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OT: apostrophes [was: Re: [PATCH] dir_delta content check]

From: Julian Foad <julianfoad_at_btopenworld.com>
Date: 2003-11-27 03:00:09 CET

Greg Noel wrote:
> On Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003, at 08:19 US/Pacific, Greg Hudson wrote:
>
>> ... (It also means: whenever you use an apostrophe with a pronoun,
>> you're using a contraction, not a possessive. :) )
>
> Ah, that's close, but not quite right. It really means: whenever you
> use an apostrophe, you're using a contraction. There's no need to
> embroider it with qualifications about pronouns or possessives; it's the
> same rule in all cases.
>
> This is the Rule of the Apostrophe and it's by far the most regular rule
> in English. There's only one exception, and that's so rare that you
> will probably never encounter it in a lifetime of writing.
>
> The Rule of the Apostrophe is so simple that it appalls me that it's
> abused so often. Yes, I know that illiteracy is rampant, but this rule
> is so easy to use correctly that there's no excuse for getting it wrong.
>
> Whenever you use an apostrophe, you're using a contraction. Period.

If Greg's statement is correct, then it needs some further explanation as most of us have forgotton what might originally have come between the "Greg" and the "s" before it was deemed to be just the way we write a possessive.

- Julian

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Received on Thu Nov 27 02:57:22 2003

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