The Grammar Belle

Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time

Holiday Greetings, Y’all

Hey, y’all. It’s that time of year . . . when you gather the kids, all put on matching crisp white shirts and khaki pants, and head out to the river/mountains/in-laws’ fancy staircase for the annual Christmas card photo.

I absolutely love holiday cards. Actually, I love all sorts of printed things, invitations, stationery, and the like. Unfortunately my holiday joy is often shattered to pieces and trampled upon by what I receive in the mail.

Why is that? I have a couple of reasons, and the first one comes right on the envelope. Sometimes I get things addressed to The Slater’s. Remember this: We are The Slater Family OR we are many people who live in the same house and who all have the same last name therefore we are not just one Slater, but we are many (PLURAL) Slaters. So, please call us “The Slaters.”

Auuuuuugh. This makes me very Grinch-like.

When you sign your name—or if you’re uptown, have it pre-printed—please know who you are too. It’s shocking how many folks out there don’t know how to make the plural of their own last names. If your last name is Jones, you’re the Joneses. If your last name is Mortroski, you’re the Mortroskis. One Upchurch who marries and procreates creates a new family of Upchurches.

And there you have it. Last names are made plural just like any other words. But you don’t want to change the spelling of the name to make it plural. You just add –s or –es, so Mr. and Mrs. Terry and their precious offspring are the Terrys. And more than one Fairchild does not the Fairchildren make. (They’d be the Fairchilds.) Nor would you have the Lightfeet or the Goodmen.

Finally, there are all those holiday parties. Of course, I love being invited to lots of them . . . that’s not the problem. It’s the invitations. I’m begging you to let me proofread them ahead of time.

TGB Pop Quiz

Which of those is correct? You, my brilliant readers, are right. NONE. How do you make it right? First, make the last name plural: Bankses. Then make it possessive (it’s their party, just as it would be “Julie’s open house” or “Greg’s open house” or whatever). It oughta say “The Bankses’ Open House.”

Please do your best to spread holiday cheer this year—with all the proper grammar and punctuation you can muster. Joy to the world and stuff, y’all.

Oh, and please do try and remember that pesky apostrophe in Season’s Greetings.

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18 comments on “Holiday Greetings, Y’all

  1. outlawmama
    November 28, 2012

    Holy god, I got the quiz wrong! Brilliant post. Love you, Grammar Belle.

    • The Grammar Belle
      November 28, 2012

      Good thing you’re so darn funny, then! 😉 Thanks, OM. Love ya too!

  2. Aly
    November 28, 2012

    Remember on of our (many) shopping trips to Canton we had to literally explain WHY we didn’t want our apostrophes put on our last names when the artists hand painted on our cute little family wooden holiday figures! Biggest pet peeve EVER!!
    Good one, TGB!

  3. Deb Fairchild
    November 28, 2012

    Wow! I got mentioned in your blog.

  4. The Grammar Belle
    November 28, 2012

    You did!

  5. Phil Anderson
    November 28, 2012

    Saving the English language on apostrophe at a time. You make my day.

  6. Diane Brilz
    November 28, 2012

    What’s plural for Brilz? The Brilzes?

    Sent from my iPad

    • The Grammar Belle
      November 29, 2012

      You got it, Di! I hear the Brilzes, Schwartzes, and Martinezes will be hosting a New Year’s Eve party together. 😉

  7. Jennifer Scogin
    November 29, 2012

    Phew! (BTW, how do you spell that??) I totally got just a touch of uncertainty about my cards since I had just hit the print button, I totally went and checked and glad I got mine right since you are on my Christmas card list! Since I don’t have time to think about all the plurals for my 170 people on my Christmas card list, I usually just mail merge and make the envelopes say, “The Slater Family” – lol=)

    • The Grammar Belle
      November 29, 2012

      ALWAYS a wise choice, Jenn! Looking forward to getting your card–hope it has a pic of Austin!

  8. WWS
    November 29, 2012

    Hey Grammar Belle! How do you spell PLURAL? 😉

    • The Grammar Belle
      November 29, 2012

      DANG! There’s nothing like an all-caps typo. Thanks for the catch, WWS! I’ll go fix it now.

  9. Pingback: At least I’m consistent. | The Grammar Belle

  10. addude13
    December 10, 2013

    Ring in the New Year with the Hobbitses! #tolkien

  11. Jon Smith
    December 5, 2014

    Luvya GB Merry Christmas

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This entry was posted on November 28, 2012 by in Don't Make Me Beg, Grammar Dilemmas, Punctuation.

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