Karen’s Conundrum – The Apostrophe Catastrophe – REVISITED

The Obsessive Possessive – Part One


“Jesus loves me, this I know …” and because of that, I know all will be forgiven when I revisit “The Obsessive Possessive – Part One” to discuss possessive Jesus, and the Joneses and their possessiveness. Let’s start with Jesus—and then we’ll clear up my Jones faux pas.

If we were to follow the revised CMoS rule (as I cited in my original post)—

 7.16 Possessive of proper nouns, letters, and numbers. “The general rule extends to proper nouns, including names ending in s, x, or z, in both their singular and plural forms, as well as letters and numbers.”

—then possessive Jesus would follow the same form as possessive Jones, and we’d all have Jesus’s blessings as we dove to great depths to find Davy Jones’s locker .

Or so you would be led to believe …

Karen's Conundrum Logo

Continue reading “Karen’s Conundrum – The Apostrophe Catastrophe – REVISITED”


Karen’s Conundrum – The Apostrophe Catastrophe

The Apostrophe Catastrophe

Such a deceiving little character the apostrophe is. It’s light and floats above the line. It flits between letters allowing us to add dialect to our dialogue, condense words, and show possession. At first blush, it looks like a harmless, helpful elf that wins our trust with a wink. And then, just like a light breeze in cahoots with puffy white clouds can turn a beautiful afternoon into a severe weather event, that innocent-appearing mark of punctuation has the uncanny ability to wreak havoc in the mind of the writer, causing the flow of words to come to a screeching halt, and for one to suffer an acute case of monkey brain.

I have been jonesing to attack the rules of the apostrophe and today I begin that challenge. I invite you to accompany me on this journey, but I must warn you, the odds of us sinking to the depths of Davy Jones’s locker are extremely high. In fact, it’s pretty much a sure bet. If you’re still game, let’s dive into the deep, apostrophe-infested waters and tackle …

Karen's Conundrum Logo

Continue reading “Karen’s Conundrum – The Apostrophe Catastrophe”

Karen’s Conundrum – Quotation Marks and Parentheses: The Copious Incurvatures

Recently a request was made for me to address the conundrum of the copious incurvatures—quotation marks and parentheses—and their circuitous relationship with various punctuation marks.
I welcomed the challenge with open arms. And as I attempted to wrap my brain around the task at hand, I flipped the pages of my Chicago Manual of Style (CMoS) to Chapter 6, and dove in. In an effort to make the cited rules more embraceable, I have incorporated in my examples quotes (some verbatim, some paraphrased) of George Carlin.
(Disclaimer: All italicized examples contain George Carlin’s words, in one form or another.)

Now, here we go.

Karen's Conundrum Logo

Continue reading “Karen’s Conundrum – Quotation Marks and Parentheses: The Copious Incurvatures”