Just Wanna Know

Revolutionary Propaganda Organ

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I've been waiting to get this up for the past several years. If you're a punctuation nerd like me, you might also have noticed Sears leading the way in the campaign to eradicate the apostrophe. Not only does the apostrophe signify possession and contraction, but it also is used by some to mark plurals of single letters or numerals. This plurality of uses confuses many writers, who even now are plotting to get rid of the apostrophe.

Ah, but the ghost remains in the registered trademark. There are many questions to pursue here--a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous--but one of these is, does the trademark work to motivate any semantic content? If so, what?

Is the ghost aware of its own ironic presence/absence?


At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you heard about the "Arkansas Apostrophe Scandal"? Well, I think I'm the only one who considers it a scandal. They (whoever "they" may be) at some point in the near past, were considering changing the spelling of the posessive form of Arkansas. So, "Arkansas' natural resources" would read: "Arkansas's natural resources". Am I really the only person in the state who finds that offensive? Geez, we're not hillbillys!

At 2:26 PM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

Oh, how well I remember that particular debate. I found out that there are two Arkansases--Arkansas' anti-final-S crowd, and Arkansas's pro-final-S crowd--and these Arkansases's, or Arkansases', mutual hatred of one another runs deep.

Language Log had a good round-up: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/004291.html

At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good round-up, but being the grammar freak that I am, I MUST know which is the correct form of possesion? Seriously, I woke up in the middle of the night 2 days ago, and do you know what my first concious thought was? "But which is the RIGHT way?!" I was nearly in a panic until I realized it was 2:14 am and who really gives a fuck besides me anyway? HA!

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Jamie Brandon said...

Offically--by a new law signed into being by Gov. Bebe--the possessive is "Arkansas's"...I, however, will always prefer (and secretly harbor in my non-offical, non-state agency correspondence) "Arkansas'"

BTW: I love the "ins/outs/what-have-yous" reference...

At 11:57 AM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

Jamie, nice to see you surface again! I like to put these little things in just to see whether people are paying attention to the strands in the old Duder's head...


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