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Four Angels of the Apostrophe

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  • Maurice Thomas
    Neil Innes once wrote a song called How Sweet to be an Idiot . In it, there is the quite wonderful line hey you, you re such a pedant; you ve got as much
    Message 1 of 152 , Apr 1, 2003
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      Neil Innes once wrote a song called "How Sweet to be an Idiot".  In it, there is the quite wonderful line "hey you, you're such a pedant; you've got as much brain as a dead ant; and as much imagination as a caravan site; but I love you". Sums me up.
      Now, the apostrophe. Its role is much misunderstood, but I find it's an attractive little fellow. My dog's fur is brown; those dogs' tails are wagging; dogs are carnivorous. A single Iraqi's freedom is hard to protect; the Iraqis' desire for self-determination could perhaps be better served than by the incursion of armed enforcers; it is execrable that so many Iraqis must die to see their lot changed for the better in these supposedly enlightened times. PLEASE NOTE. These are not assertions to be challenged - these are simply examples of apostrophe deployment.
      I used to live in the leafy suburb of Borehamwood, in London's "Trailer Park" area. There, shopkeepers would regularly try to sell what they called "leggin's". Their heartwarming affection for the apostrophe would spare no word that had an s on the end. I swear I even saw "sock's" for sale at one point, and holidays in the "Yorkshire Dale's".  These days, the locals content themselves by setting people on fire, so perhaps they have desisted from the butchery of their own tongue.
      I don't think that one becomes a better person by correctly using little upside down commas - I only need to look to myself for proof of that pudding - but certainly levels of self-satisfaction can be increased, sometimes to pre-war levels.
      Maurice OTM
      (OTM - callow attempt at new acronym - On The Mess)
      -----Original Message-----
      From: AbyssAngyl@... [mailto:AbyssAngyl@...]
      Sent: 01 April 2003 07:58
      To: Julian-May-discuss@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Julian-May-discuss] Re: And so, back to topic

      In a message dated 3/31/03 8:28:00 AM Pacific Standard Time, mozzer@... writes:

      By the way - IRAQI'S means "belonging to an Iraqi". IRAQIS means many Iraqi
      people. If you want to mis-quote or correct me, please leave my punctuation


      no, that's Iraqis' personal posssesive

      Only if you wish to indicate that many Iraqis own something.
    • Joe Singleton
      ... And ... You re right, compared to the others, Parnell was probably borderline retarded, but compared to us mere deadhead types, he was still probably
      Message 152 of 152 , Apr 4, 2003
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        --- In Julian-May-discuss@yahoogroups.com, "homologoustrend"
        <asayeed@m...> wrote:
        > --- In Julian-May-discuss@yahoogroups.com, Ian J Greely <ian@t...>
        > > There was, his name was Marc.
        > But Marc is a genius, a genius. I think that Parnell was the Dumb
        > Jock, and he was a Hydra. Gordo possibly also qualifies, another
        > Hydra. In any case, throughout the books, high metapsychic quotients
        > also vastly increase intelligence. Not really founded in real-life
        > psych and evolution but a cool idea for JM's thought experiment.
        > we don't see any of Philip and Aurelie's myriad children, some of
        > which may have become Dumb Jocks. And remember, though she wasn't a
        > jock at all, Marie became only a mere professor of history (no
        > fancy-schmancy equations or anything) and a writer of drug-store
        > novels under a pseudonym...

        You're right, compared to the others, Parnell was probably borderline
        retarded, but compared to us mere deadhead types, he was still
        probably pretty high up in the IQ digits. He was corrupt and
        psychologically stunted, so that may explain his impulsiveness. All
        the Hydras were psychologically stunted, after all.

        I got, regarding Marie, that she was quite a bit less ambitious than
        her siblings. I guess if she'd been born earlier, she would have been
        forced into some line of work considered more "valuable" to humanity.

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