Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Santa needs *A Writer’s Reference* under his tree this year.

Santa, dear, I know you’re a very busy man, but you really must spare the time for a quick grammar lesson. Apostrophes and periods are not the same thing. One goes high, one goes low. One implies possession (“the elf’s hat”) or a contraction (“isn’t”), while the other implies some forms of abbreviation (such as Mr. or Mrs.) or even the end of a sentence. They are not the same thing and are not to be used as such. “St. Nick” requires no apostrophization. It does, however, require a period at the end of the abbreviation St. This is so that we don’t fall into the trap of blending the “St” and the “Nick” into one word, pronouncing it “stnick”—like “stick” only with a weird-sounding n in there. Just trying to say that pseudo-word trips me up...and that doesn’t sound very merry or jolly, now does it?

Now that I’ve been a good girl and given you your free grammar lesson, Santa, could you please make sure there’s a little black, quilted Chanel purse under my tree for 2007? You’ve got more than 11 months to procure it, so no excuses!

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