[b-greek] Re: Intrusive apostrophe

From: B. Ward Powers (bwpowers@optusnet.com.au)
Date: Fri Mar 15 2002 - 00:12:46 EST

Dear all,

At 12:51 AM 020315 +0000, Maurice A. O'Sullivan wrote:
>At 18:05 14/03/02, Rob Matlack wrote:
>>"It is not our task to secure the triumph of truth, but merely to fight on
>>it's behalf."--Blaise Pascal
>I know that Pascal isn't to blame for that intrusive apostrophe -- but
>let's honour his memory and leave it out <g>
>Maurice A. O'Sullivan [ Bray, Ireland ]

Hear, hear! Quite right. Many other list members have used this same
intrusive apostrophe, though, in recent years.

An apostrophe s either indicates possession or relationship when it goes on
a noun (as in "the president's friend"), that is, equivalent of "of", Greek
genitive; or an abbreviation. Note that the first type of apostrophe s does
not occur with a pronoun - it is not correct to write hi's, her's, their's
or your's - or it's.

So the only time it is correct to write "it's" is when it is an
abbreviation for "it is" or "it has".

Let's get our English right, as well as our Greek.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-8714-7255
259A Trafalgar Street Phone (Australia): (02) 8714-7255
PETERSHAM NSW 2049 email: bwpowers@optusnet.com.au
AUSTRALIA. Director, Tyndale College

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