Thursday, December 18, 2008

Apostrophe After a Close Parenthesis?

My friend Dan was baffled by the unusual placement of an apostrophe after a parenthesis in this music review:


See the second-to-last line in the screenshot above. The writer should have rewritten that sentence to avoid the bizarre-looking construction. But is it wrong? Let's discuss in the comment section.

Thanks, Dan!

9 comments:

HorribleLicensePlates said...

My vote is for:

THIS IS SO WRONG

Haha.

Jennifer said...

It's completely absurd... but I hesitate to actually declare it WRONG...

J. Alfred Proofreader said...

Hmmm...I'd rule that it's ill-advised. The writer could've have rephrased his words to avoid such unsightliness. Also, I would think that AMG has a style guide to help writers in situations like that.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

I'd also hesitate to call it wrong, but I think the writer should have had enough common sense to re-write it so it wasn't so awkward.

Anonymous said...

Well, unless Daniel Smith only had one friend collaborating (which may be true), it should read "friends" inside the parenthesis. Other than that, I'm a bit flummoxed about the apostrophe too. When in doubt, I rephrase: "My brother's and my dog George" vs. "My brother and I have a dog named George", for example. So in this case I would definitely try to move the words around so the author doesn't even have to use parentheses, like "Headmaster Daniel Smith's rise, with his rotating cast of siblings and friends, ...". But even that doesn't look that great. Hmm.

The Sophisticate's Diary said...

They appear to have inserted the parentheses inside a word (Smith's) in a bizarre attempt to make sense of an incredibly clumsy sentence.

I will go so far as to declare it completely wrong.

Wiccan Wonder said...

I think that it's completely wrong. Normally, there shouldn't be a space before the apostrophe, right?

David SB said...

To see how wrong this is, pretend the writer used commas, rather than parentheses, to separate the added material:

...Daniel Smith, along with his rotating cast of siblings and friends, 's rise...

Sadly, the apostrophe problem is only the beginning of issues for this review:

-Daniel Smith has only one friend?
-The comma in "venerated, underground icon" seems unnecessary.
-The sentence is too long.

Becky said...

Good point about the commas, David. Thanks!