours.

What do the rest of you think about the font and style change? I don't like it. For one thing, it's too big; for another, mine has 3 or 4 of those dreaded red xes, which makes me wonder what I'm missing. I don't know, it just looks too...formal, somehow; not as homey and welcoming as it used to. \:\(

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#177699 - 06/23/08 04:38 PM Re: the apostrophe as discussed today in wordsmith. [Re: Jackie]
Myridon Offline
addict

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 557
Loc: Dallas, TX
If you're going to start complaining about how churches are named you're going to have to start with the Pope and St. Peter's Basilica which is Basilica Sancti Petri in Latin (Sancti Petri is genitive case therefore "belonging to Saint Peter", i.e. St. Peter's) and Basilica di San Pietro in Italian (of Saint Peter, i.e. St. Peter's again).


Edited by Myridon (06/23/08 04:42 PM)

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#177700 - 06/23/08 05:51 PM Re: the apostrophe as discussed today in wordsmith. [Re: Myridon]
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
welcome, all.

Jackie, you can always move this thread, ya know....

: )
_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

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#177703 - 06/23/08 06:39 PM Re: the apostrophe as discussed today in wordsmith. [Re: Buffalo Shrdlu]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Genitive doesn't always imply ownership. I can speak of my boss; it doesn't mean I own her.

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#177704 - 06/23/08 06:50 PM Re: the apostrophe as discussed today in wordsmith. [Re: Jackie]
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
 Originally Posted By: Jackie

What do the rest of you think about the font and style change? I don't like it. For one thing, it's too big; for another, mine has 3 or 4 of those dreaded red xes, which makes me wonder what I'm missing. I don't know, it just looks too...formal, somehow; not as homey and welcoming as it used to. \:\(


I just thought it looked cramped, esp. with that summary inset and image jammed in there.

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#177708 - 06/23/08 07:53 PM Re: the apostrophe as discussed today in wordsmith. [Re: LukeJavan8]
The Pook Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
Yes, leaving aside the theological issue of naming churches for saints which is irrelevant to this conversation, St Mary's is simply an alternative short hand way of saying "The Church of St Mary," the 'of' indicating the genitive case. As others have pointed out, the genitive means more than the possessive. It doesn't mean St Bernard or St Harry OWN the church, but that the church is dedicated especially to them, or named after them.

So the use of the apostrophe in those cases IS grammatically correct IMO.

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#177713 - 06/23/08 10:04 PM Re: the apostrophe as discussed today in wordsmith. [Re: Buffalo Shrdlu]
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11610
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
eta, come here a minute; I have something for you...

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