Yeah, yeah – I’ve covered these subjects before. Still I have this missionary zeal to preach them. The first one, I think, represents confusion more often found in bilingual South Africans than in other English speakers. Such lose usage makes me loose my mind! 🙂
LOSE AND LOOSE
Though ‘lose’ and ‘loose’ can cause confusion
This tip may give a brain infusion –
What is lost is what you lose,
What comes loose can often ooze!
If you put one in a plural
Punctuation skills are rural!
(When replacing missing letter,
Then that is a good deal better);
‘Its’ unless ‘it is’ has none –
It’s the way its comma’s done!
Singular possession, dress
Word with comma front of ‘S’;
Plural, after ‘S’ it goes –
Thus the reader number knows;
If with ‘S’ a word should end,
With a further ‘S’ extend.
On the latter point, I do not agree with the modern trend towards leaving that second ‘S’ out. It makes for sloppy, lazy and risky punctuation. Take, ‘This is Jones’s property’ – a single Jones owns it. ‘Jones his property’ is what you are shortening. Jointly owned by two brothers, you would have, ‘This is Jones’ property,’ or to be ultra-considerate to the reader, ‘This is Joneses’ property.’ Here, the punctuation enables one to add a detail towards understanding which the spoken version does not.
One of the words many argue strongly against adding the extra ‘S’ to is Jesus. Again, I disagree. One needs to leave the ability to distinguish between things owned by a number of Jesuses, or just one. Also, unless one speaks in a sloppy manner, one would tend to pronounce ‘Jesus’s disciples’ as ‘Jesus-ziz’ Thus, why not write it like that? Unless, of course, you are saying ‘in Jesus’ name’, where the ‘-ziz’ is mostly left out. I think it actually represents ‘in Jesu’s name’ when said thus.
If you think about it, an apostrophe properly used is always replacing a missing letter or element, because used for possession it is still there to show something which has been left out – ‘his’, ‘hers’, ‘its’ or ‘their(s)’. Therefore, to use the apostrophe to make a plural look more elegant should be punishable by being shredded slowly, from toes upward, and fed to trolls.
© July 2012 Colonialist (WordPress/Letterdash)