Fighting the good fight

I failed to read blogs for a few days (as I, um, often do) and when I popped over to Little Miss Drinkalot, I found a Grammar 101 question (yippee!) and a misguided answer (boo!). So I exercised my elfin bow of gold and pointed out that an apostrophe-s is used to denote a possessive only if the noun in question is a plural form, not necessarily with proper names that are singular.

On hindsight, it was a very restrained explanation --- much shorter than the detail I went into on this blog last year (Raffles' vs. Raffles's was the proper name in question at the time).

Predictably, there was a detractor (predictably, an anonymous one) but two subsequent commenters, armed with their respective elfin bows of gold, took care of that. I'm just glad I didn't have to whip out New Hart's Rules all over again.


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At 10/06/2007 1:14 pm , Blogger louist said...

I've always gone with the Raffles's option in writing, but I've never really figured out how this translates in pronunciation - do you just go 'Raffles', or is it some unwieldy thing like 'Raffleses'?

At 10/09/2007 10:22 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh, I saw that post and thought of you! Didn't read the comments though. I have stopped playing pedant because I get too easily annoyed by people trying to correct me (like the "s's" rule) then I just get MEAN. Which is not very nice lah.

At 10/12/2007 1:15 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes the answer might be wrong but need you take a high stand? You are professionally trained, she is not. I might be wrong, correct me if I am, but you sounded a little arrogant about it. and no, this is not a predictably anonymous dissenting comment. :)

At 10/13/2007 9:04 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think she's taking a particularly arrogant tone about it. When someone corrects you without doing research, a little slap up is in order.

And what's being professionally trained? Actually bothering to look up the proper grammar rules to your own mother tongue?

At 10/13/2007 11:13 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To nardac: I was referring to the comment shelled made in lmd's blog. She made a comment that she thought was right then. My point is, even if she was wrong, was there a need to go "boo"? I was NOT referring to the dissenters hiding behind the anonymous tag.

Well, bring professionally trained in tym's case would be both being in academics and industry. Shelled is neither...

Just thinking out loud.

At 10/18/2007 10:03 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's disappointing to realize that people think it's reasonable to first (a) incorrectly use the possessive (b) defend the incorrect usage (c) place themselves in a public area showing off their ignorance. It is however totally depressing to hear other people think that you need professional training to know this in the first place. For heaven's sakes people... it's elementary school shit. Deal!

At 10/22/2007 8:52 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't put words in my mouth. I did not say that it takes professional training to know the basics. I am saying the privilege of being in a higher ground might afford one the luxury of humility. I sense that this is getting somewhat personal and thus am not going to comment further. I had put the question to tym and if she does not feel comfortable answering it, I shall respect that.


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