On Sat, 22 Apr 2017 16:28:38 -0700 (PDT), David Kleinecke
Post by David Kleinecke Post by Richard Yates
On Sat, 22 Apr 2017 12:01:46 +0000 (UTC), Theodore Heise
Post by Theodore Heise
On Thu, 20 Apr 2017 18:53:53 -0700 (PDT),
Post by Jack Campin Post by David Kleinecke
Fogarty says ACES is where all the big linguistic news
breaks. ???It???s where we first heard in 2011 that the
Associated Press would no longer use a hyphen in email
and in 2016 that the Associate Press would lowercase
internet???and now today, the AP is leading the charge
What I find funny is what some people think linguistics is
PS: American Copy Editors Society
Shouldn't it be American Copy Editors' Society?
They are very coy about what their name is - they almost always
write just ACES. But I tracked down a instance of the full name
(on their donation form).
So this is usage I've questioned at work. From time to time we
will organize a meeting of principal investigators for one of the
clinical studies we sponsor. The group that manages the logistics
has settled on "Investigators' Meeting" to describe the activity,
but I contend the apostrophe is not needed. The meeting is of
(and for) the investigators, but does not belong to them (many
folks from the sponsoring company also attend and participate).
Similarly here, the society is for copy editors, but maybe(?) not
owned by them--almost certainly not by all of them, at any rate.
The society does not belong to the members, but the members do belong
to the society. Cf. John's alma mater, Mary's generation.
Possession can get VERY abstract. Consider
the empty set's successor
this doesn't even have a meaning unless you know a definition
of "successor". In classical set theory the empty set is also
named 0 and its successor is defined as 1.
From the AUE website "Genitive is Not Always Possessive":
by Bob Cunningham
Over the years there have been postings to AUE that were based upon
the misconception that the genitive case always indicates
possession. This fallacy leads to people saying things like 'It
can't be right to say "the room's furnishings" because a room can't
The genitive case is in fact used for several things besides
possession. Bergen and Cornelia Evans, in A Dictionary of
Contemporary American Usage, discuss seven genitive types:
1. Classifying or descriptive genitive ("the room's furnishings")
2. Possessive genitive ("Irene's coat")
3. Subjective and objective genitive ("God's creation")
4. Genitive of purpose ("He has written many children's books.")
5. Measures and other adverbial genitives ("At one time the genitive
form of certain words could be used as an adverb. Most of our
adverbs that end in an 's' (or 'z') sound, such as "nowadays,"
"since," "sometimes," "upwards," are survivals from this period.)
6. Survivals of "an old genitive of source" ("hen's eggs")
7. Partitive and appositive genitives (don't exist in English, but
we express them with an "of" phrase, as in "some of us," "the
state of Ohio," "the title of president")
(The Evanses give a detailed discussion of each type; I've only
hinted at their discussions, mostly by giving a few examples.)
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage says, in part:
Bishop Lowth in 1762 used the word possessive in place of the older
term genitive; so then did other 18th-century grammarians, and many
grammarians since have used it. This change in terminology has led
to a few minor usage problems based on the erroneous supposition
that the only function of the genitive is to show possession. [...]
Fries found that the possessive genitive was the most common, but
that it accounted for only 40-percent of all genitives.
They discuss a number of uses of the genitive and give examples of
each. Under 'descriptive genitive or classifying genitive', with the
comment 'Fries adds the genitive of measure to this', they list:
the room's furnishings
the airplane's speed
the building's foundation
one day's leave
a dollar's worth
a year's wages
the Eighty Years' War
A comment in MWDEU concerns the rephrasing of the genitive with
apostrophe to a structure with a prepositional phrase, as in:
'the airplane's speed' => 'the speed of the airplane'.
They point out that in what one grammarian (Evans) has called the
genitive of purpose the prepositional phrase must use the
preposition 'for' rather than 'of', as in:
'men's shirts' => 'shirts for men', and
'a girls' school' => 'a school for girls'.
Peter Duncanson, UK