27 May 2007

27 Steps: #20-22

20: Plural versus plural-possessive: On mailboxes and who knows where else, you’ll see a proper noun, such as “the Wilkins,” turned into “The Wilkin’s.” That’s really stupid, because the use of the apostrophe changes the name! The correct plural-possessive form of “the Wilkins” is “the Wilkins’.”

21: And don’t drop apostrophes, however much state departments of transportation may be trying to eradicate that particular punctuation mark – as in road signs that say “Horns Mill Road” and “Wilsons Road.” Next time you see such a barbaric highway sign or mailbox (unless, of course, it happens to be on your own parents’ mailbox), tell ‘em about it! Stand up for proper usage! Be one of the courageous few still holding the line against linguistic nihilism!

22: Avoid hyper-ventilating adjectives, such “fantastic,” “awesome,” “tremendous,” “terrific,” or “unbelievable.” And try to use “great” much more sparingly than many people – especially in show business and sports—are inclined to do. When you think about it, how many truly “great” of anything have you ever encountered? For me, at latest count, it was exactly two. And most of those were strictly personal anyhow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if "fantastic," "awesome," and "tremendous" are off limits am I allowed to use
"super duper"
"simply splendid"
"freaking amazing"