Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time
I am a big fan of D Magazine. As you might guess by its name and given my location, it features Dallas-area news, info, reviews, etc. Each year they hold the “Best of Big D” contest in which we all get to vote for our favorite salon, Tex-Mex restaurant, plastic surgeon, boot shop, and the like. (Did ya like my Dallas stereotyping there? I’ve always believed in making a joke outta myself before someone else makes a joke outta me . . . )
Anyway, each year I am bothered by the same dang thing regarding that contest. No, it’s not that Dr. Blackwell doesn’t always win “Best Chiropractor of Big D.” It’s this:
In ads all around my hometown and across my home state, folks make a mockery of basic punctuation rules. They tout “Dallas’ best taquería,” “Texas’ finest wine,” “Dallas’ largest gun show,” and “Texas’ longest bar.” AUUGH.
Here’s the deal: “Dallas” is not the plural of “Dalla.” So, since it’s NOT a plural word ending in “s,” it is NOT made possessive by simply adding an apostrophe to the end.
Yes, some folks may say that the “s” after the apostrophe is OPTIONAL and not needed if the resulting possessive word is difficult to pronounce. I’ll let that sink in a minute. Hard to pronounce? You try it. Not tough at all, is it? Not to mention, English has as many exceptions as it does rules. Let’s just stick to the rule here and we can quit confusing people, OK?
I’d like to appeal to all the Jameses out there to help me out. Make sure you label your stuff correctly for me (“This is James’s lunch.”) and that’ll be a good start. I’d also like to place a call to arms to my friends in Arkansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Kansas. Y’all hop on board and help spread the word!
I’d like to wish my sweet Jewish friends a blessed Passover and my Christian friends a lovely Holy Week. I’ll be heading to Arkansas’s best small town for Easter weekend with my family. (See how I worked in this apostrophe lesson? It’s called modeling, y’all. Give it a try!)