Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Robbie Burns...haggis, whisky (or whiskey), and s apostrophe s

In writing my Mice, Men and Milk of Magnesia post, I did think to include another little coincidence surrounding the timing of my thoughts of the "best-laid plans" line that ran through my head yesterday. As it was late and I wasn't feeling at my most eloquent, I decided to leave it out, and then regretted that decision upon receiving an email this morning from my good friend, the writer, mother and DwL reader, Mel Tibbs. Mel let me know I had missed the chance to make a link to the 250th anniversary of the birthday of the Scottish writer Robert Burns, which was on Sunday, and the fact that the line from Of Mice and Men actually came from Burns's poem To a Mouse (full text can be found here: http://www.bartleby.com/6/76.html). I do like it when little things like that so happen in the world to make me feel that thoughts, actions, and events are linked in some way, even if coincidental.
I did indeed take Blake into nursery today, and this served as a reminder that I needed to clarify a bit of grammar that had for some reason eluded me recently - the question of whether our last name can be left as Lyons' (with just an apostrophe) or whether it should be Lyons's (with an apostrophe s) - as in "Blake Lyons's nappy rash". It has just come up again as I wrote "Burns's poem", so I had to investigate. I think this site gives me the best explanation, although I did find a site which was called Grammar Monster, which I really liked.
http://www.uhv.edu/ac/grammar/apostrophes.asp
I think, though, that if we were talking about our plural possession, it would be something like the Lyonses' spare time. I think that's enough musing on this topic as I am sure I am supposed to be working on other tasks as I write!!

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