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Double Single Possessives

Crumbly Writer

Dumb question, but if you have two sequential possessives, do you include the possessive on each.

Specifically, how would you format the following sentence?

"I'll admit, I'm mostly a Sundays and holiday's Christian."

Should that be "Sunday's", or just plain "Sundays"?

(By the way, the Window's spell-check flags "Sundays" as an error, but I've learned not to place very much faith on the wisdom of M$ products.)

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

While researching double possessives, I seem to recall one of the sources (can anyone remember which one?) stating that possessives aren't used with units of time. So their answer would be 'Sundays and holidays Christian'.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

I'm pretty sure AJ is right about your example sentence: Do not use possessives for either 'Sundays' or 'holidays'. I think they are functioning as simple adjectives, not possessives.

However, I would only use one possessive for this sentence, which clearly needs at least one:

I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's wedding.

I'll do some research on both questions, later - provided AJ and others promise they won't spit on me for quoting a 'style guide' or two. :-)

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ross at Play

I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's wedding.

A further thought, and reason to blame CW for my insomnia, is whether the nouns joined by the conjunction are forming a single noun phrase acting as the possessor of one noun - or whether the conjunction is joining to possessions of similar things, in which case the repeated word may be omitted.

My gut tells me both of these are correct:

(a) I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funerals.
(b) I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funeral.

I guess this another example of what to do when a conjunction makes the correct grammar difficult to see: expand the sentence out to restore any inferred words and the answer is then obvious - or at least will seem obvious if you're half asleep as I am now. :-)

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Yeah, it's


I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's wedding.


but it's


Joe's mom's hat

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

Joe's mom's hat

Yeah, technically, but style guides would diktat "the hat of Joe's mom" is better.
Hopefully authors would find something like, "Joe gave his mom her hat."

Ross at Play

Aw, shit! I just noticed I had the last word on all of the last five topics.
Did I mention I was having trouble sleeping?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Did I mention I was having trouble sleeping?

Join the club! After fighting that monster for decades, I've been losing for the past year (which is partly why I've been so quick to lose my temper of late).

Thanks for the details. I'd remembered we'd discussed this once before, but I wanted to be sure (though I definitely didn't remember the bit about dates not having possessions).

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

My gut tells me both of these are correct:


I'd call both correct, but they mean very different things to me.

(a) describes two funerals, Bobby's funeral and Betty's funeral.

(b) describes one joint funeral for both Bobby and Betty.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

I'd call both correct, but they mean very different things to me.

(a) describes two funerals, Bobby's funeral and Betty's funeral.

(b) describes one joint funeral for both Bobby and Betty.

I concur with DS, as that's how I'd read the sentences.

Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

"I'll admit, I'm mostly a Sundays and holiday's Christian."


Not a possessive. Sundays and holidays are adjectives to describe the type of Christian.

"I'll admit, I'm mostly a Christian on Sundays and holidays."

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

partly why I've been so quick to lose my temper of late

ME TOO, of late.
I usually take Valium, two tablets at a time, but only about a week to avoid losing its effectiveness. An occasional night of solid sleep seems to keep me from burning the candle down from ends.
I've learned to tolerate that what passes for good for me includes a relatively early time for me to get to sleep is about 4 AM.
That also seems to keep my behaviour towards other tolerable (to me, but the burst of acclaim from others agreeing with that is ... silent. :-)
The last time I went to Australia my GP informed me the Nanny State no longer permitted them to write one thirty-day script plus five repeats, which I could take to a pharmacist who'd give me all six prescriptions at once because I was leaving the country soon.
So, the 30 tablets I got then ran out a few months ago. If I've been particularly obstreperous in recent months, that's why - or at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
* * *
I finally summoned up enough motivation a few days to go to a local GP asking if they could supply me with Valium. They've seemed a bit reluctant in the past. Drug pushers are executed regularly here and doctors aren't expected by patients to hand it out like candy if asked as in Western countries.
I fluked upon a GP who spoke English well enough to understand my situation, and they had no problems when I said I wanted 10 tablets now and would not be back for more for about a month. :-)

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

I definitely didn't remember the bit about dates not having possessions

I recall spotting something in recent days stating times have something special about the way they are treated.
I didn't take much notice at the time, just making a mental note it was something I would need to look up in the future.
I'll find and report the answer here soon - it's possible what I saw was saying the complete opposite! It was AJ who first suggested here that your example may be different to others because it included dates.
Stay tuned! Your sometimes obstreperous but sometimes informative correspondent will report back soon.

Capt. Zapp

@Ross at Play

My gut tells me both of these are correct:

(a) I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funerals.
(b) I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funeral.


I would say they are both correct under the following condition. (a) is referring to two separate funerals while (b) is a single funeral for both Bobby and Betty.

Ross at Play

Aw, come on, guys. I know how to suck eggs!
That's three people who've pointed out my sentences have different meanings.
I chose those sentences to demonstrate that care with punctuation was needed to ensure your sentences actually have the meaning you want.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I chose those sentences to demonstrate that care with punctuation was needed to ensure your sentences actually have the meaning you want.


You did not choose well. The difference in meaning is not due to the difference in punctuation, but rather it's due to the fact that you use funerals(plural) in the first sentence, and funeral(singular) in the second.

"I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funerals." would be two funerals.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The difference in meaning is not due to the difference in punctuation, but rather it's due to the fact that you use funerals(plural) in the first sentence, and funeral(singular) in the second.

"I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funerals." would be two funerals.

Duh! I should have noticed that. Chalk it up to lack of sleep (and Ambian).

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

"I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funerals." would be two funerals.


I'm not sure, but I don't think that's correct.

Bobby (without the apostrophe) and Betty's means the possessive applies to both. So funerals would be singular.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

So funerals would be singular.


Funerals is plural no mater what identifiers proceed it. "I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funerals." might imply two joint funerals rather than two individual funerals, but it's still at least two funerals.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

"I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funerals." would be two funerals.

I would guess that means two funerals, but without researching it, I doubt and am unwilling to agree to it is grammatically correct, too.
OTOH, I'm confident that adding an apostrophe and 's' to 'Bobby' makes it both unambiguous and grammatically correct.
* * *
So how would you punctuate this sentence if you revised it to avoid repeating the word 'intelligence'?

I'm contemptuous of DS's intelligence and MysteryWoman's intelligence.

And do you agree the punctuation of this is correct and unambiguously means only one wedding?

I welcome the news of DS and MysteryWoman's impending nuptuals. You know what they say! The good thing about those marrying each other is that only two people will end up in an unhappy marriage.

If it's not apparent yet that I returned from my daily walk to the mall for buckets of coffee in a more cranky mood than I left ... it soon will be. :-)

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Funerals is plural no matter (sic) what identifiers proceed it. "I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funerals." might imply two joint funerals rather than two individual funerals, but it's still at least two funerals.

BOVINE WASTE PRODUCT!
Two bodies, two caskets, two holes side-by-side, one sanitised speech by someone from a church (or whatever) = ONE EFFING FUNERAL!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

This is the post I was drafting in my head as I sat drinking my morning coffees at the mall ...
* * *
THREE PEOPLE have quoted these words I wrote:

(a) I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funerals.
(b) I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funeral.

Capt Zapp included an addition sentence I wrote introducing those words, i.e. "My gut tells me both of these are correct:"
All three then wrote very brief comments making only one point: the sentences mean different things.
All were written in a way suggesting I was not aware the sentences had different meanings.
* * *
READ THE FULL POST before making nitpicking comments like that!
DO NOT MISREPRESENT my words by being too selective in those you choose to quote!
* * *
CW started this thread with a reasonable question:

if you have two sequential possessives, do you include the possessive on each.

He suggests a suspicion that there may be some rule for this type of situation.
The words omitted when I was quoted were:

A further thought ... is whether the nouns joined by the conjunction are forming a single noun phrase acting as the possessor of one noun - or whether the conjunction is joining [two] possessions of similar things, in which case the repeated word may be omitted.

Isn't that clearly stating [bar one typo of 'to' instead of 'two'] that answer to CW's question depends on whether they mean?

A's thing and B's thing
or
A-and-B's thing

If thing is an uncountable noun, both of those could be written with the words 'A and B thing' before the decision is made whether to put an apostrophe and 's' after both 'A' and 'B', or just after 'B'.
WHAT ELSE could two example sentences following my introductory explanation be, other than examples of a (possibly not only) valid way to punctuate sentences to make it clear what your sentence means???
* * *
It appears no one's capable of putting up a serious challenge to my reigning title as the Most-Annoying Nitpicking Pissant, although SB has made one effort deserving of an honourable mention. Perhaps we could create another title for others to contest for: the Most-Annoying Nit-Infested Pissant.
Did I mention I returned from my morning coffees feeling a bit cranky?
We currently have three candidates, all running neck-and-neck at this moment. They are NOGPRAPLA, NOGPRAPLA, and NOGPRAPLA.
(For those who have not seen it before, NOGPRAPLA is an acronym of 'name of guilty party redacted as per legal advice'.
* * *
END OF PREVIOUSLY PLANNED DRAFT POST ... Here!
RECOMMENCE POST IN THE LIGHT OF NEW EVIDENCE ... Here!
* * *
Ladies and Gentlemen ... We have a WINNER, by a KNOCKOUT ... and our NEW ... UNDISPUTABLE ... CHAMPEEEYON of the world ... and holder of the heavyweight crown for MOST-ANNOYING ... NIT-INFESTED ... PISS-ANT ...
Da, da, da, dah ... Da, da, da, DAH, DAH, DAAAAH!
I PRESENT to you ... DOMINIONS SON! ... Our new champion. Long may he reign!
* * *
END of EXTREMELY-ANNOYING-PISSANT mode ... Here!
COMMENCE WHY-WOULDN'T-EVERYONE-HERE-LOVE-ME mode ... Here!
* * *
I have quoted below the entire text of Section 4.2.1 from New Hart's Guide. As I understand it, that is most commonly used reference making similar kinds of recommendation to CMOS, but specifically for those using British English.
I can see no particular reason why there should be any particular differences between British and American styles of showing possession. I quote it instead of CMOS here because it's explanations are usually easily comprehensible, whereas CMOS has many that are virtually impossible to understand.
Trust me, it took me quite some time to revise what I copied from a PDF into a format suitable for display by the SOL editor.

4.2.1 Possession
Use 's to indicate possession after singular nouns and indefinite pronouns (for example everything, anyone):
~ the boy's job
~ the box's contents
~ anyone's guess
and after plural nouns that do not end in s:
~ people's opinions
~ women's rights

With singular nouns that end in an s sound, the extra s can be omitted if it makes the phrase difficult to pronounce (the catharsis' effects), but it is often preferable to transpose the words and insert of (the effects of the catharsis).

Use an apostrophe alone after plural nouns ending in s:
~ our neighbours' children
~ other countries' air forces

An apostrophe is used in a similar way when the length of a period of
time is specified:
~ a few days' holiday
~ three weeks' time
but notice that an apostrophe is not used in adjectival constructions such as three months pregnant.

Use an apostrophe alone after singular nouns ending in an s or z sound and combined with sake:
~ for goodness' sake
[Ross comments, "For fucking-goodness sake! I'm not ever going to be thinking about my bloody punctuation if I write the words for that situation.]

Note that for old times' sake is a plural and so has the apostrophe after the s.

Do not use an apostrophe in [ANY] possessive pronouns hers, its, ours, yours, theirs:
~ a friend of yours
~ theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Distinguish its (a possessive meaning 'belonging to it') from it's (a contraction for 'it is' or 'it has'):
~ give the cat its dinner
~ it's been raining

In compounds and of phrases, use 's after the last noun when it is singular:
~ my sister-in-law's car
~ the King of Spain's daughter
but use the apostrophe alone after the last noun when it is plural:
~ the King of the Netherlands' appeal
~ Tranmere Rovers' best season

A DOUBLE POSSESSIVE, making use of both of and an apostrophe, may be used with nouns and pronouns relating to people or with personal names:
~ a speech of Churchill's
~ that necklace of her's

In certain contexts the double possessive clarifies the meaning of the of: compare a photo of Mary with a photo of Mary's.

The double possessive is not used with nouns referring to an organization or institution:
~ a friend of the Tate Gallery
~ a window of the hotel

Use 's after the last of a set of linked nouns where the nouns are acting together:
~ Liddell and Scott's Greek–English Lexicon
~ Beaumont and Fletcher's comedies

but repeat 's after each noun in the set where the nouns are acting separately:
~ Johnson's and Webster's lexicography
~ Shakespeare's and Jonson's comedies
[Ross comments @DS: GOTCHA! Your last suggested sentence does specify two funerals, but because the word 'funerals' is plural. However both would have been joint funerals. Perhaps both were buried side-by-side in one ceremony, then both dug up and re-buried back-to-back in a second joint ceremony.]

An 's indicates residences and places of business:
~ at Jane's
~ going to the doctor's

In the names of large businesses, endings that were originally possessive are now often acceptably written with no apostrophe, as if they were plurals: Harrods, Currys. This is the case even when the name of the company or institution is a compound, for example Barclays Bank, Citizens Advice Bureau. Other institutions retain the apostrophe, however, for example Levi's and Macy's, and editors should not alter a consistently applied style without checking with the author.

An apostrophe and s are generally used with personal names ending in an s, x, or z sound:
~ Charles's
~ Thomas's
~ Marx's
~ Bridget Jones's Diary

but an apostrophe alone may be used in cases where an additional s would cause difficulty in pronunciation, typically after longer names that are not accented on the last or penultimate syllable:
~ Nicholas' or Nicholas's
~ Lord Williams's School

Jesus's is the usual non-liturgical use; Jesus' is an accepted archaism.

It is traditional to use an apostrophe alone after classical names ending in s or es:
~ Euripides'
~ Herodotus'
~ Mars'
~ Erasmus'

This style should be followed for longer names; with short names the alternative Zeus's, for instance, is permissible. When classical names are used in scientific or other contexts their possessives generally require the additional s:
~ Mars' spear
but
~ Mars's gravitational force

Use 's after French names ending in silent s, x, or z, when used possessively in English:
~ Dumas's
~ Descartes's

When a singular or plural name or term is italicized, set the possessive 's in roman:
~ the Daily Telegraph's Brussels correspondent
~ the Liberty's crew

Do not use an apostrophe in the names of wars known by their length:
~ Hundred Years War
[Ross comments: I shall be grateful our wars here never end.]

It is impossible to predict with certainty whether a place or organizational name ending in s requires an apostrophe. For example:
~ Land's End
~ Lord's Cricket Ground
~ Offa's Dyke
~ St James's Palace
~ St Thomas' Hospital (not 's)
but
~ All Souls College
~ Earls Court
~ Johns Hopkins University
~ St Andrews
Check doubtful instances … on the institution's own website (other websites may be unreliable) ...

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

"I'll admit, I'm mostly a Sundays and holiday's Christian."

According to New Hart's Rules, for your example you should uae:

"I'll admit, I'm mostly a Sundays and holidays Christian."

... because both 'Sundays' and 'holidays' are functioning as adjectives modifying 'Christian'.

* * *

The other possibility raised earlier that possessives were not used for dates is not the case.
The point made was not related to dates, but to 'periods of time'.
And the point made was that they are used with their possessive forms.
So this would be correct:

That will need about two weeks' to a month's hard work to complete.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ross at Play

What's the short version?

~ apostrophe and 's' after all words not ending in 's', whether singular or plural
~ apostrophe alone after plural words ending in 's'
~ the extra 's' may be omitted from singular words ending in 's', depending if pronunciation would be difficult ... but for personal names extend that to names ending 's', 'z' or 'x' sounds
~ do not use possessive forms with words functioning as adjectives. The test for a real possessive is whether it makes sense if reworded to use the 'of' form of possessives
~ the form of possessives is based on the word it is being added to for all multi-word noun phrases
~ add possessives to all linked nouns when they are used individually, but only to the last if used as a group
~ do not change anything within a proper, although what should be added could vary, but be cautious that many names will sound like possessives, and perhaps originally were, which may not have apostrophes in the name
~ consider using the 'of' construction of possessives for anything that may sound awkward
~ authors of fiction probably have better things to think about than what any style guide suggests for some list of special cases :-)

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

An apostrophe is used in a similar way when the length of a period of
time is specified:
~ a few days' holiday
~ three weeks' time
but notice that an apostrophe is not used in adjectival constructions such as three months pregnant.


Duh, I was wrong. Sorry for confusing the issue.

With respect to the above, who would actually use an apostrophe for eg "four weeks notice", and yet it seems obvious to me that "a month's notice" should have one!

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

With respect to the above, who would actually use an apostrophe for eg "four weeks notice", and yet it seems obvious to me that "a month's notice" should have one!

Perhaps I could revise one of my short-version rules to:

~ consider using the 'of' construction of possessives for anything that may sound awkward, but feel free to spit the dummy if that sounds weird.

I like British Grammar Nazis about as much as that American bunch.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

provided AJ and others promise they won't spit on me for quoting a 'style guide' or two.


I made an attemptedly humorous response to this but it seems to have gone AWOL :(

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I made an attemptedly humorous response to this but it seems to have gone AWOL :(

Perhaps for the best. I tend not to spit dummy nuclear ordinance. :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Joe Long

@Ross at Play

as I sat drinking my morning coffees


You definitely had a load of caffeine for that post.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Joe Long

You definitely had a load of caffeine for that post.

Might I suggest that Ross try some calming chamomile tea, or will that get my head bitten off too?

Thanks for the definitive word on the topic, Ross. I appreciate putting this puppy to bed. Please everyone, let's not resurrect anymore zombie puppies!

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

(a) I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funerals.
(b) I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funeral.


According to Grammar Girl, the above is correct. Assuming Bobby and Betty share a funeral in the second one.

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/compound-possession

If you're trying to write about possession and you have two subjects, you have to decide if the two people possess something together or separately. Here's an example: Steve and Amy's religious beliefs.

The rule is if the two people share something, you use one apostrophe s. So if Steve and Amy have the same religious beliefs, it is correct to say Steve and Amy's beliefs with only one apostrophe s after the last noun.

On the other hand, if Steve and Amy have different beliefs, then you would say Steve's and Amy's beliefs.

The rule is that if each person "possesses" something different, then you use two apostrophe s's.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I'll see you at Bobby's, and Betty's funeral.


Yay for the Oxford comma. :)

(Sorry SB, not intended for you personally)

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

It was a Pythonesque 'I spit in your general direction'.

I know, I suck at humour :(

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I know, I suck at humour :(

It's hard to spit while sucking.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I'll see you at Bobby's, and Betty's funeral.

Yay for the Oxford comma. :)


That means he'll see him at Bobby's (house?) and Betty's funeral. The comma makes a hell of a difference. But it's not an Oxford comma. Just a plain comma.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I blame my parents, God and Ayn Rand.

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde  Joe Long
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Might I suggest that Ross try some calming chamomile tea, or will that get my head bitten off too?

No heads bitten off ... but you are risking a ruthless and sarcastic tongue lashing.

But seriously, I've been in a desperately low state for some months, but finding a new supply of my medication has got me back to my "real" character.
I use the pen name Ross at Play: I am constantly attempting to "play" with words ... and your minds. I was savage to DS today, after only some relatively trivial provocation, but I worked hard to inject humour into my attacks, and would any say my jokes were not obviously over-the-top - but with some factual basis to them.
And are there any here who have not screamed out, "Bring me nails and a sledgehammer!" on the occasions they've managed to get DS backed up against a crucifix. Perhaps jplong and robberhands haven't been active here long enough to experience that particular pleasure.
And, even more relevant, can anyone say when when I'm pointing my finger sarcasm-drenched humour at others that I'm not also firing three barrels back at myself.
I did some excellent constructive work today. I appreciate you saying you appreciated that. I don't see anyone else here capable of provided some of detailed and fully explained answers to some types of questions, although SB almost always provides a brief, spot-on answer to those questions too.
So that's the good side; the bad side is my sense of humour would often be vicious IF it was interpreted literally - but I don't mean it when I trying to make jokes. I'm not angry when I'm doing that; that's just me playing.
When I do mean it, when I am angry, there's no obvious humour in my comments. They will be damning matter-of-fact statements laced with vicious sarcasm. I don't use hyperbole when I want to hurt. I play it straight then; that's how to inflict the most possible pain. But, I'm sure I've never done that to anyone here who was not fully aware I had become seriously pissed off. I don't apologise for winning fights others are determined to have.
So there you have it: The Good, The Bad, and the God-Spare-Us Ugly.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

SB:
I'll see you at Bobby's, and Betty's funeral.
You:
Yay for the Oxford comma. :)

Except it's not an Oxford comma. There's no series of three or more elements.
It;s just a common-or-garden, you-do-the-work-so-readers-can-understand-your-meaning comma. :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

It was a Pythonesque 'I spit in your general direction'.

But you're the Ingleesh peeg-dog, not moi.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I blame my parents, God and Ayn Rand.


It' an Oxford comma there because you have a list of 3 items.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

That means he'll see him at Bobby's (house?) and Betty's funeral.

Once again, you've got it. By George, you've got it.
What do think if it had 'funerals' instead? ... assuming wewant a meaning of two separate funerals.

I'll see you at Bobby's, and Betty's funerals.

Personally, I'd want either no commas, or a second one after Betty's. With only one comma it sounds as if Betty would have more than one funeral. Imagine a New Catholic Church with a feminist Popette?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

I'll see you at Bobby's, and Betty's funerals.


No comma.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking
I blame my parents, God and Ayn Rand.

@Switch Blayde
It' an Oxford comma there because you have a list of 3 items.

Perhaps this is the first every occurrence of a literary device that will someday be termed a 'Switchism'?

You sort of got the right answer ... but was it only because you made a typo???

It is not an Oxford comma! It is a situation in which an Oxford comma should, or should not, be used - depending on the writer's choice of style.
It appears you may have made a typo, missing the 's' from a contraction of 'it is'.
Is the absence of 'is' your oh-so-subtle way of suggesting 'is not'?
Did you mean it could have had an Oxford comma, because you have a list of 3 items, but it is not because no comma was used?

Was it an ingenious, inventive display of wit, or a dumbass typo? :-)

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

BOVINE WASTE PRODUCT!
Two bodies, two caskets, two holes side-by-side, one sanitised speech by someone from a church (or whatever) = ONE EFFING FUNERAL!


1. You can say shit here.

2. I don't, know where you live, but here in the US (or at least my part of it) the funeral is usually (there are exception) held at a church or funeral parlor and is separate and apart from the actual burial.

Multiple funerals for one person does happen. My maternal grandmother was from Texas, and my maternal Grandfather was from Oklahoma. When they married, they moved to Wisconsin and established a family here.

Both are buried (they did not die at the same time) in Texas where the bulk of my maternal Grandmother's family is.

When my maternal grandmother died. We held a funeral here in Wisconsin for friends and family that were here, then we took the body to Texas and and a second funeral was held for the family there.

Joe Long

@awnlee jawking

I blame my parents, God and Ayn Rand.


So you are literally a child of God

Joe Long

@Dominions Son

Both are buried (they did not die at the same time) in Texas where the bulk of my maternal Grandmother's family is.


My other hobby, which I've been at longer, is genealogy.

I had asked a question of logic, "What does the presence of a tombstone in a cemetery tell you?"

Answer: That there's a tombstone in the cemetery.

Replies:   Dominions Son
richardshagrin

And then there is the plural of attorney general, which is, my English teacher assured me attorneys general. I suppose something of theirs, since almost every state has one, plus the federal case (not to make a federal case out of it) we are pluralizing as attorneys' general offices. Even though attorneys general's sounds better. Lets give a black eye to pluralizing. (pluraleyezing). Do plural eyes sing?

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

Was it an ingenious, inventive display of wit, or a dumbass typo? :-)


Dumbass typo and I was wrong about the Oxford comma. I meant to say the Oxford comma was needed in that sentence.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I was savage to DS today, after only some relatively trivial provocation, but I worked hard to inject humour into my attacks, and would any say my jokes were not


Not as savage as you think and I got the humor.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

2. I don't, know where you live, but here in the US (or at least my part of it) the funeral is usually (there are exception) held at a church or funeral parlor and is separate and apart from the actual burial.


But you can still have one funeral for multiple people. Let's say a family died in a car accident. You might have one funeral for all of them. The caskets would be laid out side by side, words would be spoken, and then they'd all be buried.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Joe Long

What does the presence of a tombstone in a cemetery tell you?


I was physically present for both interments.

Replies:   Joe Long
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

But you can still have one funeral for multiple people. Let's say a family died in a car accident. You might have one funeral for all of them.


Yes, you can have a single joint funeral, but if the surviving family is spread out, you could also have multiple joint funerals, which was my point.

Positing the same scenario, a family died in a car accident.

The family lived in New York, but the father's relatives live in Florida and the Mother's relatives live in California.

The family will be interred in California.

You could end up with three funerals. One in New York, one in Florida and one in California, all three funerals with the caskets laid out side by side.

awnlee jawking

@Joe Long

So you are literally a child of God


In the USA. In the UK, probably not ;)

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

It looks like a duck, it quacks like a duck. Many definitions require only a list but some require at least three legs whereas mine only has two.

Quack quack.

AJ

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

This is more of typical kind kind of shit trying anything to squirm out of any debate.
I chose funerals to make a point about grammar.
I chose them as something which happens only once for every person.
Do you think anyone will believe you? - after the fact - claiming you were not discussing a point of grammar, and you were using funeral when discussing a point of grammar to mean anything else than once per person.
I was not discussing the precise meaning of funerals then, and I will not now.
I don't care if your new-found description of what a funeral means is accurate or not.
Take it and shove somewhere it belongs, along with all the other TURDS, six feet underground.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I chose funerals to make a point about grammar.


You chose poorly.

I chose them as something which happens only once for every person.


Except that's not remotely true. I have family for whom multiple funerals have been held.

Do you think anyone will believe you? - after the fact - claiming you were not discussing a point of grammar


I never claimed I wasn't discussing a point of grammar. Tense and punctuation are both grammar.

You tried to make a point about punctuation, but the change in punctuation in your example got bombed by a change in tense. Even if they were punctuated identically, your second sentence with a singular funeral can only mean one single joint funeral.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I was not discussing the precise meaning of funerals then, and I will not now.


You are the one who raised the issue of what a funeral is, only after I pointed out that in your example, tense overrides the punctuation issue in controlling the meaning.

Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

Even though attorneys general's sounds better.

I would have no hesitation in using attorneys general's.
As far as I know, the traditionally accepted plural form of attorney general is attorneys general. The reason is this is one of the rare noun phrases consisting of a noun followed by a modifier. The plurals of both adjective+noun and nun+adjective phrases requires the noun to be modified to its plural form - because many adjectives don't have a plural form.
There is no such limitation on where the possessive form is added to a noun phrase. It is always added to the final word of a noun phrase. Any word can be made into its possessive form: that decision on whether it ends in an 's', an 's' or similar sound, and whether it has a plural meaning.
If the possessive was added to attorney(s) it would have been specifically listed in New Hart's Rules. For goodness' sake, that lists every other trivial special case anyone could possibly imagine.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Dumbass typo and I was wrong

Sorry about that one. You understand I saw an opportunity to play that was too good to pass up. :-)

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I'll see you at Bobby's, and Betty's funerals.

No comma.

So both Bobby and Betty are having (participating in?) multiple funerals?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Multiple funerals for one person does happen. My maternal grandmother was from Texas, and my maternal Grandfather was from Oklahoma. When they married, they moved to Wisconsin and established a family here.

Technically, those are 'Memorial Services'. It's only a "Funeral" is the dead body is there, in one form (solid or ashes in a bottle or box) or another.

I've got a friend who attends several community organizations who's a funeral home director.

Crumbly Writer

@Joe Long

So you are literally a child of God

Technically, a bastard child, exactly like Jesus was.

Replies:   Joe Long
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Even though attorneys general's sounds better. Lets give a black eye to pluralizing. (pluraleyezing). Do plural eyes sing?

Not to be confused with "my attorney's general's offices" or even "my Attorney General's General's offices".

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Even if they were punctuated identically, your second sentence with a singular funeral can only mean one single joint funeral.

That was precisely my intent hen answering CW's original question. CW asked about a general rule for punctuating certain types of questions.
I explained there was no general rule. That care was needed to show your intended meaning correctly. I gave these these example sentences.

(a) I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funerals.
(b) I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funeral.

Example (a) showed what was needed to show two separate funerals, and (b) was needed to show one joint funeral.
I am willing to discuss whether my examples adequately demonstrate the point of grammar I was clearly attempting to make.
I will not discuss semantic meanings of words which may allow other interpretations of these sentences. I will not be drawn into your arguments about trivial points totally unrelated to the topics being discussed. You do such things frequently, for no other reason to create arguments, and it is one of things that results in you being loathed by so many here, so often.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

I chose them as something which happens only once for every person.


More than once for Frankenstein. LOL

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

In the USA. In the UK, probably not ;)

Yeah, they're not as fond of Ayn Rand over there.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


So both Bobby and Betty are having (participating in?) multiple funerals?


Yes, without the comma (your snippet was taken from a discussion on the Oxford comma).

With the comma, it means something different.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

You chose poorly.


Unless you've got several weeks to come up with a presentation, it's difficult coming up with 'off the cuff' examples of grammar principals, unless you're sitting in a library with a trained Librarian to help guide you.

Except that's not remotely true. I have family for whom multiple funerals have been held.

Those weren't funerals, they were Memorial Services, as you need a body to have a funeral. Abraham Lincoln had multiple funerals as they carted his preserved body across the country by buggy for eventual burial, but other than that, it's not only rare, but most often illegal!

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Technically, those are 'Memorial Services'. It's only a "Funeral" is the dead body is there, in one form (solid or ashes in a bottle or box) or another.
I've got a friend who attends several community organizations who's a funeral home director.

CW, don't let him drag you down into his cesspit. You started this thread looking for an answer to a question of grammar. I trust my examples help clarify for you what you needed to work out the answer to your question.
Did you come here looking to discuss the distinction between a funeral and memorial service? The Devil has tricked and tempted you away from you're true path - again. You may simply walk away.
If I choose to continue fighting him, I won't be discussing the meaning of the word funeral. I'll be setting out the evidence that he's being nothing more than a troll - yet again.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Yeah, they're not as fond of Ayn Rand over there.

Not fond down here either.
The spawn of God and a demoness. One wonders what Roman Polanski could have done with that?

Replies:   Joe Long
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Technically, those are 'Memorial Services'. It's only a "Funeral" is the dead body is there, in one form (solid or ashes in a bottle or box) or another.


No, my maternal Grandmother had two funerals, using your definition. One, here in Wisconsin for local friends of the family. Then after the funeral here, we sent the body down to Texas, and traveled down there where a second full funeral was held for her family with visitation/viewing of the body. 3 days and 800 miles later.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Those weren't funerals, they were Memorial Services, as you need a body to have a funeral.


The body was at both funerals. So was I.

Joe Long

@Dominions Son

I was physically present for both interments.


Of course.

However, you said that one of them had died previously. I assume that was a re-interment, and there may still be a tombstone in the original cemetery but not a body. I've also seen where, for example, the husband died and was buried, but decades later when the wife died she was for some reason in a different cemetery but put her husband's name and dates on her stone, even though his body was not moved.

Point I was trying to make, when looking at it as evidence to be judged sometime in the future, don't read anything into it. It is what it is.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

Technically, a bastard child, exactly like Jesus was.


Although he knew his Father well, keeping in close communication.

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

The spawn of God and a demoness. One wonders what Roman Polanski could have done with that?


Given her a quaalude before having his way.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Unless you've got several weeks to come up with a presentation, it's difficult coming up with 'off the cuff' examples of grammar principals

Thank you.
About a year ago I used an example when discussing the merits, or otherwise, of the Oxford commas. I wanted an example to show Oxford commas automatically eliminate some time of ambiguities. I said something like "over the next nine years" this sentence may be ambiguous:

She took a picture of her parents, the President of the United States and the Secretary of State.

Is anyone prepared to lie their arse off here and claim they did not know I they would all know this meant the possibility that sentence would be describing Chelsea Clinton taking a picture of her parents during an eight-year period beginning the next Inauguration Day. I was just looking for a simple phrase to set the scene so others could see the point of grammar I was making in an example sentence.
DS attacked that. He went one and on and on. The vicious pest descended to telling me, fuck that, I already knew, the circumstances when a POTUS may serve for up to ten years. I couldn't give a damn about that, true though I presume all his points were, the moron was doing nothing than wasting the time of everybody else here, and he damn well knew that.
* * *
YES, DS, I agree you have made some factual points, but they are totally unrelated to what we are attempting to discuss here.
* * *
Do you have any points about the correct use of punctuation you consider worth making.
If you do, I'm happy that the use the word 'funeral' in examples - provided you use them as examples of dialogue when the speaker and listener both assume each person will have only one funeral. If you don't think funeral was a good example, you find some other example where of a word that is automatically presumed to one, and one only.
If not, take your shit and go away!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Joe Long

However, you said that one of them had died previously. I assume that was a re-interment, and there may still be a tombstone in the original cemetery but not a body.


Now I understand the source of your confusion.

They were buried together in the same place but not at the same time. My maternal grandmother outlived my maternal grandfather by more than a decade.

Both had two funerals, one here in Wisconsin and one in Texas, but they never had a joint service.

I was younger when my Maternal grandfather died, and I did not attend his Texas funeral, and I don't know how it was handled.

For my Grandmother, The embalming and a funeral here in Wisconsin was handled by a local funeral parlor.

After the funeral here, the local funeral parlor handled shipping the body to the funeral parlor that handled the Texas Funeral and the burial.

Replies:   Joe Long
Ross at Play

@Joe Long

Given her a quaalude before having his way.

Which would make Roman Polanski God, and pedophile rapists should start praying for the Second Coming!
I'm assuming you know he directed, and wrote the screen adaptation for, Rosemary's Baby.

Replies:   Joe Long  Joe Long
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

If you don't think funeral was a good example, you find some other example where of a word that is automatically presumed to one, and one only.


It is precisely your insistence on using something that you insist be singular to each person that destroys it's value as an example for the punctuation issue.

The impact of the change in tense will overwhelm the impact of the change in punctuation every time.

Regardless of what is correct punctuation:

I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funeral.

and

I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funeral.

Have zero ambiguity and exactly the same meaning.

There is only one funeral total and therefore it must be a joint funeral.

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

Yes, I'm aware - but the question was Polanski would do with the spawn. Og course the question meant the premise as the subject of a film, but I turned it around to be what do with the spawn in person.

Joe Long

@Dominions Son

Now I understand the source of your confusion.


Although I was never confused. I was using the topic as the premise for a hypothetical question of logic that I have previously pondered and asked of others.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funeral.
and
I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funeral.
Have zero ambiguity and exactly the same meaning.

NOT ACCORDING to a well-respected reference I quoted above.
If you direct any more posts at me on this thread I will send a Thumbs Down to the webmaster and then make the effort to present a case that your behaviour here is detrimental to the functioning of these forums, and ultimately to the profitability of the business.

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

Which would make Roman Polanski God, and pedophile rapists should start praying for the Second Coming!


Also an example of pronoun failure. It would have been perfectly clear if I was have stated 'spawn' instead of 'her' in my original reply.

When commenting on forums and Twitter I strive be be pronoun free as much as possible to be precise and also to hopefully avoiding any misgendering accusations.

Ross at Play

@Joe Long

Also an example of pronoun failure. It would have been perfectly clear if I was have stated 'spawn' instead of 'her' in my original reply.

Sorry. I sometimes forget there are others as sick and twisted as me. :-)

Ross at Play

@Joe Long

hopefully avoiding any misgendering accusations.

I am resigned to accepting that it has become verboten to use third-person male pronouns with their traditional gender-neutral sense.
I usually rely on third-person plural pronouns used with their singular sense.
I would struggle to use a civil tone towards anyone who objected to that.
What is your preference?

Replies:   Joe Long
red61544
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Sundays and holidays are not possessives. They are being used as adjectives to describe the type of Christian. If it were possessive, you'd be able to substitute "of" for the apostrophe: "a Christian of Sundays and holidays". Treat them as adjectives and the question goes away!

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

I usually rely on third-person plural pronouns used with their singular sense.
I would struggle to use a civil tone towards anyone who objected to that.
What is your preference?


No pronouns, or third person plural when in public conversations.

When writing I go for what's clear to the reader as to who's being referenced.

If someone gets pissy about insisting people only refer to them with certain pronouns (and I have yet to meet one in person) I would use their first or last names or "Hey you."

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funeral.

and

I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funeral.

Have zero ambiguity and exactly the same meaning.


Except the first one has to be funerals. If they were sharing a funeral, you wouldn't have two apostrophes. Check out the Grammar Girl site. She said:

The rule is if the two people share something, you use one apostrophe s.

The rule is that if each person "possesses" something different, then you use two apostrophe s's.

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@red61544

If it were possessive, you'd be able to substitute "of" for the apostrophe: "a Christian of Sundays and holidays".


That actually makes sense to me, weird as it sounds, suggesting they could be possessives after all.

It seems to me there's a certain fluidity at play. From a previous example, in "one month's notice" the "month's" looks like a possessive - notice of a month. But in "four weeks notice" the four weeks looks adjectival.

But then I'm from Barcelona - I know nothing ;)

AJ

Replies:   red61544
red61544

@awnlee jawking

It seems to me there's a certain fluidity at play.

The more commonly used term is a "Christmas and Easter Christian". If you would attempt to make that phase possessive, you'd create a tongue-twister of epic proportions!

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@red61544

If it were possessive, you'd be able to substitute "of" for the apostrophe:

GOOD POINT!

I'm going back to my 'short version' of what New Hart's Rules contains to edit including that. :-)

awnlee jawking

@red61544

The more commonly used term is a "Christmas and Easter Christian".


That's an expression I'm not familiar with. Is it more prevalent in the US?

However I'm very familiar with BMD Christian, ie one who only sees the inside of a church for birth (or rather baptism), marriage and death.

AJ

Replies:   red61544
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Except the first one has to be funerals.


To be correctly punctuated yes, but that's not my point.

There are 4 cases for multiple possessors.

1. a single collection of things of which each possessor possesses one.

2. A singular thing possessed jointly.

3. A collection of things possessed jointly

4. Several collections of things of which each possessor possesses one collection.

Of these four cases, only #2 can/will use a singular noun for the thing(s) possessed.

#2 therefore stands out just by the tense of the noun that signifies what is possessed, even if the writer gets the punctuation wrong.

Seeing "I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funeral.", I would presume that the error is in the punctuation of the joint possessive, not in the tense of the possessed thing(s).

ETA: Thus using something of which only one is generally possessed and forcing yourself into cases #1 and #2 for your example is a poor choice for illustrating the punctuation issue.

red61544

@awnlee jawking

It's about the same thing - twice a year the churches are packed to overflowing; on a normal Sunday, not so much.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

#2 therefore stands out just by the tense of the noun that signifies what is possessed


It's the second time you mentioned tense. It has nothing to do with tense.

I would presume that the error is in the punctuation of the joint possessive, not in the tense of the possessed thing(s).


The discussion was correct punctuation, not how incorrect punctuation could be assumed.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

It has nothing to do with tense.


Yes it does, if you have multiple possessors and only one thing to be possessed, logic dictates that it must be possessed jointly.

The discussion was correct punctuation, not how incorrect punctuation could be assumed.


Nor was my comment about how incorrect punctuation could be assumed, it was how correct meaning could be inferred despite incorrect punctuation.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

It has nothing to do with tense.

Yes it does, if you have multiple possessors and only one thing to be possessed, logic dictates that it must be possessed jointly.


What does that have to do with tense? present, past, future.

But that one thing possessed doesn't have to be a physical thing. In Grammar Girl's example, it was shared beliefs.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

It is precisely your insistence on using something that you insist be singular to each person that destroys it's value as an example for the punctuation issue.

Like the (largely black audience says in any slasher film): "Get out now, while you still can!"

I'm gone. I've abandoned more threads, because of the same people, in the last week or two, than I have the entire time I've been a member of SOL! What's more, the more you feed the trolls, the hungrier (power mad) they become, so we've both only exacerbating the problem.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

It's the second time you mentioned tense.

Substitute 'number' for 'tense' and you should understand what DS is attempting to say.
That's the term I and CMOS use for whether nouns and pronouns are singular or plural, and whether verbs agree with their subject.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

There are 4 cases for multiple possessors.

Can you provide an example?
It appears you're saying:
~ the possessors may be individual or joint (agreed)
~ the things possessed may be singular or collections.
I cannot see how the nature of what is being possessed affects how the possessors are modified to create their possessive (aka genitive) case.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


In Grammar Girl's example, it was shared beliefs.


To speak of your own beliefs is to speak of a collection of things.

Personally, I see the grammar girl example using beliefs as my case #4. Each possessor possesses one collection out of a collection of collections.

Though, I suppose an argument could be made for case #3, joint possession of a collection of things.

It's a much better example for the punctuation issue, because you aren't swapping between singular and plural usages of the thing possessed.

Ross at Play

@red61544

It's about the same thing - twice a year the churches are packed to overflowing; on a normal Sunday, not so much.

I think of 'Sunday Christian' as meaning a hypocrite who for the rest of the week is a total prick with unchristian attitudes.

Replies:   Joe Long
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


I cannot see how the nature of what is being possessed affects how the possessors are modified to create their possessive (aka genitive) case.


It's not a matter of the nature of what is being possessed affecting how the possessors are modified to create their possessive in grammar.

It's a mater of the base nature of the thing possessed necessarily affecting the base nature of possession and therefore how a grammatically incorrect sentence describing that possession would be/should be interpreted.

Physically, a singular object can not be simultaneously solely possessed by multiple people.

Words are symbols, the nature of the thing a word or words symbolize controls how that word or words is/are interpreted.

If the nature of the thing conflicts with the grammar, the nature of the thing symbolized must control the interpretation.

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

I think of 'Sunday Christian' as meaning a hypocrite who for the rest of the week is a total prick with unchristian attitudes.


I agree. There's a Christian rock band named "Everyday Sunday", the message being to live every day as if it's Sunday.

Joe Long

@Dominions Son

Physically, a singular object can not be simultaneously solely possessed by multiple people.


Socialism

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

I can see these possibilities:

1. Bobby and Betty's belief in God is rigid.
2. Bobby's and Betty's belief in God is rigid.
3. Bobby and Betty's beliefs about religion are rigid.
4. Bobby's and Betty's beliefs about religion are rigid.

I would want do some research before using some of those.

I still can't see what point about the punctuation of possessives you are trying to make.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Joe Long

Socialism


Is technically joint possession of everything.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


I would look it up first, but I expect I'd use 'are' in #2.


It can get funky when you are talking about metaphysical objects like ideas.

I don't know anyone who would use #2 at all, with either is or are.

I've hear people use #1.

However, in my opinion, neither #1 or #2 are valid statements.

On the one hand, independent possession of a singular thing is impossible.

On the other hand, you can't have joint possession of a metaphysical thing. If I have an idea, I can't give you my original idea, I can only give you a copy of my idea. Even then, I can never be sure that the copy of the idea in your head is identical to the original idea in my head.

I still can't see what point about the punctuation of possessives you are trying to make.


I'm not make a point about the punctuation of possession.

My point, my only point, is that the nature of possession of singular things gets in the way of the point you were trying to make about punctuating possessives when you put a plural example against a singular example.

Of course the second example is joint possession, there is only one thing to possess. You could have made the point more strongly if both were plural.

Replies:   Ross at Play
StarFleet Carl

@Crumbly Writer

It's hard to spit while sucking.


I've been told that's why you swallow. I have no personal experience other than being the recipient for this ...

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Physically, a singular object can not be simultaneously solely possessed by multiple people.


Bob and Gail's cat died of old age.
Bob's and Gail's cats died of old age.

Them's the punctuation rules. You can accept it or not.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Bob and Gail's cat died of old age.
Bob's and Gail's cats died of old age.
Them's the punctuation rules. You can accept it or not.

I think this is also valid and with a different meaning:

Bob and Gail's cats died of old age.

The rule seems to me to be adequately explained by New Harts Rules:

Use 's after the last of a set of linked nouns where the nouns are acting together:
~ Liddell and Scott's Greek–English Lexicon
~ Beaumont and Fletcher's comedies
but repeat 's after each noun in the set where the nouns are acting separately:
~ Johnson's and Webster's lexicography
~ Shakespeare's and Jonson's comedies

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

I don't know anyone who would use #2 at all, with either is or are.
I've hear people use #1.
However, in my opinion, neither #1 or #2 are valid statements.

Thank you for the constructive nature of your recent comments on this thread. It has felt to me like most of your previous posts were asserting statements by others were incorrect or inadequate - without ever specifying what you thought was better, or making clear what you thought the problem was.
* * *
You listed four different situations above. I tried to play along. What would those four situations look like if a different spelling or punctuation was used to identify each of them?
* * *
I agree my #2 is simply unacceptable - for all examples I can imagine.
I would use different constructions for joint possession of singular and plural objects.
In contrast, for individual possessions by multiple possessors I would always use the plural form (or a 'mass noun') of the objects, or object, possessed.
I can see why someone may want to show the same, singular object is possessed by many, but I don't think that's possible using apostrophes to show the genitive form of possession.
* * *
I think I've figured out how we came to be blasting away at cross-purposes with each other.
You've suggested it's not "valid" for two people to both possess a singular "belief in God". I don't want to discuss metaphysics here.
I think you're meaning "valid" as realistic, where I've only meant it as a possible construction which is grammatically acceptable.
Can two people 'possess' exactly the same 'belief in God'. That's debatable, probably questionable. But I don't object to someone trying to explicitly show that is what they mean.
This little Grammar Nazi does not pack people off to concentration camps because they make deceitful or stupid statements; I only do that when I deem their grammar or punctuation verboten. :-)
* * *
I am sure there are only two situations when showing multiple possession of the same/similar thing(s) - using the apostrophe type of genitives. Joint possession is shown with only one apostrophe on the last possessor; individual possessions are shown with apostrophes on all possessors.
I see the question of whether the possessed object may be singular or plural is totally independent of that, and yes, there are cases where a singular is grammatically incorrect.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Bob and Gail's cat died of old age.
Bob's and Gail's cats died of old age.

Them's the punctuation rules. You can accept it or not.


I never disputed that that is the punctuation rule.

I merely stated that this singular vs plural obscures what the difference in the punctuation means.

1. Bob's and Gail's cats died of old age.
2. Bob and Gail's cats died of old age.

1. Bob and Gail each had one cat which died.
2. more than one cat died, all the dead cats were jointly owned by Bob and Gail.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

am sure there are only two situations when showing multiple possession of the same/similar thing(s) - using the apostrophe type of genitives. Joint possession is shown with only one apostrophe on the last possessor; individual possessions are shown with apostrophes on all possessors.


I do not and never have disputed that rule.

All I have said is that using a singular possession as an example for the joint possession case obscures the effect of the punctuation, because joint possession is the only plausible interpretation.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

All this dispute about the proper way to do a mixed possessive has convinced me the best way to deal with them is to re-write the sentence do say the same thing without using mixed possessives at all.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

All this dispute about the proper way to do a mixed possessive has convinced me the best way to deal with them is to re-write the sentence do say the same thing without using mixed possessives at all.


There has been no dispute about the proper way to do a mixed possessive.

I merely suggested that a singular possession was not the best choice for an example.

They probably blame me for the disruption, however, they could have simply ignored my suggestion or switch to plural/plural examples which are perfectly valid, but no, they had to try and pound on me over it.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

I never disputed that that is the punctuation rule.
I merely stated that this singular vs plural obscures ...

PLEASE, try to word your posts to be clear when you're trying to add something to an exchange.
I read what you just posted and shake my head in dismay, "Is that all he's been trying to say? Yes, but a big bloody yawn. (There are two ways to show possession, joint and individual. One allows the possessed object to be singular or plural, but the other dies not."

I suggested some days ago you should try to preface your posts with explanations of what, if anything, you can find to agree with in the post you are responding to. All the hostility directed at you in this thread is a direct consequence of you not attempting to be clear what you are not disputing in what others have said.
Most of your comments here come across as, "This is wrong!" You rarely go on to clearly state something like, "I would replace that with ..." When that type of thing happens all the time, and always drag on forever, it wearies us to the point it feels like a complete waste of time attempting to write constructive responses for you. And you don't help matters by your reticence to even concede a draw when you are finally ready to give up.
I repeat, I do see some validity in your objections to the nature of posts directed at you, but as long as you unwilling to even try something different in what you do, I will remain inclined to swot away your posts, however valid they may be, as if were just bothersome flies.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

1. Bob and Gail each had one cat which died.


Or

Bob and Gail each had one or more cats which died. :)

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

Bob and Gail each had one or more cats which died. :)


Point.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

Physically, a singular object can not be simultaneously solely possessed by multiple people.


In the UK, married couples often have joint ownership of their house.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

All this dispute about the proper way to do a mixed possessive has convinced me the best way to deal with them is to re-write the sentence do say the same thing without using mixed possessives at all.

I have included in my statements above, but it was probably worthy of being stated as the first option to be considered for this type of situation.
Like the dropped quotation mark rule, just because the rules of grammar allows you to do something, that does not imply you should.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

In the UK, married couples often have joint ownership of their house


That's joint ownership, which is not at all the same thing as two people claiming sole possession of one thing.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

Like the dropped quotation mark rule, just because the rules of grammar allows you to do something, that does not imply you should.


Let's not go there again, because the big problem with that was defining what a quotation is or isn't. We thrashed that death month's ago and agreed to disagree, so let's leave it there.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

That's joint ownership,


yep, that's defining who paid for the grass and rolled it before ti got passed around.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

Okay, I missed your 'solely'. My bad.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

All this dispute about the proper way to do a mixed possessive has convinced me the best way to deal with them is to re-write the sentence do say the same thing without using mixed possessives at all.


I think the discussion went awry so it sounds more complicated than it is. Grammar Girl explains it simply:

If the two people share something, you use one apostrophe s.

If each person "possesses" something different, then you use two apostrophe s's.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

That's joint ownership, which is not at all the same thing as two people claiming sole possession of one thing.


Give it up. Of course it is.

But that has nothing to do with how to use the apostrophe which is what the OP asked. So if you want to start another thread on whatever point you're trying to make, do it, but don't be surprised if no one responds.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

Let's not go there again

I was not going there again.
I saw two situations when your correct assessment is it doesn't really matter what the rules of grammar allow, there's a better way of skinning that type of cat. :-)

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

But that has nothing to do with how to use the apostrophe which is what the OP asked.


But I wasn't replying to the op, so why don't you take that up with the person I was replying to.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

But I wasn't replying to the op, so why don't you take that up with the person I was replying to.


Because you confused the issue to the point Ernest thinks he has to reword a sentence to avoid a problem that doesn't exist.

But what's done is done. Time to move on.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play
Updated:

I think we've done this topic till it's dead and buried, and reburied, and reburied, ... :-)
Why not try something for which a consensus seems possible: the desirability of eliminating words when doing so does not alter meaning. "What? Are you mad???" they all chorus. "Undeniably," I concede.
* * *
While I am firmly in the camp that less is usually better, I want to describe a type of situation where - within one paragraph - I consider more is better here (most of the paragraph), but the least possible is essential here (the final sentence). I think this is almost always best when the final sentence is any kind of joke, plot twist, or other major surprise.

There's a book I find very helpful, Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark. I think it contains similar advice the The Elements of Style by Strunk and White - but Clark practices what he preaches and explains as he teaches.
He mentions one tool, the 'Rule of 231'. This basically means start with something important or interesting, then work through the essential but uninteresting details, but end with your main point! ... preferably as briefly as possible
This rule can be applied to sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, even entire books.
I'm constantly attempting to craft my little "jokes". I find it essential to make the "punchline" (often just a word or few) as short as possible, or shorter! The "killer words" must be delayed to the very end. Major plot twist should be revealed in the final, very short sentence of a paragraph; the key words of a joke must be the last words of the sentence.

Here's an example I had great fun crafting yesterday. My post contained:

@NameRedacted
It' an Oxford comma there because you have a list of 3 items.


You sort of got the right answer ... but was it only because you made a typo??? It is not an Oxford comma! It is a situation in which an Oxford comma should, or should not, be used - depending on the writer's choice of style. It appears you may have made a typo, missing the 's' from a contraction of 'it is'. Is the absence of 'is' your oh-so-subtle way of suggesting 'is not'? Did you mean it could have had an Oxford comma, because you have a list of 3 items, but it is not because no comma was used? Was it an ingenious, inventive display of wit, or a dumbass typo? :-)

I began with something to spark readers' curiosity: You sort of got the right answer ... but was it only because you made a typo??? With the value of hindsight, I seriously stuffed up by not stopping before the ellipsis. I diminished my joke by flagging the punchline too early.
I slowly built a case the post I was discussing may have been 'an ingenious, inventive display of wit'. I was not cutting out words from those sentences. I could have used many contractions, but chose to use none. I dragged this section as long as I could, attempting to drug readers into a false sense to security.
Then my joke, my alternative hypothesis, was all over in four short words: 'or [was it] a dumbass typo?'
The punchline would not have worked as well if I'd carelessly written: 'but I think it was just a dumbass typo is the more likely reason.'

Which brings me to another of my rules for writing good humour. I have coined the expression, 'Yin and Yuck'; build them up, and the suspense up, into something that seems noble, wise, or sublime, and then chop them off at the knees with one fell swipe.

Replies:   Joe Long
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Because you confused the issue


You are not blameless in this. If you and Ross hadn't insisted on pounding me over my original comment, things would not have gotten confused.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Joe Long
Updated:

@Ross at Play


I think we've done this topic till it's dead and buried, and reburied, and reburied, ... :-)


I had brought up re-interment. Bury them, dig them up, move them around. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

If you and Ross hadn't insisted on pounding me over my original comment

Well, your original comment was a no-brainer. You agreed my two sentences were both correct then "informatively" added they meant two different things.
My original objection, to you and two others, was the part of my post you omitted from your quote made it clear the were demonstrating that different punctuation may be needed to distinguish between meanings. I suggested others read posts before responding, or at least not misrepresent what others have said by being too selective in what they quote.
My example sentences were:

(a) I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funerals.
(b) I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funeral.

Your next post responding to that began with the words:

You did not choose well. The difference in meaning is not due to the difference in punctuation, but rather it's due to the fact that you use funerals(plural) in the first sentence, and funeral(singular) in the second.

WHAT THE FUCK! I chose well enough for you to see the two sentences had different meanings! They were identical except for the punctuation and one word changed from a singular to its plural.
WHAT IF I had included a third example?

(a) I'll see you at Bobby's and Betty's funerals.
(b) I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funeral.
(c) I'll see you at Bobby and Betty's funerals.

Do (a) and (c) have different meanings? According to the references they do. (a) means one, at least, different funerals for both Bobby and Betty. (c) means more than one joint funeral for both Bobby and Betty. IT IS the difference in punctuation that changes meaning: that is the only difference between them.

I WIPE MY HANDS OF YOU!
You claim you want to change "bad habits", to be less combative. YOU DON'T EVEN TRY.
So, I prefer we go back to the 'bad old days'. It will waste less of my time. Lets go back to a constant state of constant, barely restrained, open, mutual hostility. At least then I can ignore you or respond with some dismissive brush-off most of the time. So, you'll get the last word most of the time. You'll undoubtedly think that shows you've "won", but I'm content to allow others to judge for themselves just how trivial or stupid, irrelevant, mean spirited, and/or destructive they may be.

I sincerely tried to help when you said to wanted to stop getting into needless fights.
The contrary evidence is too strong. Wanting needless fights is your main reason for being here.

TROLL, BE DAMNED!

Ross at Play

A question for Switch ...

If a bank robber yelled at you, "Lay down on the floor facedown with your hands over your head," would you ask, "Excuse me, sir, but don't you mean 'lie'?"

(This joke was stolen from Roy Peter Clark)

Joe Long
Updated:

@Ross at Play


"Excuse me, sir, but don't you mean 'lie'?"


"You best believe me - I ain't lying. Now on the floor!"

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

would you ask, "Excuse me, sir, but don't you mean 'lie'?"


Nope, I'd ask for a change of underwear.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

If a bank robber yelled at you, "Lay down on the floor facedown with your hands over your head," would you ask, "Excuse me, sir, but don't you mean 'lie'?"


"Excuse me sir, would that be duck down or goose down that you want me to lay on the floor?"

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

In the words Nancy Sinatra sang, using that word generously, ...

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang
, the bandit lay me down.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Wow, she got it right. How Unamerican! ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

How Unamerican!

WARNING: Very annoying nitpick alert!

According to The Unmentionable you must never un-capitalise a proper noun when you to add a prefix to it. You should hyphenate the prefix and retain the capital letter.

So yes, it is very un-American. :-)

Ross at Play
Updated:

Continuing on in the style of a nun in a Catholic School who enjoys a bit of BD on SMs (slack miscreants), once you use one hyphen to connect a prefix or suffix to a multi-word proper noun, you then need to hyphenate the entire thing. Thus 'pre-Civil-War', not 'pre-Civil War'.

EDIT TO CORRECT:
This statement is wrong, and I correct it a bit further down.

Replies:   Joe Long  Switch Blayde
Joe Long

@Ross at Play

Thus 'pre-Civil-War', not 'pre-Civil War'.


Assuming you mean the War Between the States, I don't recall ever seeing it hyphenated here - but point taken in general.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Joe Long

I don't recall ever seeing it hyphenated here

To be clear, I mean 'Civil War', but 'pre-Civil-War' ... according to that bunch of Grammar Nazis from Chicago who are universally loathed here.

EDIT TO CORRECT:
This statement is wrong, and I correct it a bit further down.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@Ross at Play

according to that bunch of Grammar Nazis from Chicago who are universally loathed here.


There are some phrasings that just need to be avoided

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

Bang bang, the bandit lay me down.


"Lay" is used properly there.

It was "Lay lady lay," by Bob Dylan that's wrong.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

"Lay" is used properly there.

You may have missed I used italics when I was quoting the song but changed to roman for last few words I changed.
The last line of the song is:

Bang bang. My baby shot me down

I played with that and came up with:

Bang bang. The bandit lay me down

I'm sure that sometimes my attempts at humour go over my head too. :-)

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@Ross at Play

In the somewhat non-standard English that I learned growing up near Pittsburgh, 'lie' refers to an untruth, while 'lay' refers to the placement of objects.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Joe Long


In the somewhat non-standard English that I learned growing up near Pittsburgh, 'lie' refers to an untruth, while 'lay' refers to the placement of objects.


"lie" also means to recline. "He lies on the bed." The past tense being, "He lay on the bed." And the past participle is, "He had lain on the bed."

"lay" means to put down. "He lay the book on the table." The past tense being, "He laid the book on the table." The past participle being, "He had laid the book on the table.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


"lie" also means to recline.


Not here. It's been stricken from our vocabulary generations ago.

Recline means to physically put one's self down, therefor "I'm going to go lay down and take a nap. Please don't bother me."

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Joe Long

In the somewhat non-standard English that I learned growing up near Pittsburgh, 'lie' refers to an untruth, while 'lay' refers to the placement of objects.

An often-mentioned point here is the verb 'lie' is something its subject with their body (its an intransitive verb), while 'lay' is something the subject does to the object of the verb (its a transitive verb).

EDIT TO ADD:
SB answered this while I was drafting a post for another thread. He explained what I meant far better than me. :-)

Switch Blayde

@Joe Long

I'm going to go lay down


I believe that's used often enough to be considered right, even though it's not.

Just like Ross's previous post where he says, "I meant far better than me" which of course should be "...better than I." But "me" sounds better (less formal?)

Replies:   Ross at Play  Joe Long
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

not 'pre-Civil War'.


That must be a CMoS rule. I just came across the following and I'm sure it follows the AP Style Guide:

Russian officials welcomed Donald Trump's presidential win last year, hoping to mend relations with the United States that reached a post-Cold War low under President Barack Obama


Notice the "post-Cold War"

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Just like Ross's previous post where he says, "I meant far better than me"

NOT LIKE, in fact.
"Rules? Schmules!" as far as grammar goes for me - but I DO NOT knowingly choose a word with a similar meaning instead of one with the precise meaning I want.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Notice the "post-Cold War"

MEA CULPA!

The rational explanation is the span of capitals for a proper noun defines it completely - thus there's no reason to use a hyphen to guide readers to the conclusion it is an indivisible grouping of words, i.e. one hyphen after the prefix connects it to the entire proper noun.

I remembered there was something unusual in CMoS about the punctuation of this type of construction.

Forgive if that 'something' was so arcane, and I was careful not to choose a close-enough synonym for that word, that I forgot what it was. Then, when I decided to mention this one is different, the only thing I could imagine being different was it must suggest hyphenating the entire thing.

CMoS in 6.80 totally lost the plot, in my opinion. They suggest the hyphen to connect a prefix to a multi-word proper noun should not be a hyphen??? They recommend the use of a dash instead???

Replies:   Joe Long  Ross at Play
Joe Long

@Switch Blayde

Just like Ross's previous post where he says, "I meant far better than me" which of course should be "...better than I." But "me" sounds better (less formal?)


The proper structure is "better than I am" in which 'I' is the subject of 'am.' When 'am' is dropped off the end, 'I' then sounds strange at the end, appearing to be an object, and is thus replaced with 'me' which is an object.

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

The rational explanation is the span of capitals for a proper noun defines it completely


Will make note of that.

We are quite the pedantic bunch, aren't we?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Joe Long

We are quite the pedantic bunch, aren't we?

YOU THINK ???

You just posted a three-line explanation for why the non-grammatical 'me' is often used instead of 'I'.
Perhaps a week ago I made a post at least three screens long discussing what authors should do because so many native speakers do that.
Check it out. You may learn a few new things from it.

How to you find that post?
Do a Google search on address for the entire Author Hangout,
storiesonline.net/d/s2/author-hangout
Pick a word as the second search string likely to be used in the post you want, but not much in others.
I suggest 'nominative'. That post may be the last to use that word here, and I used it several times.

I do not claim to hold the title as Most-Annoying Nitpicking Pissant for nothing, Sonny Jim.

Replies:   Joe Long  Joe Long
Joe Long

@Ross at Play

YOU THINK ??


I'm having fun, finding a place where I'm in my element.

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

You just posted a three-line explanation for why the non-grammatical 'me' is often used instead of 'I'.


Because I had the correct explanation of 'why' that everyone had missed. And I did it in three lines!

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Joe Long

Because I had the correct explanation of 'why' that everyone had missed. And I did it in three lines!

We didn't miss it. It's been discussed here before.

'Why'? That's easy and irrelevant to us here.
What should we do? That takes screens to answer thoroughly!

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long
Updated:

@Ross at Play

Apparently I missed that.

'Why'? That's easy and irrelevant to us here.


But understanding why people do something can help resolve a situation. I'm big on pattern recognition in analysis.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Joe Long

The proper structure is "better than I am" in which 'I' is the subject of 'am.' When 'am' is dropped off the end, 'I' then sounds strange at the end, appearing to be an object, and is thus replaced with 'me' which is an object.


"I" follows "than". That's the rule I know.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

"I" follows "than". That's the rule I know.

The same reasoning leads you to the rule requiring it later in sentences after "not", "like", and "such as".

The first test is whether there is some type of comparison with a subject.
The second test is whether my character or narrator uses the rule correctly.

Ross at Play

@Joe Long

Apparently I missed that.

So, you're not interested in reading my multi-screen monolith? That's understandable.
CW gave us a pithy one-liner which states the what to do, if not the precise instructions for when, and why. Paraphrasing that:

Just don't have an intellectual say, "It be (sic) me (sic)," or a redneck say, "It is I"!

Replies:   Joe Long
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

"I" follows "than". That's the rule I know.

Hi Switch,
Frequently ... But NO! That is not a valid rule.
You've often stated here you are "not good with grammar". That is false modesty. When others ask what to do with example sentences you are uncannily good at stating what is needed so their sentence means what they want.
But, you tend provide explanations that over-simplify matters. :(
On the hand, and try as I do, I tend to make things that are relatively simple sound impossibly complex. :(

I'm sure you don't even apply this "rule" yourself! Rather, it provides your 'first cut' and your ear then tests if the result sounds right.
Surely, you would choose the same final words as I (methinks 'me' there) in both of these sentences:

It is easier for him than me.
He finds it easier than I.

I can state a general rule which always (?) provides the text book answer in these and other types of situations:

Replicate words in complex sentences to find the longest sentence with precisely the same meaning. The "correct" answer is usually then obvious.
But, especially with dialogue and first-person narratives, the correct answer may sound unnatural and may not be "right" for fiction.


That is all you need do for many of the most tricky questions of grammar.

There is, however, one set of tricky questions about grammar for which that rule does not work.
That set is sentences with subjects that are noun phrases including several 'substantives' (i.e. nouns, noun phrases, pronouns, and other parts of speech functioning as nouns) joined by conjunctions (i.e. most commonly 'and', but also 'or', 'but', etc., and even commas).
You cannot expand out sentences to determine whether a singular or plural verb form is needed to agree with the subject of sentences like that. That choice is often very tricky. The most tricky situations I find are those with a complex noun phrase ends with words ending with '-one', '-some', '-body', '-else', etc.

I have not figured out those situations ... yet? I still just trust my ear and hope I'm getting it mostly right.

I think I start a research project trying to come up a set of principles for handling those situations. I know CMOS contains a lengthy set of diktats for what others must do. Very annoyingly, they are incapable of explaining anything like that themselves in language that's not damn near incomprehensible! [I vomit in its general direction!] I've never found to fortitude to wade into those sections of it trying to understand what they are attempting to say.
I think I'll look in New Hart's Rules instead as my starting point for this research. It provides commonly accepted principles for those writing in BrE, while CMOS does that for AmE, but I see no reason BrE and AmE should differ for this question. And New Hart's Rules is generally very good at explaining its recommendations in ways most of us can comprehend easily enough.

Stay tuned ...
And please, don't complain if you dislike the guides I use in my research. Do as you wish, but some here will welcome knowing what these guides say on this question. Don't shoot the messenger, even if they have rewritten the message hoping to be more helpful to others.

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

So, you're not interested in reading my multi-screen monolith?


I've given it my best shot.

I thought I had read through all the comments on my way down the page, but it's possible I may have glossed over or forgotten some details.

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@Joe Long

Compare:

When it comes to potting long balls, Mike is better than I.
Grammarians - correct.
Humans - yeuk.

When it comes to potting long balls, Mike surpasses I.
Grammarians - wrong.
Humans - yeuk.

Yet the second sentence contains a substitution for 'is better than' which has the same meaning!

I know science is a deprecated subject in this forum, but whenever a Grammarian tells me I should use 'I' in that context, I'll tell them they're wrong and they need to go and learn the principles of logical thinking.

AJ

Ross at Play

@Joe Long

Me:
So, you're not interested in reading my multi-screen monolith?
You:
I've given it my best shot.

It is a very tough read. I did my best, but a thorough explanation gets very complicated.

Its main takeaway points are not that bad. CW's explanation of what to do says that all superbly.
The only points I made that are worth trying to remember are at the end, when I think I identify the situations when there is great variability in what native speakers do.

Joe Long

@awnlee jawking

When it comes to potting long balls, Mike is better than I.
Grammarians - correct.
Humans - yeuk.


Perhaps I'm wrong (but that doesn't happen very often) but I would say that this isn't grammatically correct and sound wrong for the same reason - 'I' is a subject that needs to be followed by a verb. I would never say or write your example but am totally fine with 'Mike is better than I am.'

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I'll tell them they're wrong and they need to go and learn the principles of logical thinking.

Shouldn't that be 'illogical, human-style thinking'? :-)

An irrelevant BTW ...
I have seen claims that the rule of nominative/objective cases for subjects/objects was another fabrication by the twits who popularised myths about not splitting infinitives and not ending ending sentences with prepositions. Was that in the 18th or 19th centuries?
However, I noticed in the Oxford dictionary the definitions of 'thee' and 'thou' state that long ago the were distinguished in the same way is correct nowadays for 'me' and 'I'.
I conclude that was the "rule" at one time, but the language has evolved to the point it is often just one of the valid options.

Replies:   BlacKnight
Ross at Play

@Joe Long

I would never say or write your example but am totally fine with 'Mike is better than I am.'

That is the simple way to write something nobody will think sounds odd: just repeat the verb.
I'm inclined to look for the theoretical solution to a given problem.

I TOTALLY REVISE ALL MY PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATIONS!
The first thing to do if uncertain about whether to use the nominative or objective case should be to test whether you can add a verb to the end of the sentence. If you can, you'll have no doubts that the nominative case sounds best. :-)

awnlee jawking

@Joe Long

am totally fine with 'Mike is better than I am.


Me too. I know it's not our job to do what grammarians have failed to do properly, but my explanation would be that 'I' is the subject of 'am' in that example.

AJ

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@awnlee jawking

I know it's not our job to do what grammarians have failed to do properly


Out job as writers is to effectively communicate with readers. We should write what the readers understand.

Dialogue can have some degree of dialect or idioms to convey setting, but that should be moderated in order to keep it readable.

Joe Long
Updated:

Unfortunately, when I was younger and poorer, I had a few appointments with the local court and had occasion to sit through other's proceedings while awaiting my own.

One of the rules I learned through observation was, "Never confuse the judge." For our work, the readers are the judges.

*Another was, "Don't piss off the judge."

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ross at Play

@Ross at Play

They recommend the use of a dash instead???

[Sorry, folks. I can't resist responding to my own post.]

Sorry, Virginia. That demented debacle of despicable despots really does say thou shalst not write 'Chuck Berry-style', rather thou mustest use 'Chuck Berry--style'.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

the correct answer may sound unnatural and may not be "right" for fiction.


I had that happen. A Pakistani girl I knew read my novel and told me I used "her" where it should have been "she" (like the "me" and "I" rules). English was her second or third language so she probably spent more time on grammar rules than native English speakers do (more formal rather than conversational). Of course she was right, but I left it as "her."

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


When it comes to potting long balls, Mike is better than I.

Grammarians - correct.

Humans - yeuk.


When I was learning lie vs lay, "He lay in the bed" (past tense) sounded wrong to my ear and "He laid in the bed" sounded right. During discussions about it, someone said the second one sounded weird to his ear. I thought he was nuts. But now that I've been using lie/lay correctly, it does to my ear as well.

So if you write and speak "better than I" over and over again, one day "better than me" will sound yeuk.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

You've often stated here you are "not good with grammar". That is false modesty.


Not really. When you talk about the parts of speech and such, it goes way over my head. I guess I have a good ear for grammar, but do not know the formal structure of sentences.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Joe Long

Mike is better than I.
Grammarians - correct.
Humans - yeuk.

Perhaps I'm wrong (but that doesn't happen very often) but I would say that this isn't grammatically correct and sound wrong for the same reason - 'I' is a subject that needs to be followed by a verb. I would never say or write your example but am totally fine with 'Mike is better than I am.'


Mike is the subject of that sentence. The "I" is comparing it to Mike. I don't know the grammatical term for "I" but it's not the subject.

Adding the "am" makes it clearer to the ear, but without the "am," "I" is grammatically correct (although it does sound very formal).

Replies:   Joe Long
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

So if you write and speak "better than I" over and over again, one day "better than me" will sound yeuk.

I have noticed that myself - in just the last few days - and I was someone who typically used 'me' in more situations than most.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I guess I have a good ear for grammar

An 'uncannily good ear' is the expression I used, but your explanations of why are often incomplete.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

but your explanations of why are often incomplete.


LOL Because I don't really know why.

Switch Blayde

@Joe Long

Okay, I went to Grammar Girl.

If "than" is considered a conjunction, then it would be "I".
If "than" is considered a preposition, then it would be "me".

Her article on it wasn't written by her and, to be honest, I don't understand it. So here's the link: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/than-i-versus-than-me

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

If "than" is considered a conjunction, then it would be "I".
If "than" is considered a preposition, then it would be "me".

Often the only way I could figure out if something is functioning as a conjunction or a preposition is by expanding the sentence.
Once I've done that I don't need to figure it out to find the answer I'm looking for. :(

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

So if you write and speak "better than I" over and over again, one day "better than me" will sound yeuk.


Not so long as there's a rule saying that 'I' is the subject, 'me' is the object. That's one rule I believe the grammarians got right. ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  Joe Long
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Not so long as there's a rule saying that 'I' is the subject, 'me' is the object.

I'm not trying to be contrary here.
Consider these two sentences which mean the same thing.

It is easier for him than me.
He finds it easier than I.

In the first 'me' is being equated to 'him', the object of the verb 'is'.
In the second 'I' is being equated to 'He', the subject of the verb 'finds'.
If you expand these two sentences as much as you can and still make sense you get:

It is easier for him than it is easy for me.
He finds it easier than I find it.

It's hard not to make the grammatically correct choice once you've done that.

But then, I would expand a one-word admission, "Me.", out to, "I did it."

Replies:   Joe Long  awnlee jawking
Joe Long

@Switch Blayde

without the "am," "I" is grammatically correct


If I hear, "than I." I always think, "than I what?" Probably just how I grew up

Joe Long

@awnlee jawking

Not so long as there's a rule saying that 'I' is the subject, 'me' is the object. That's one rule I believe the grammarians got right. ;)


That's what I've been going by.

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

It's easier for him than it is for me.
He finds it easier than I do.


Those are what I was raised to say. My point earlier is that while perhaps only one particular form is grammatically correct, what's important is how well the readers will understand what's written.

Of course, there can be a bias, as just because I easily understand certain phrasings doesn't mean others will.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

He finds it easier than I find it.


When you explicitly add another verb for 'I' to be the subject of, then I agree. But without it, I'm sticking to 'me' because it doesn't look like the subject of the sentence.

So we're going to have to disagree. I still blame grammarians for trying to overcomplicate the situation.

AJ

Replies:   Joe Long  Ross at Play
Joe Long

@awnlee jawking

But without it, I'm sticking to 'me' because it doesn't look like the subject of the sentence.


That's what most people here do when they're speaking. It sounds wrong to my ears, so instead I add a verb after 'I'.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

So we're going to have to disagree.

We agree on what sounds most natural. :-)
I think we disagree on whether the grammar of which pronoun is correct changes once a verb is explicitly added.
I do agree we can let it go.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  Joe Long
BlacKnight

@Ross at Play

An irrelevant BTW ...
I have seen claims that the rule of nominative/objective cases for subjects/objects was another fabrication by the twits who popularised myths about not splitting infinitives and not ending ending sentences with prepositions. Was that in the 18th or 19th centuries?
However, I noticed in the Oxford dictionary the definitions of 'thee' and 'thou' state that long ago the were distinguished in the same way is correct nowadays for 'me' and 'I'.
I conclude that was the "rule" at one time, but the language has evolved to the point it is often just one of the valid options.

English used to have not just two but five cases: nominative, genitive, accusative, dative, and instrumental. The latter three have combined into the objective in Present Day English, while the genitive is more usually called the possessive these days. It also declined nouns as well as pronouns. And adjectives, to match their nouns in case, number, and gender (of which there were three, and which had little to nothing to do with the sex, if any, of the referent).

We've ditched almost all of that in the last thousand years, though; practically the only thing we still decline is the personal pronouns.

And, yes, not only was the second person singular pronoun distinct in nominative ("thou"), objective ("thee"), and possessive ("thy/thine") cases, so was the second person plural... the nominative was "ye", the objective "you", the possessive "your". (In Old English: ge, eow, eower, respectively.)

Anyone claiming that English cases were invented by 19th-century prescriptive grammarians with a hard-on for Latin needs to go study some Old English. (And if they've got a problem with the vestigial inflection Present-Day English retains, Old English grammar will probably make them nip off to shoot themselves.)

Ross at Play

@BlacKnight

English used to have not just two but five cases:

Thanks for that info - very interesting.
So, a thousand years of chaotic evolution has resulted in a language that really is very simple, mostly quite logical, and so flexible it's great fun to play with. :-)

Ross at Play

@BlacKnight

19th-century prescriptive grammarians with a hard-on for Latin

I wonder? Were bloggers during the heyday of the Roman Empire as correct with their grammar as my teachers told me I had to be?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I seem to recall one of the sources (can anyone remember which one?) stating that possessives aren't used with units of time.

Specifically, periods of time, e.g. three weeks notice.
Where? 'Twis in thine Unmentionable.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

No. Latin evolved significantly over the period of Roman ascendancy, and suffered the same influxes of foreign words as modern English does, thanks to the Romans conquering and trading with ever more races. And the Romans had teenagers too!

Bizarrely, classical Latin is still evolving, with the version taught in modern classrooms differing from that taught 50 years ago.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Twis in thine Unmentionable


In my underwear? You think I wear my underwear for three weeks? I'll have you know I'm British, I don't even turn it inside out for at least a month! :)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  Joe Long
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I do agree we can let it go.


I know I shouldn't but...

a) Our neighbours have more sex than we
or
b) Our neighbours have more sex than us?

Would you assume 'have' at the end of option a?

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I know I shouldn't but...
a) Our neighbours have more sex than we.
b) Our neighbours have more sex than us.
Would you assume 'have' at the end of option a?

...but you may.

Technically, I believe (a) is correct whether or not you add the word 'have' at the end.
I would only write or say either of these:
a) Our neighbours have more sex than we have.
b) Our neighbours have more sex than us.

In a formal document I would only use 'we have'.
I might use just 'we' in dialogue by a well-educated character in a story set some time ago.

Your version of (a) sounds so awful to me I would never say it - and I would be very rude to anyone who "corrected" my grammar.

Replies:   Joe Long
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I'll have you know I'm British, I don't even turn it inside out for at least a month! :)

LOL. I go commando, but then, my laundry is done by a shop which charges me 20 US cents per kilogram.

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

can let it go


Let it go, let it go!

I can agree on natural and understandable trumping perfect grammar, but here we go!

Joe Long

@awnlee jawking

I'll have you know I'm British, I don't even turn it inside out for at least a month! :)


I told you I was English!

Joe Long

@Ross at Play

a) Our neighbors have more sex than do.


I know 'have' is past and 'do' is present, but that's what people (my wife included) here would invariably say.

Switch Blayde

@Joe Long

I know 'have' is past


"Have" is present perfect tense.

Dominions Son

@Joe Long

I know 'have' is past and 'do' is present, but that's what people (my wife included) here would invariably say.


Since when? Had is the past tense of have and did is the past tense of do.

Have/had are for possessing objects. Do/did are for actions.

Sex is an act, so I would use do rather than have.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@Dominions Son

Since when? Had is the past tense of have and did is the past tense of do.


You're correct.

I'm not good at details of tenses. Even though I was raised on the English language, I can only describe past, present and future, and even on that, I whiffed on this one.

Never mind!

Ross at Play

@Joe Long

I'm having technical difficulties making posts at the moment. This sarcastic diatribe was drafted before you posted your meek concession.
Did someone mention recently we (and I mean the royal 'we') can be a pretty pedantic lot. :-)

Me:
a) Our neighbors have more sex than [we] do.
You:
I know 'have' is past and 'do' is present, but that's what people (my wife included) here would invariably say.

The obvious solution is you should stop writing about sex, and start having it and doing her more often. :-)

Oh, dear. Oh, dearie, dearie me! You do have, but let's not rub it in, a bad case of foot-up-your-arse disease, don't you?

Granted, I wasn't listening to what I was writing when I explained that I would never use 'we' without a verb following it – I use the grammatically incorrect 'us' when the verb is omitted.
So yes, I would say 'we do', not 'we have'.

But … 'have' is NOT PAST. It's not even a past tense of the have-verb!
Check out the-conjugation.com.
You will see some form of the have-verb (have, has,or had) is used in all perfect (aka complete) tenses, and only exists in tenses which are perfect.

Then, the have-verb, which is what was being used here, has its own meaning: to possess, etc.
It is a somewhat irregular verb. Its simple past tense and past participles are both 'had', rather than both being 'haved' if it was conjugated regularly.
It is also the only verb apart from the be-verb to have any irregularity in its simple present tense: the third person is not 'haves', but 'has'.

Ross at Play

@Joe Long

Even though I was raised on the English language ... I whiffed on this one.

So, how can you avoid having some A-hole firing back a sarcastic blast at you?
You have a good ear. There will be times you spot something is wrong and you will know what is better. By all means, tell us what we should have done and give us your best shot.
But many of the mistakes we make are jut missing something when we proofread our post, or nor proofreading at all.
We usually don't need an explanation of our mistake, and woe betide anyone who gets their explanation of our mistake wrong.
You could have said this in your post directed at me:

Shouldn't that be 'more than we do', not 'more than we have'? That is what I'd always say.

I would have responded to that politely and agreed I made a mistake. I'd have still been meek and mild if you'd some scathing joke which only says what I had was wrong, and this is better.
Your "sin" was the presumption I did not know and you could explain what mistake I had made. I'm by no means the only one here with a thin skin, huge ego, and cutting wit when others presume to tell me what I already know.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  Joe Long
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

a) Our neighbors have more sex than [we] do


Shouldn't that be:

Our neighbors do more sex than we [do].

I thought the implied verb was supposed to be the same as the explicit verb.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Joe Long

@Ross at Play

So, how can you avoid having some A-hole firing back a sarcastic blast at you?


Stop having early morning brain farts, especially when distracted by real life events.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Me:
a) Our neighbors have more sex than [we] do
You:
Shouldn't that be: Our neighbors do more sex than we [do].

My square brackets on this occasion were to correct a typo in something I was quoting, '... more sex than do' - not as they are sometimes also used to indicate an implied word. I got it right, but without knowing the history it would be easy to assume it was a mistake. :-)

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