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...of which this page title is, by Wiki convention, an example.

It's is not, it isn't ain't, and it's it's, not its, if you mean it is. If you don't, it's its. Then too, it's hers. It isn't her's. It isn't our's either. It's ours, and likewise yours and theirs.
-- Oxford University Press

Wednesday's Late Night Shopping At The Grafton Centre Until 7pm.
-- Grafton Centre Publicity
Hang on, this makes sense. "Wednesday is Late Night Shopping at the Grafton Centre". Ok, so there's an elided "night" after "Shopping", but still. In any case, doesn't "Wednesdays Late Night Shopping..." make less sense? --CH
Can Wednesday be said to own shopping?  --Vitenka  (That sounds like a hitherby...)
That's not my point. This apostrophe is doing the "abbreviated 'is'" job. Wednesday doesn't own shopping, Wednesday is Late Night Shopping [night]. --CH
Interesting bit of English there then, since both are valid interpretations and both mean the same thing in the end.  Could also be Wednesday has late night shopping, though has is rarely apostrophed out.  --Vitenka

many people who sell Stuff

..the thing being talked about belongs to a person who sells Stuff

..the thing being talked about belongs to many people who sell Stuff

belonging to it

it is


While we're at it,

in that place / in that direction

..their x..
..the x belonging to them..

x is theirs
the x belongs to them

they are

syntax error

"belonging to the heir" (regional) - strictly, you should never have two apostrophes in one word.
Really?  That's one I've never come across before... --M-A
Well, I wouldn't've said that. - ChiarkPerson
I wouldn't have said that.  Multiple apostrophes are best left to fantasy authors. --NT

syntax error

syntax error


Does anyone know whether the correct term is ones x or one's x when using one as a pronoun?  The former would be consistent and is what MikeJeggo currently uses, but MikeJeggo has come not to expect consistency from the EnglishLanguage.

One's x, I believe. Why is that inconsistent? - MoonShadow

Because it isn't I's x or him's x.  Ugh.  --Vitenka
On the grounds that 'one' is a pronoun not a noun in this context, and so consistently one's would be as wrong as he's (if you were using the latter to mean his).  However, probably due to the fact that 'one' is not often used in this sense in modern English, there is a complete lack of consensus on the form in anything MikeJeggo has read - bearing in mind that this is not a particularly authoritative collection of documents!''
AlexChurchill is pretty sure it's correct to say  one's own business, in the same way as Bob's own business  or  milord's own businessAFAIK it's the phrase  its own business  which is anomalous.  If there were any English pronouns other than "milord" which didn't have a customised possessive form, I believe they would each acquire "apostrophe-s" on the end to make them possessive also.  With exceptions for names ending in s like James' does.  --AlexChurchill, editconflicting twice

In order,
...are irregular. Anything else has the a's x behaviour. If anyone knows different, feel free to correct.
I'd point out that, unless as you state above the loss of apostrophe for pronouns is in itself irregular - that it > its is not irregular, and it is this example that makes me think that in parallel one > ones.  It may be that its is irregular in this, I just wondered whether anyone had come across a definitive understanding of this...

I - my, mine
thou - thy, thine
he/she/it - his/hers/its
we - our, ours
you - your, yours
they - their, theirs

..anything else gets an apostrophe for possession. "One" is an example of something else. Does that help? - MoonShadow, who had to learn all that by rote, along with "I am/you are/he-she-it is/we are/you are/they are"; the two "you"'s there because he was learning modern English - otherwise it'd have gone "I am/thou art/he-she-it is/we are/you are/they are".

http://www.ultralingua.net/english/grammar.html?show=31.html - lists forms the personal pronouns take for possession ("possessive pronouns"), then states that you can also add "'s" to any noun to signify possession.

http://cctc2.commnet.edu/grammar/possessives.htm - lists the rules (basically, you add "'s", some say you can drop the "s" if the word already ends in "s", some say you can then drop the apostrophe too), and mentions that personal pronouns are an exception to be dealt with [separately].
Which moves the question onto whether 'one' in this sense constitutes a personal pronoun.  It seems to me that it is, but this is not based on any great knowledge of English grammar.  As an aside, noting Alex's comments, I hadn't realised the pronounness of milord before...
No, it doesn't. For the purposes of grammar, the list of personal pronouns given above is complete. There are no others. - MoonShadow

It sounds pretty concrete - but you're just asserting that it is true without any obvious backup.  The simpler choice, of course, is that one should avoid talking about oneself in such a fashion.  --Vitenka (One realises that one is not actually royalty.)
It's what my grammar book said when I learnt English :) it's also the majority usage I have observed since. If you are really interested in proving me wrong, I suggest you visit your library and look for books on English grammar. For that matter, a lot of dictionaries have a grammar overview at the very front or back. - MoonShadow
What, do research so you know what the words you're using mean before wading into a discussion and parading your ignorance in front of everyone? But that's against the spirit of Wiki (cf Communist). - ChiarkPerson
One might suggest you read and understand the rest of this page. You may find that some small amount of research has, in fact, been done. One might also suggest you reread and understand the exact comment you are responding to. You might find that its content implies its author has spent some while studying authoritative texts on the subject and is responding from memory. Then again, you are welcome to ignore it, as that would seem more in the spirit of such things.
I think it was a comment upon my request for such justification, which I agree seems out of character for my text on the page it refers to.  It appears to lack understanding that my character is variable.  This isn't a discussion of beliefs though, it is a discussion of what the authoritative answer is.  Since this is all moot and language is entirely defined by CommonUsage? anyway, there's not much point in discussing the 'this is nice / that is nasty' aspects.  --Vitenka

http://www.alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxwheret.html says it's "one's".  So there you go. --M-A

[This] one that MikeJeggo found linked from something above agrees.  During the course of looking it up, he was reminded of the section below that someone has put in about history.  The apostrophe also serves a useful purpose in distinguishing plural and possessive s, which is not an issue with pronouns having an irregular plural form since pronoun plurals were not influenced by French as noun plurals were.  *waits for a linguist to kick apart flimsy arguments*


Of course, the reason for all this is that, as in German, Old English nouns and pronouns changed their endings in different cases.  In the genitive case, such as here, "es" was added, with pronouns being irregular (as they usually are).  Over time, the "e" sound stopped being pronounced, and spelling followed suit, dropping the "e" and, as is convention, putting an apostrophe in its place.  So there you go.

I've seen a book which said that the genitive in English was just 's' long before apostrophes started to be used; Shakespeare uses the apostrophe all over the place to mark missed letters, including such stupid uses as 'i' the sun' (ah, the excitement of a writer who's got his hands on a new-fangled punctuation mark), but doesn't use it in possessives (except, interestingly enough, when said possessive is typeset in italics)). So why did the seventeenth-century typesetters decide that what had quite happily been 'Johns book' for ages should become 'John's book'? Who knows?

SideNote?: A while later, rather amusingly, people started assuming that "John's book" was actually short for "John, his book", and started using this (completely spurious) long form instead.  But then some linguists put then all straight and this silliness died out again.  Except in language newsgroups, where it occasionally rears its ugly head once in a while, only to have that head firmly chopped off.

On a related note, a poster has sprung up lately at a bus stop near Kazuhiko for Disney?'s latest LionKing? disast^W^W^W movie...  For reasons unknown, presumably typographical, the movie is called "Lions Rock".

I can only assume that in this movie, Lions do indeed Rock.  Simba as lead singer, Scar as the bass guitarist and Nala on drums perhaps?  It would certainly make a refreshing change from the usual Disney? musical. --Kazuhiko

I think it means in the more general sense of 'are really cool'  However, given that the poster also says "Includes new song!" I worry that you may be right.  --Vitenka
I was guessing it meant "Lion's Rock" which is my reason for including it here...  You may well be right though...  "Includes new song!" singular? O_O  Oh dear, they really are getting desperate aren't they... --K
Well, it's just a director's cut.  You can't expect them to add too much.  I'm kinda surprised that they didn't have something bigger ready for christmas too.  I guess fish don't sell merchandise.  --Vitenka  (Wait, lion is rock?  What kind of an advert is that?)
Err. Err, err, err. Are you sure it's not an advert for the soon-to-be-released LionKing? SpecialEdition? DVD? --CH
Um, yes.  I thought we were both talking about that.  I didn't thnk there was another movie coming out, after the last two went straight to video.  Or is there?  --Vitenka

Lions Rock. Having seen the scripts and promotional posters for the film they are to star in, Simba and Scar are sitting on their haunches, clutching their heads in their paws and rocking gently, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...

Wait...  You mean that they are re-releasing the LionKing? original movie with an added song and the slogan on the poster I saw really was supposed to read "Lions Rock"? 0_0  Noooo...  ThatsJustWrong...  *shudder* --K
Yup - it's the 'special edition' dvd and video.  Two new scenes, one new song and the dvd has 'the making of'.  I have no idea whether or not it's actually an added rock song, but I'd not put it past them.  --Vitenka

While we're on the subject, it's "affecting", not "effecting". "Effect" almost certainly doesn't mean what you're trying to make it mean. Really, truly, it doesn't.
effect: tr.v. ef·fect·ed, ef·fect·ing, ef·fects
   1. To bring into existence.
  2. To produce as a result.
  3. To bring about.
Source: http://dictionary.com. But yes, in general, it isn't. Oh and also:
affect: n.
   1. Feeling or emotion, especially as manifested by facial expression or body language: “The soldiers seen on television had been carefully chosen for blandness of affect” (Norman Mailer).
  2. Obsolete. A disposition, feeling, or tendency.
;) --CH
Saying "effecting change" means causing change, whereas saying "affecting change" means altering the change itself. Also:
Affect: verb, or medical jargon noun.
Affective: medical jargon adjective.
Effect: noun.
Effective: adjective. --Admiral

While we're on the subject: "would [of]", "should [of]", "must [of]"... AAAARGH! Where did you learn that? Stop doing it!
Well, it's fairly obvious where it is learnt: From the pronunciation of would've, could've, should've...  Why they don't get it correctly, I'm unsure.  --Vitenka (Who once though Uponuhtime was a word.  Usually found preceded by 'once')

CategoryLanguage, Spelling
See also "[How to write like a wanker]"; [Hitherby]

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