May 2, 2016

'A Friend of Joe's' or 'A Friend of Joe'?

TOPICS: , , ,

 

If the word "of" shows possession, aren't the apostrophe and S redundant in "a friend of Joe's"? Perhaps, but if you can't use a possessive S and a possessive noun in the same sentence, how do you explain why "a friend of mine" is better than "a friend of me"? Because English isn't precise and isn't even supposed to be. Here's the full story.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Click player above to listen to the podcast

  • Share

John McIntyre's Peeve Peeves
Posted by June on May 2, 2016
LABELS: ,

 

For about 14 years, I've been engaged in the less-than-endearing  task of telling readers of my newspaper column that their grammar peeves are, in fact, superstitions. So I figured I'd let someone else bear the bad news -- Baltimore Sun copy editor and columnist John McIntyre. And if you still think it's wrong to split an infinitive, start a sentence with "and," end a sentence with a preposition, use "hopefully" to mean "I hope" or use "they" to refer to a single person, McIntyre would like a word.

June Casagrande is a writer and journalist whose weekly grammar/humor column, “A Word, Please,” appears in community newspapers in California, Florida, and Texas. more

The Best Punctuation Book, Period

A Comprehensive Guide for Every Writer, Editor, Student, and Businessperson

The most comprehensive punctuation guide ever, “The Best Punctuation Book, Period” doesn’t just cover the basic rules. It delves into gray areas of punctuation left unclear by the other rule books, showing how the rules differ in four different editing styles. There's also an A to Z reference of commonly mispunctuated terms. more

Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies

A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite

What do suicidal pandas, doped-up rock stars, and a naked Pamela Anderson have in common? They’re all a heck of a lot more interesting than reading about predicate nominatives and hyphens. June Casagrande knows this and has invented a whole new twist on the grammar book. more

Mortal Syntax

Mortal Syntax takes on the 101 most frequently attacked usage choices. Dedicating one short chapter to each, Casagrande brings her subject to life, teaching English usage through lively and amusing personal anecdotes. more

It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences

Your story may be brilliant. Your insights may be groundbreaking. Your characters may be so real you can almost touch them. But they're not worth a thing if you can't bring them to life in well-written sentences. more

  • What to Capitalize in a Headline

    June Anne: You're right. I meant "title case." Brain freeze.

  • How to Punctuate "Hi, June" - Greetings and Direct Addresses

    June Fareed: Yes, "Rachel, hello!" is perfect. It follows the rule that says that a "direct address" -- a name you call someone, is set off from the message with a comma.

  • Dissatisfied vs. Unsatisfied

    Howard Schain I always felt that unsatisfied indicated that nothing was done to satisfy the situation, etc. but dissatisfied meant that there was an attempt to satisfy that failed.

  • A Kinda Corny Trick for Remembering Affect vs. Effect

    Jennifer Reichhart Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your explanation on the difference between affect and effect. I am a high school English teacher and have trouble myself remembering the difference. I recently started a grammar lesson with my 9th grade students and the difference between affect and effect has come up. I told them the difference, but your little "hint" that you are not proud to boast, has helped! Sometimes it's the corny things that stick with us the most and help us out in the greatest way. http://Reichharttalks.weebly.com

  • How to Catch Your Own Typos

    Megan Conley One of my biggest faults in my writing is not editing it enough. I'll give it a quick glance, but that's it. Sometimes I convince myself that I won't catch the errors, so I just let the editors catch them for me. This is so dangerous, because they may not see everything that I do. It's become so important for writers to also be editors, and that's something I'm having to be conscious about every day.