Thursday, October 31, 2013

Twerk or Treat

I can't tell you how disappointed I was when I heard this morning on the radio that the most popular Halloween costume this year is predicted to be the Twerking Miley Cyrus. "Great!" I thought to myself. "Now what am I going to go as?".

I didn't want to dress like everyone else, so I put away my hot pants and tongue extension. Then, I racked my brain: what am I good at besides twerking? It finally came to me--grammar!

So here are some grammar costumes I came up with.

I could go as the Present Perfect:

 Or a Tense:

Or a Relative Clause:

Or I guess if I wanted to be a little more risque and go for the slutty costume, I could go as a comma. That little hussy will punctuate almost anything!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Should It Stay or Should It Go?

I think the person I relate most to these days is Kate Gosselin. No, I don’t have an ex-husband who suffered an Ed Hardy addiction, nor do I have a brood of children, but if it’s true what they say about childbirth—that women forget about the intensity of the pain and keep having more—then we have something in common. 

If you read my last post, you know that I just moved—and that I absolutely hate moving. (I know, shocking!) However, I thought about it and realized that I have moved over a dozen times in the past ten years. Hence, the Kate connection: I must keep forgetting about the pain.

At least you can’t say I don’t embrace change, right? I bring that up because I was listening to NPR the other day, and Matthew J.X. Malady, a writer for Slate, proposed a change I am not on board with, and I don’t want you to think it’s simply because I fear change.

The change is regarding the apostrophe. He believes it’s unnecessary. He said that it’s becoming a trend to leave apostrophes out, and as the language evolves, the apostrophe will go the way of Jon Gosselin’s career. 

And I get it: I don’t need the apostrophe to identify the words cant and dont. But what about the following sentence: 

Well be there on time.

Well could be the contraction for we and will, but the sentence could also be a command that’s missing a comma: 

Well, be there on time.

I guess we could probably rely on the context of the conversation to discern the meaning, but then there’s the whole issue with possessives. Without the apostrophe, we don’t know if we’re dealing with singular or plural possession. If we leave the apostrophe out of the following sentence, the meaning is ambiguous: 

It was his kids idea to stage an Ed Hardy intervention.

Without the apostrophe, we don’t know if it was only one of the kid’s idea to stage the intervention or all of the kids’ idea.

What do you think about the survival of the apostrophe?