Chiles As Democratic Spoiler

The Reid Report, which seems to be one of the canniest Florida poliblogs, asks What is he thinking? How Bud Chiles is knifing Alex Sink:

Lawton “Bud” Chiles' run for governor is good for precisely one thing: screwing Alex Sink.

<pedantry>While I find The Reid Report's political analysis admirable, I wish to register a protest to the use of an apostrophe without an “s” to indicate a singular possessive for names happening to end in an “s”.</pedantry>

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11 Responses to Chiles As Democratic Spoiler

  1. Just me says:

    Hey Michael:

    How do you find a list of candidates for Miami-Dade Commission seats? I just spent that last few minutes trying to find a complete list of candidates for District 8, Katy Sorenson’s district, and couldn’t find one.

  2. michael says:

    There will be an official sample ballot, but it doesn’t exist yet, probably since the deadline to register to run seems to be only 29 days before the Aug. 24, 2010, primary, and thus more candidates could theoretically file to run.

  3. Just me says:

    Any thoughts on Obdulio Piedra? I know you are an avowed lefty and all (I’m not far behind), but I like to give everyone a fair shot and he is an old acquaintance. It looks like he will be a candidate, and despite knowing him for some 20 years, I know very little about his politics (beyond that he is probably right of center). What say you?

    btw…my apologies on steering the thread away from the topic.

  4. mfr24 says:

    (love the grammar pedantry)

  5. michael says:

    I don’t claim to know a lot about Mr. Piedra, but if (as has been suggested) he is in fact the LBA’s favored candidate, that would certainly give me pause, as I think they have undue influence on the Commission already without having District 8′s vote too.

  6. js says:

    Using the apostrophe in that fashion is in accordance with the Associated Press style of writing, at least as they teach it in undergrad journalism programs.

  7. Vic says:

    That’s actually grammatically correct as an option. It is most usually seen with plural possevives of Family names: i.e. The Froomkins’ car is not keeping up with the Joneses’.

    And how would you possessivize “Dr. Seuss”? Dr. Suess’s? Really? (and note, Mr. Grammer, that it is also perfectly acceptable to put the second quote inside the period when you are not merely quoting, but setting a phrase or word off from the rest.)

    However, some do disagree with the whole s’s thing. And you being a professor (ironically) probably have a whole rigid set of rules that you like to follow around like Moses, without ever questioning their source… But consistency and understandability is the key in English. Unlike dead languages like French, English, German, and a few others allow changes and exceptions that make sense to everyone. So it’s Suess, Suesses, Suess’, Suesses’, so long as you consistently use that method in whatever you are writing.

    Caveat: I havn’t actually looked at the source you are complaing about here, so I can’t say that they are just bugging you, or are actually incorrect

  8. michael says:

    I have no problem with a trailing ‘ for plural possessives of family names. It’s the Froomkins’ car because it belongs to all of us. We add the s’ like would for anything else. But it’s Froomkin’s shirt, because it’s mine.

    I got sensitized to this issue of surnames ending in “s” when I clerked for Judge Williams, who cared that it was Judge Williams’s opinion, not Judge Williams’ opinion. It was the Williams’ family car, though.

  9. Just me says:

    What about first names end in s. Is it James’ car or James’s car. I’ve always thought the prior.

  10. michael says:

    I’d say if James is one person, it’s James’s car. If they’re a family it is the James’ car. To my eye it would be really overcomplicated to have different rules for first names and surnames, especially as names like James could be either.

  11. Vic says:

    Well now you are just making up the rules as you go! :-) In fact we DO have different rules for surnames and first names, and we have different names for current surnames and ancient surnames. (for example, under your rule, it’s Socretes’s, while properly, it’s Socretes’. It is perfectly proper, in fact, to say “Froomkin’s car is not keeping up with Socretes’,” or “Froomkins’ [sing.] car is not keeping up with Socretes’.” And if Socretes’ last name was Jones…)

    Not sure if Williams would have any real tendancy for one way or the other. In one sense, we think of it now as just a name, and in that, maybe William’s is correct. But in derivation, it signifies a plural, family relationship (s is short for “son of”), so in a sense, it is a natural plural, which ending in s, would be Williams’.

    That’s all just way too crazy though. The reality is, English allows it both ways, and only someone being really pedantic cares, so long as the writer is internally consistant. If you want to get nuts about something, how about how the word “impact” is now used to mean affect and effect, as verb and adjective! That’s something to get fired up over!

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