Monday, August 17, 2009

The Chosen Catastrophe

If you're tweeting about religion, it's probably wise to spell the names of Biblical figures correctly. Shame on you, @JewishTweets. To you I say the opposite of mazel tov.

Besides the apostrophe catastrophe, this tweet also contains a comma calamity because Moses had only one brother. So, it should read, Moses' brother, Aaron.

Thanks to Adina for sending this one in. As the Black Eyed Peas might say, l'chaim!


Jane Sutton said...

This is either an apostrophe embarrassment for The Chosen Tweeters or Mose Allison's brother died and I didn't even send a condolence card. Either way, a shanda.

Anonymous said...

Actually it should read "Moses's brother, Aaron", not "Moses' brother, Aaron." The apostrophe only goes after the s if that s indicates plural ownership. By your meaning, Aaron must have several brothers, all named Mose.

Becky said...

@ Anonymous, actually both the Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Style Guide say that if Moses owns something, you indicate it with an apostrophe after the "s" in his name and nothing more. Here's a quote from Chicago: " Jesus' (along with Moses' and names of more than one syllable with an unaccented ending pronounced eez) is among the traditional exceptions to the general rule for forming the possessive. There is no extra "s"—spelled or pronounced. The Chicago Manual notes that this practice began "for reasons of euphony."

Anonymous said...

Well I'll be... Thank you for correcting me and teaching me something new. I've always been so hung up on people going overboard with the apostrophe after the s that I've never dug deep enough to find out about that exception. I was recently in a museum with a display that had been donated by a man named Ross. The display card went as far as to say, "Ross' *****." It bugged me enough that this has become my new biggest peeve.

Now please don't tell me I'm wrong about that one, too, or I will have to go back to school. :)