Print

Print


On Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 8:12 PM, Tristan McLeay <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

>
> > > > I see that the Wikipedia entry for [[Apostrophe]] says:
> > > >
> > > > "For possessive plurals of words ending in silent x, z, or s, the
> > few
> > > > authorities that address the issue at all call for an added s,
> > and
> > > > require that the apostrophe precede the s: The Loucheux's
> > homeland
> > is
> > > > in the Yukon; Compare the two Dumas's literary achievements. As
> > usual
> > > > in punctuation, the best advice is to respect soundly established
> > > > practice, and beyond that to strive for simplicity, logic, and
> > > > especially consistency."
> > >
> > > The inclusion of "silent x" there seems to imply that it is
> > possible
> > to
> > > spell "box's" as "box'", which of course it isn't. The
> > > apostrophe-for-possession rule only applies, to my knowledge, to
> > plurals
> > > and particular names, generally biblical or classical.
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > No it doesn't. "Box" doesn't have a silent 'x'. And the paragraph
> > doesn't
> > cover non-silent x's, z's and s's, or singulars.
>
> It most definitely does imply that. Why else would you be discussing
> silent x's if you're not contrasting it against pronounced x's. The
> text doesn't mention silent or t, r, gh. Why not?
>

Because it's highlighting the case of the silent letters, because they
present special difficulties that non-silent letters don't, so the question
is: do you do the same thing as with non-silent letters? It's just phrased
differently.

If I said "my hair is black" it doesn't imply that your hair isn't. It very
well could be.

Whether the article mentions t's or r's or gh's is out of point. The reason
why those three deserve special mention is that they are sibilant when
pronounced and hence traditionally have had variant rules. So when they're
not pronounced (i.e. no longer sibilant), do those rules, formulated for a
sibilant context, apply?

Eugene