Punctuation Lesson for the Day

Punctuation Lesson for the Day

I’m probably a bit obsessed with grammar and punctuation because I grew up as a Ross.

In 7th Grade Wood Shop, each kid in the class had to cut out a wood sign and burn in their family name.  Pretty easy assignment if your last name is Smith or anything not ending in “s.”  My Mom had always taught me it was “Rosses,” but you can also do “Ross’” or “Ross’s” according to modern grammar rules.  Some grammarians argue that just adding the single apostrophe shouldn’t be used if the the surname sounds like it already ends in “s.” You’d think that finding out the answer to this question would be easier now with the Internet, but go ahead and search away -it only gets more confusing.

As I type this in my Notes (Apple V2.0) autocorrect flags “Rosses” and “Ross’s.” Try to read “Ross’” aloud and it doesn’t sound right.  Reading “Ross’s” rolls off of the tongue more naturally. “Ross’” looks like it’s missing something.  It’s as if everyone with a name ending “s” will never really be part of the “”s’s” family.  It’s like we all have a hard time keeping up with the “Joneses.”

Hopefully now you can see why burning your family name into a sign can be traumatic for the 1 out of 26 kids* in junior high wood shop.

*Source: a pretty simple statistic if you know the number of letters in the alphabet


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