Referring once more to my previous post complaining about technology changing and making it difficult to do what once were simple things before you acquired the newest and shiniest new computer program, I’m unable to bring that slide show featuring a beautiful new Utah/Idaho discovery of a new weekend getaway, Bear Lake. I’ll have to work on the issue a little more, or change my venue, or use only a few pictures. But there are other things on my mind nearly as impressing, so I’ll set that problem aside a few days and write about another problem I’ve discovered.
All you grammar enthusiasts, please put your English nerd hat on and help me out here. I’ve always had a few grammar issues locked in my noggin, but usually I get over them, or ignore them if they don’t pertain to my everyday life. I’m done for instance. The only thing on earth that can be or boast that it’s done in my vernacular is something from the oven. Then I still have the authority to decide for myself and check by poking it gently in the bellybutton center and either agreeing or deciding nope, not quite, maybe another five minutes! Don’t remember the rule, but it has something to do with verb agreement–i.e., I have done (the assignment or whatever) and not I am done. It’s quite possible I’m wrong, the older I get the less I realize I know, so if you’re prone to say I’m done, just go right ahead and don’t mind my eccentricities.
On the other hand, Hubby recently brought up another grammar question, this one about possessive nouns. He had taken a turn at writing the agenda for the next day’s curriculum committee meeting because nobody volunteered to do it. (See? There it crops up again, can day be possessive?) Hubby was educated in India and learned English in the Imperial British style. He says he was taught that inanimate nouns cannot be possessive, therefore day’s meeting would be written correctly as days meeting or meeting of the day. It sounds like the committee members were either getting their high on showing off their grammar skills, or else being very nit-picky, depending on which side of the bed you got up on, but they wanted a correction–add the apostrophe in the “corrected” meeting announcement. I think their discussion was bounced around for a few minutes and he added the apostrophe, but still didn’t think it was correct.
I’ve noticed over the years that possessive nouns seem to be one of hardest things for some people to get right. Did I just hear somebody say apostrophe “s” after the noun that own’s the thing? Bingo. That’s how I was taught in those backwoods schools down in Florida in the 1950’s. The problem is that it can be a little confusing sometimes to separate those apostrophes that show possession from those used for contractions that indicate a missing letter in two words, thereby shortening them into one. You’ve probably noticed I do that–A LOT–see?
Is it Virtue is its own reward, or Virtue is it’s own reward? Of course it’s easy to say in this case that it’s is a conjunction to show the “i” is missing. But then, if we go back to possessive noun rules, does “it” own virtue? See how confusing correct grammar can get?
What do you in blog land think? I’d love to learn how you were taught–especially my readers outside the U.S., and particularly those who were British educated or those who speak English as a second language. What is your take on this question of possessive noun rules?
And one other favor I would ask of any of you who’d indulge me…that slideshow of my ancestors/family on MY PAGES (see About Me) in the sidebar. Has it lost the music that used to play when you opened the page to see the show? Or is the problem only mine? That program I used, Slide.com, has–yep, you guessed it, changed since way back then!