What is in a name? Off topic about is

To: "michael hunter" <>
Subject: What is in a name? Off topic about is
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 12:34:32 +1000
I am only sending this to the list only because Michael sent his question to 
the list. If you are not interested, please just ignore this.

Whilst there are rules of grammar, it is best to stick to them, otherwise we 
get confused. I think English is silly for having a s at the end of a word to 
indicate so many different things. Apostrophe is correctly also used for a 
shortening. However this is overdone and the problem is that by using 's for 
shortening, it gets confusing. The evidence being that people are obviously 
confused. I think the worst offenders, who should know better, are TV 
newsreaders. It is necessary to have programs such as the apostrophe 
preservation society to try and keep things correct.

In regard to Michael's suggestion: what's for what is, is as follows, take for 
example that John's hat is correct for describing the hat that belongs to John 
(not that John is a hat) but John's sick for John is sick is wrong and 
confusing and then John's been unwell for John has been unwell make it even 
more confusing. Really the 's for shortening should only apply to it's for it 
is. Even that is confusing because for any other word an 's means possessive as 
in belong to it. The only way out of the problem is for people to always think 
about why the s is there and always use the words is and has in full.

I have written part of this in italics to make the quotes clearer. However 
sadly the font change will not show after going through B-A.


<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU