Creative possessive

Based on based on this excerpt from Yahoo! Style, I’d said that this writer is uber imaginative in her creation of a possessive from nothing more than a parenthetical phrase, an apostrophe, and an S:

instagrams paren sty

It’s a real first! I’m pretty sure no one in the English-speaking world has ever tried to put an entire parenthetical between ‘S and the noun it applies to. It’s brilliant! Imagine how dull this would be if she used the traditional “by utilizing the ad-buying interfaces of Facebook (which owns Instagram).” Booo-ring.

Here’s one person’s reaction

Yuk! That’s my reaction to the misplaced apostrophe on Yahoo! Style:

peoples sty

The word people is already plural; its possessive form is people’s (just like the possessive forms women’s, men’s, and children’s).

There’s one exception: If you mean peoples (a group of individuals sharing a common culture, religion, or language) like the peoples of North Africa, then the possessive is peoples’.

For lack of an apostrophe

Lots of actors have played a role as challenging as Hamlet or Macbeth. But no one has played a role as challenging as Joan Smalls. Frankly, I never even knew there was a character named Joan Smalls. The only Joan Smalls I’ve ever heard of is a model. But who am I to question the genius writers at Yahoo! Style?

smalls sty

Of course, if the writer meant that Joan Smalls faced a challenging role, then that would require an apostrophe: a role as challenging as Joan Smalls.

Chris Brown and Tyga share kids

Somehow Chris Brown (who I understand is sometimes referred to as “Breezy”) and Tyga (who is sometimes referred to as a “rapper”) have children together. Who knew? The writer for Yahoo! Celebrity knew:

breezy and tygas

Of course, it’s possible the writer is grammatically challenged and meant to refer to Breezy’s and Tyga’s kids. That would be Breezy’s kid and Tyga’s kid.

If two people together own something, you just need to give an apostrophe and S to the second of the two: Mom and dad’s home; Bill and Hillary’s daughter. But if they each own something separately, each gets the apostrophe and S treatment: Mom’s and dad’s jobs; Bill’s and Hillary’s careers.

No wonder they’re laughing

Did the Cleveland Indians’ players read this on the Yahoo! front page? Is that why they’re laughing?

fp indianss

In the United States, team names are treated as plurals, so it makes no sense to form the plural of a team name by adding an apostrophe and an S. If the name ends in an S, we just add an apostrophe. That’s what we do in the U.S., but the style may be different in the country where this was written.

Meet the world’s most famous blogger

OK, I lied. You will not meet the world’s most famous blogger in this blog. I don’t even know if the world has a most famous blogger. I was just trying to illustrate the punctuation that the editors for Yahoo! Makers should have used here:

worlds diy

Just one person?

There’s just one American whose confidence in housing is on the rise, according to Yahoo! Finance:

americans apos fin

How many grooms were there?

If you read the story that accompanies these photo captions on Yahoo! Style (but really, why would you?) you’d learn that there was only one groom at this wedding. So, it looks like the writer had no idea where to put the apostrophe to show a possessive. It ain’t here:

grooms sty

and it ain’t here:

grooms sty 2

At least she was consistent, which is more than I can say when in comes to spelling the groom’s party attire — somehow it’s both bow ties and bowties.

Where does the apostrophe go?

Confused about the location of the apostrophe when you’re trying to create a possessive noun? Does it go before or after the S at the end? Who knows! Who cares! Just do what the folks at yahoo.com do and put it before and after the S:

fp ex-conss

So different from correct

This is different from correct grammar on the Yahoo! front page:

fp different than players

The writer and editor goofed with the different than, but they also screwed up by omitting an apostrophe: different from most veteran players’.

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