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RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 3:40:41 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

See, we're all students here! 

OK grammarians, here's a couple of queries:

1. "Different to...", or "different from..."?
2. Practise/practice. Which is used, and when?

I can never get them right.



Unlike the verb advise and its related noun advice, practise and practice are not related to each other in this manner. Practise is the common form used in British English (BrE), while practice is its American English (AmE) counterpart.

Both different to and different from are interchangeable.
Different from
seems to be the most common structure in both BrE and AmE. Different to is more common in BrE than in AmE, and it sounds more formal.
Before a clause, one can usually use different from: It was different from what I expected to find.
Different to
is also acceptable in the above case, though it is usually followed by a noun instead of a clause.

Now, Americans have another interesting structure, different than. This came about since the observation of difference derives from a comparison. But different is not a comparative form of an adjective to justify the use of than. Well, try to reason with them Yankees.

< Message edited by Incanus -- 19/11/2008 3:41:50 PM >


_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 31
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 3:40:58 PM   
Kilo_T_Mortal


Posts: 13539
Joined: 30/9/2005
Everyone's right and no one is sorry, that's the start and the end of the story from the sharks to the jets and the call in the morning.

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(in reply to Incanus)
Post #: 32
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 3:44:19 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
I love this metric arrangement! 

_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to Kilo_T_Mortal)
Post #: 33
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 3:56:52 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
On spelling:

The Oracle at Delphi used to build careers and fortunes through careful manipulation of the punctuation. In pre-hellenistic Greek there were no punctuation marks (those were devised by Alexandrian linguists) and all the words of a sentence were written together in upper case. THEREWERENOPUNTCUATIONMARKSTOSEPARATEWORDSANDCLAUSES
WITHINTHESAMESENTENCESOITWASHARDTOTELLWHATTHEORACLEMEANT.

A fine example is this:

One would go to war and wanted to know about the outcome. The Oracle prophesied:
"YOUWILLGOYOUWILLRETURNNOTINBATTLEYOUWILLDIE" which could be taken to mean:
"You will go, you will return; not in battle you will die," or "You will go, you will return not; in battle you will die."

You got to love them psychics.

< Message edited by Incanus -- 19/11/2008 3:57:29 PM >


_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to Incanus)
Post #: 34
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 4:25:31 PM   
kathryn2

 

Posts: 1513
Joined: 24/4/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

True. Well spotted! Unless 'hundreds' is a singular group, like 'none'. That is another pet peeve of mine: "None of them are helping me" should actually be "none of them is helping me". Even though it sounds odd.


Thanks. That's the point I was making to start with - holidays being plural (there are hundreds of them) has an s and no apostrophe.

And in the context, 'hundreds' can't be a singular group.

Context is everything - this is why you should always proof read everything, and not rely on a computer spell-checker.


< Message edited by kathryn2 -- 19/11/2008 4:31:09 PM >

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 35
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 4:38:28 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
What's this business with the apostrophe?

A) it is placed to show that one or more numbers or letters is/are omitted: 1995 -> '95. I am -> I'm, etc.

B) it is used to denote possession: This is John's car.

C) is is used to write the plural of numbers or letters as symbols: There are two a's and two o's in kangaroo. There are three 9's in 1999.

That's it, frankly.

< Message edited by Incanus -- 19/11/2008 4:39:46 PM >


_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to kathryn2)
Post #: 36
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 4:58:44 PM   
kathryn2

 

Posts: 1513
Joined: 24/4/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: Incanus

What's this business with the apostrophe?

A) it is placed to show that one or more numbers or letters is/are omitted: 1995 -> '95. I am -> I'm, etc.

B) it is used to denote possession: This is John's car.

C) is is used to write the plural of numbers or letters as symbols: There are two a's and two o's in kangaroo. There are three 9's in 1999.

That's it, frankly.


Exactly!

Do you want to explain the usage with plurals, too? That's the most confusing bit.




(in reply to Incanus)
Post #: 37
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 4:58:50 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
The Parents Association

Where, if anywhere would you put the apostrophe?

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to Incanus)
Post #: 38
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 5:21:52 PM   
Acho


Posts: 3907
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Dublin, Co. Ireland
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

The Parents Association

Where, if anywhere would you put the apostrophe?


The Parents' Association

At the end. Possessive plural. I don't know if that's the technical term, but it's what I call it.

It's only done that way if the word that ends with 's' has the 's' because it's plural; if the word/name just happens to end with an 's', then 's is added.

eg

My boss's face is mad because I was late.
I was late because I was reading Incanus's post.
Incanus's posts' points are very thorough and interesting.

See?



_____________________________



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Post #: 39
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 5:30:22 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
quote:

ORIGINAL: kathryn2

Do you want to explain the usage with plurals, too? That's the most confusing bit.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

The Parents Association

Where, if anywhere would you put the apostrophe?


The Parents' Association. Or you could say you're using the noun Parents as an adjective here, since it is placed between the article and the noun  Association (instead of saying parental, which is not exactly the same thing: parental is indeed related to parents, but also may be used to define something that is parent-like, without referring to a person who is a real parent: The uncle gradually developed a parental interest in his orphan nephew.). In which case no apostrophe is needed.

It is common to use nouns in place of adjectives (especially where there are no suitable adjectives) in such structures as the London train, a Customs officer, the Police Department, etc.


Kathryn, with regard to plurals and possessive structures, if the plural is regular, then it ends in -s. In this case we simply add an apostrophe without the extra s.
If the plural is irregular, we add the 's structure. Example: child -> children -> children's hospital. [OK,. this is not exactly a possessive structure, a hospital for children (not belonging to children), but you get the point.]

In the case of numbers and letters (case C above) the apostrophe is added to avoid confusion. Example: two a's, means two times the letter a; if we hadn't placed the apostrophe, then it would be "as."

I am not a native English speaker, so I am not aware of any evolution of these rules.

< Message edited by Incanus -- 19/11/2008 5:34:40 PM >


_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to kathryn2)
Post #: 40
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 5:32:58 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
Oooh, you're just saying this, Acho. 

_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to Acho)
Post #: 41
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 5:38:04 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
Unless its just one parent (The Parent's Assn), or the Parents don't actually own the Association but are merely part of it?

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to Incanus)
Post #: 42
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 5:50:18 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
In order to have an association of something or of people (did you notice: an association of) you need to have more than one of them, associated to each other. The possessive structures are not reserved solely for the purpose of saying that something belongs to someone, i.e. ownership. Example: This is little Mary's father. Now, Mary does not actually possess her father, but the possessive translates into "He is father to Mary," or "She is daughter to him," or "He is the father of Mary."

_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 43
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 6:52:16 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
There*'s a fantastic sign in Porthcawl which, next time I go, I will have to snap with my camera and post here which warns patrons to ensure that various possessions that might come loose on the fast fairground ride are securely fastened^. It lists a number of possible items which, being plural, all end with an 's', and has an apostrophe before every single one. I spent a good few minutes chortling about it.

* The various spellings of 'there/their/they're' is another bugbear.

^ Is 'securely fastened' tautological? Does 'fastened' imply security? Maybe it just adds emphasis to the verb.


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Incanus)
Post #: 44
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 8:43:46 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23708
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41N 93W
By the way, the title of the thread is a fragment. Consider revising.

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Post #: 45
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 9:22:19 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

There*'s a fantastic sign in Porthcawl which, next time I go, I will have to snap with my camera and post here which warns patrons to ensure that various possessions that might come loose on the fast fairground ride are securely fastened^. It lists a number of possible items which, being plural, all end with an 's', and has an apostrophe before every single one. I spent a good few minutes chortling about it.

* The various spellings of 'there/their/they're' is another bugbear.

^ Is 'securely fastened' tautological? Does 'fastened' imply security? Maybe it just adds emphasis to the verb.



There/ their/ they're, I see it happen all the time.

"Securely fastened" is not necessarily a tautology, although fasten does mean to tie or close/ join something firmly, so it won't open, therefore it would suffice on its own.

Securely, however, I believe was placed here to put emphasis on the meaning of the verb, like you said, for extra care on the part of the people fastening those items firmly. One could say that a person might attempt to fasten a belt, but being careless, they did not do it properly, therefore the belt did not end up being securely fastened.

Why wasn't fasten enough to the mind of the person who wrote that sign? Words often tend to lose part of their meaning, that special nuance they have. The opposite may also occur as well, words acquiring a greater range of meanings. This occurs through improper use thereof, especially when people get in the habit of using the same word to describe slightly different situations, action, etc. I can make a castle in the sand, I can make a cake, I can make a complaint, but I could build a castle, I could bake a cake, I could file a complaint.

If you think about it, that's the reason why we need to learn as many different words as possible. Politicians, lawyers, other speech-related professionals, tend to rely on the fine details of a word's meaning, not without reason or end purpose. For example, torture is a word associated with restriction of liberties, totalitarianism, the Spanish Inquisition, and so on. So, torture doen't sound like the normal democratic behaviour in a law-abiding republic. In that case, torture at Guantanamo Bay became "enhanced interrogation." Both words have positive or neutral meaning, they are vague and do not carry with them the special historic connotation of torture.

If a word does seem to lose that special nuance, then adverbs otherwise redundant might be of help. Fasten could be one of these words. Instead of closing or tying something firmly, it could mean to a lot of people simply closing or tying something.

In our case, the use of securely might also be the result of a strange phenomenon that occurs in speech. It seems to complement fastened (which is a past participle, referring to an action already completed), and so it was placed next to it, but it originally referred to the entire action of a person fastening the items or belt, etc., the outcome of which is the fastened items / belt, etc. . This action / process of fastening items is taken into consideration by the person making that thought and writing the sign. Therefore, the adverb securely, which would be better used to describe the process and not its completed result, remained in the sentence, like a residual adverb, so to speak. I am not sure what the term is in English, but in my mother tongue, we have a term called "an adverbial complement of purpose" which is used to define the intended result of an action or process. I fasten the belt so it would be secure for me to sit in my seat. -> I fasten my belt securely.


_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 46
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 19/11/2008 9:26:55 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

By the way, the title of the thread is a fragment. Consider revising.


I think it's only a fragment if it is placed within the context of a sentence. In our case, it's a title, like that of a newspaper article, separated from a specific context. It is supposed to be brief and use only the absolutely necessary words to make its meaning stand out.


_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to Olaf)
Post #: 47
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 20/11/2008 3:43:43 AM   
Squidward Hark Bugle

 

Posts: 9398
Joined: 17/10/2007
From: Splashed
quote:

ORIGINAL: Incanus

quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

See, we're all students here! 

OK grammarians, here's a couple of queries:

1. "Different to...", or "different from..."?
2. Practise/practice. Which is used, and when?

I can never get them right.



Unlike the verb advise and its related noun advice, practise and practice are not related to each other in this manner. Practise is the common form used in British English (BrE), while practice is its American English (AmE) counterpart.


Both different to and different from are interchangeable.
Different from
seems to be the most common structure in both BrE and AmE. Different to is more common in BrE than in AmE, and it sounds more formal.
Before a clause, one can usually use different from: It was different from what I expected to find.
Different to
is also acceptable in the above case, though it is usually followed by a noun instead of a clause.

Now, Americans have another interesting structure, different than. This came about since the observation of difference derives from a comparison. But different is not a comparative form of an adjective to justify the use of than. Well, try to reason with them Yankees.


I thought that practice was the noun and practise was the verb. That's how I use them.

(in reply to Incanus)
Post #: 48
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 20/11/2008 10:32:25 AM   
kathryn2

 

Posts: 1513
Joined: 24/4/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

The Parents Association

Where, if anywhere would you put the apostrophe?


Actually, I wouldn't include an apostrophe at all, if I saw it written like that. 
It's an association of parents - the association does not belong to the parents, it's not something they own. It's a group of people associating.

But in certain contexts you might use an apostrophe - if the phrase was used in a sentence in certain ways, and meant something different -  and so many people get it wrong that you're certain to have seen it with an apostrophe at some point!

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 49
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 20/11/2008 11:22:59 AM   
Squidward Hark Bugle

 

Posts: 9398
Joined: 17/10/2007
From: Splashed
Dead Poets Society

There should be no apostrophe because it's a society based around the Dead Poets, it wasn't formed by them and it doesn't belong to them.

(in reply to kathryn2)
Post #: 50
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 20/11/2008 5:58:10 PM   
Sahara Desert


Posts: 1608
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Death's Door
I can't believe it's taken me until now to reply.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Squidward Hark Bugle
quote:

ORIGINAL: Incanus
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq
OK grammarians, here's a couple of queries:

2. Practise/practice. Which is used, and when?

I can never get them right.
Unlike the verb advise and its related noun advice, practise and practice are not related to each other in this manner. Practise is the common form used in British English (BrE), while practice is its American English (AmE) counterpart.
I thought that practice was the noun and practise was the verb. That's how I use them.
Exactly. I work for a contact lens company and the way I've heard it explained to others is "at opticians' practices, patients practise inserting and removing their contact lenses."
 
I will also add, on the possessive use of the apostrophe, that there is an instance where the apostrophe is not required: its. Its in this case denotes possession of an object of the subject i.e.
 
"The pile of shit had a smell all of its own."
 
It's is the abbreviated version of it is, where the apostrophe is in place of the missing space and 's' i.e.
 
"It's a fucking rank picture of Jade Goody, not that she ever looks decent anyway."
 
In other cases, if one is writing about one subject's possession of an object then the apostrophe follows after the 's' i.e.
 
"The dog's balls were itching like crazy and driving the poor mutt batshit crazy."
 
If the subject is the plural term, then the 's' comes after the apostrophe i.e.
 
"The ADHD children's day trip had turned into the outing from hell as their medication wore off and they turned into miniature versions of the devil and generally became uncontrollable little cunts."
 
However if there are multiple instances of the subject then the 's' comes before the apostrophe i.e.
 
"The donkeys' raging hard-ons refused to go away, even when the herd was doused was freezing water."

< Message edited by Sahara Desert -- 20/11/2008 5:59:29 PM >


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Post #: 51
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 20/11/2008 7:09:25 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
That reminds me of abbreviations, and the common switching between "i.e." and "e.g."

"i.e." is an abbreviated form of "id est", which means "that is". It is used to clarify a particular phrase. "The gentleman was defenestrated. i.e., thrown out of the window."

"e.g." is an abbreviated form of "exempli gratia", which means "for example". It is used to give one particular example from a previously mentioned group. "I love science-fiction films, e.g., 2001."

If there's a thread where pedants need give no apology, this is it.


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


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A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Sahara Desert)
Post #: 52
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 20/11/2008 7:20:52 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
Actually yeah the i.e e.g one does annoy me a little.

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 53
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 20/11/2008 7:55:43 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
You have to remember, Gobi  , that in grammar possessive structures are more than structures intended to denote legal ownership. The 's structure (or the simple apostrophe ['] used in the regular plural forms) are being used in place of or as alternatives to of + noun structures, as well as alternatives to for + noun and other structures.

The Association of Parents -> The Parents' Association.
The Society for/about Dead Poets (= related to the study of Dead Poets) -> Dead Poets' Society.

It's not like possessive structures here mean that the Parents actually own their Association as if it were an asset or piece of property. They instead replace the of + noun phrase.

We normally use -'s for people or animals (the girl's.../ the horse's...etc.):
the gilr's name   the horse's tail   a woman's hat   the manager's office   John's eyes.
Where's the manager's office
? (It would sound a bit unnatural to say "Where's the office of the manager?")

We can also use the -'s structure without a following noun:
This isn't my book. It's my brother's (book, omitted here).

We do not always use -'s for people. For example, we would use of + ... in this sentence:
What is the name of the man who gave us instructions? (because "the man who gave us instructions" is too long to be followed by an -'s, and also it comprises a relative clause.)

Note also that we say a woman's hat ( = a hat made for a woman to wear), a boy's name ( = a name fit for a boy),  a bird's egg  ( = an egg laid by a bird), etc.

For things, ideas, etc. we normally use of (a page of the book was damaged * the door of the restaurant was made of wood):
the door of the garage (or the garage door, without -'s, garage acting here as an adjective placed between the article and the noun)
the owner of the restaurant (or the restaurant owner)

We normally use of ( not the noun+noun structure) with the beginning / end / top / bottom / front / back / middle / side etc. So, we say:
the back of the car (not "the car's back")   the beginning of the month.

One can usually use -'s or of + ... for an organisation or a group of people. So you can say:
the government's decision   or   the decision of the government
the company's success   or   the success of the company

It is possible to use -'s for places. So you can say:
the city's new theatre   the world's population   Italy's countryside

We also use -'s (or -s' with plural words) with periods of time:
I've got a week's holiday starting on Monday
She's got three weeks' holiday.  (but a three-week holiday)
It's about ten minutes' walk from here.  (but a ten-minute walk)

practice / practise

As far as practise / practice is concerned, that's a false friend situation. We think it falls into the advise / advice category, but it doesn't. Why is this? You see, advise derives from the late medieval avisen (the -d- was introduced around the 15th cen. after the Latin words beginning with the preposition ad-), so it takes an -s-; the noun advice had that -s- substituted by linguists with a -c- ca. the 18th cen., a) to make it distinguishable from the verb form, and b) to preserve the soft -s- breath sound.

practice, on the other hand, derives from the Greek πρακτική  [= practice (as a noun), practical (as an adjective), featuring not an -s- but a -k- sound, which in Latin turned to -c-], from which derived the Latin practicare > practicalispractica, etc. all featuring the letter -c-. In Medieval French, however, there was also a form practiser of the verb practiquer > (modern) pratiquer. The original and most common written form takes a -c- following that old written tradition of -k- sounds, which eventually evolved into soft -s- breath sounds. But ever since the Old French practiser form, there is also the variant -s- spelling.

The point is that both forms are variants of the same verb, one not being reserved for the verb form, the other not being reserved for the noun form. It has to do with the history of the verb and with the local traditions of writing, i.e. Americans seem to like practise better, Europeans prefer the -c- spelling after the original Latin one.

< Message edited by Incanus -- 21/11/2008 4:50:07 AM >


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Post #: 54
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 20/11/2008 8:16:45 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
quote:

ORIGINAL: Sahara Desert

If the subject is the plural term, then the 's' comes after the apostrophe i.e.
 
"The ADHD children's day trip had turned into the outing from hell as their medication wore off and they turned into miniature versions of the devil and generally became uncontrollable little cunts."
 
However if there are multiple instances of the subject then the 's' comes before the apostrophe i.e.
 
"The donkeys' raging hard-ons refused to go away, even when the herd was doused was freezing water."


great illustrative examples there!

Naturally, all nouns in plural mean that there are multiple instances of these people / animals / objects, etc. involved in the sentence. The rule is simple:

regular plural
forms (ending in -s) take simple apostrophe after the -s. My  sisters' room. (I have two sisters).

irregular plural forms (men, women, oxen, children, mice, etc.) take 's possessive. The men's locker room.


_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to Sahara Desert)
Post #: 55
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 21/11/2008 4:52:59 PM   
Squidward Hark Bugle

 

Posts: 9398
Joined: 17/10/2007
From: Splashed
What is Sirius owns something?
"That is Sirius's house."

What if a wee lass owns something?"
"That is that wee lass's house."

What if Todd Solondz owns something?
"That is Todd Solondz's house."

Those three examples are what I would use in those situations.

What if "Dead Poets" is the name of the society, and happens to bear absolutely no relation to who formed the society, about what or whom the society is about, or what or for whom its purpose is. In a case like that (which is true in the film Dead Poets Society), I wouldn't use an apostrophe anywhere. I also wouldn't use an article at the beginning, though some would.

"Dead Poets Society gathers every night at midnight."

I wouldn't add an apostrophe just like I wouldn't add an apostrophe if it was Oojimaflip Society.

Oojimaflip' Society, anyone?

(in reply to Incanus)
Post #: 56
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 21/11/2008 10:40:50 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
"Dead Poets" is part of the official title of a Society (= association, a group of people who join together for a particular purpose), which requires an article, in our case the.

This not "society" (= people in general living together in communities), which normally requires no article. Examples: The U.N. asked for policies that will benefit society as a whole. * Racism exists at all levels of society. * The research focused on the roles of men and women in today's society. (no articles used here with society.)

The noun Society in our example would need an article, since it could not stand alone in the context of a sentence:
The Society for the Promotion of Humane Behaviour to Prisoners celebrated its tenth anniversary last night. (correct)
Society for the Promotion of Humane Behaviour to Prisoners celebrated its tenth anniversary last night. (incorrect)
The Society had been receiving subsidies by the government. (correct.)
Society had been receiving subsidies by the government (incorrect).

What Dead Poets does in our example is to replace the article, and act as a determiner, much like our, one, some (+ plural), any, no, each, every, few, several, etc. could replace the article the as determiners. But, sentences are not random arrangements of words. In order to make the determiner relate to the noun Society, it would have to be a possessive structure, Dead Poets' Society.

This is not the case where one could use a noun acting like an adjective. Examples of such structures:
a tennis ball (a ball used to play tennis)
a road accident (an accident that happened on the road)
income tax (tax one pays on one's income)
language problems
(problems related with language)
garden vegetables (vegetables grown in a garden)
the World Swimming Championship (the competition for the gold medals in Swimming worldwide)
The fisrt noun is like an adjective used to tell us what kind of thing / person / idea, etc.


There is a way around this, if you want to definitely avoid using a possessive structure: inverted commas, "Dead Poets" Society. This way, Dead Poets is separated by the rest of the official title of the specific Society. It becomes a title in its own right. It is not related in meaning with the rest of the title any more.

Finally, remember, possessive structures do not always or necessarily denote ownership of a thing. They are used to show there is a close relation between one noun and another: Mary is my student. Mary's father is a bank manager. Now, do you imagine that Mary actually owns her dad? I guess not.

< Message edited by Incanus -- 21/11/2008 10:46:32 PM >


_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to Squidward Hark Bugle)
Post #: 57
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 21/11/2008 11:08:55 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
quote:

ORIGINAL: Squidward Hark Bugle
Oojimaflip' Society, anyone?


This example is not analogous to (the) Dead Poets' Society.

This is a case of a word that means nothing in the English language. In such cases one uses it in a title much like a name, a proper noun that is:
The Umpalumpa Association for the Promotion of Chocolate.
The Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Pediatric Clinic.

Look at this case of a proper name being part of a title:
The William Shakespeare School of Drama       or      The "William Shakespeare" School of Drama.

When we are dealing with a language problem that troubles us, analogies might either give us a solution or they might confound things even more. In order to work, analogies have to be of the same category.

< Message edited by Incanus -- 21/11/2008 11:10:19 PM >


_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to Squidward Hark Bugle)
Post #: 58
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 21/11/2008 11:26:24 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

ORIGINAL: Incanus
In order to work, analogies have to be of the same category.


One might even say, they have to be analogous.

But perhaps I'm just being anal...


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(in reply to Incanus)
Post #: 59
RE: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar. - 21/11/2008 11:40:57 PM   
Incanus


Posts: 16000
Joined: 23/7/2008
From: Winterfell
No, but that would be a tautology. 

_____________________________

WINTER IS COMING

T h e 2 4 t h F r a m e . c o . u k

Cuiva Olorin
Narendur.
Tira nottolya
Tulta tuolya.
An mauya mahtie
Ter oiomornie
Ter ondicilyar
Mettanna.
Nurunna!

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 60
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