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January 07, 2007

Comments

Jim

In reference to Biff and Bink's summer place, can you clarify how to denote that the summer place is mine and his? Is "My and his summer places..." correct?

Dan Santow

Jim, why wouldn't you just say "our summer place"? Why make it more complicated than it has to be?

Jim

Ah, I thought you might say that. Maybe a better example would be if you wanted to highlight a specific person instead of using a pronoun. For example, "Jim's and your..." vs "Jim and your..." Does that make more sense?

Katie

Dan, how do you feel about using an apostrophe-s to contract the verb "is?"

For example, "Every Monday's half price," meaning every ticket is half price on all Mondays. I know it's awkward, but is it incorrect? Would it be better to say "Mondays are half price" and assume the reader knows that means every Monday?

Dan Santow

Jim, you’re right, in this case both possessors have to be in the possessive form.

Katie, I have to admit that in the example you cite, assuming the sentence is used in regard to baseball or drinks at a bar or something similarly laid back, I don’t mind the way it’s constructed (and it’s not incorrect as far as I can tell). It’s all about context, after all. If it’s being used by the Chicago Lyric Opera to hawk tickets to its latest production of “Turandot,” well, then I might question its propriety.

Andrew Galbraith

Great post, Dan. I'd like to add that the possessive can be particularly tricky because some organizations have proprietary "rules": adidas, for instance (which also stubbornly refuses to capitalize its name), dictates that the possessive should be adidas', not adidas's!

Robyn

Jim, why wouldn't you just say "our summer place"? Why make it more complicated than it has to be?


Because you want to clarify that you mean our-exclusive, not our-inclusive.

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