Articulate English: Apostrophe Of Possession

Sadly, many children have no idea when it comes to using the apostrophe of possession correctly. They will be writing when, suddenly, they presumably think to themselves that they haven’t used one of those ‘commas in the air’ and proceed to use one in a word that bears no connection to ownership.

Even worse, from what I have witnessed on television, quite a few adults do not place such an apostrophe in the correct position, either!

I trust that the following is of help to those who are unsure.

I find that if one inverts the relevant part of a sentence, where to place the apostrophe of possession becomes more obvious.

Example: the babys bottle becomes “the bottle of the baby”

In this instance the apostrophe is placed after the last word in the inversion, which, in this case is ‘baby’. All that remains to be done then, is to add the ess: the baby’s bottle.

Example: the babies bottles becomes “the bottles of the babies”

As ‘babies’ is plural, we only add the apostrophe after the last word ‘babies’, hence, the babies’ bottles.

Example: Smithville Girls High School becomes “Smithville High School (for) Girls”.

Again, the same rule applies and the apostrophe is placed after the last word, namely ‘Girls’.

As ‘Girls’ is plural no ess needs to be added: Smithville Girls’ High School.

Example: Mothers Day becomes “a day for mothers”

Applying the same rule, it becomes Mothers’ Day.

 

Sometimes a second ess should be sounded and, therefore, added.

Examples: Spartacus’ sword (“the sword of Spartacus”) becomes Spartacus’s sword.

Hughes’ boatshed (“the boatshed of the Hugheses”) becomes Hughes’s boatshed.

Amos’ pride (“the pride of Amos”) becomes Amos’s pride.

 

Inarticulate English: Nouns Should Not Be Used In Place Of Adjectives

Just as our democracy is under stress, so is our language.

All too often we are inundated with nouns being used in place of adjectives:

miracle event, hero act, Denmark gentleman, history failure, Japan yen, crisis meeting, Europe correspondent, architecture company, fake insinuation, muscle spasm, monster garage…

The above should read:

miraculous event, heroic act, Danish gentleman, historic/historical failure, Japanese yen, critical meeting, European correspondent, architectural company, fictitious insinuation, muscular spasm, monstrous garage.

 

The Top 40 Fantasies No.5

1. Swanee (1920)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Al Jolson

2. Born To Be Wild (1968)                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Steppenwolf

3.  You I Know (1987)                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Jenny Morris

4.  The Boys (1962)                                                                                                                                                                                                                               The Shadows

5. Summer In The City (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Lovin’ Spoonful

6. Bits And Pieces (1964)                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Dave Clark Five

7. I Only Want To Be With You (1963)                                                                                                                                                                                              Dusty Springfield

8. If You’ve Got The Money I’ve Got The Time (1950)                                                                                                                                                                   Lefty Frizzell

9. Halfway To Paradise (1961)                                                                                                                                                                                                             Billy Fury

10. Haji Baba (1954)                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Nat ‘King’ Cole

11. Race With The Devil (1968)                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Gun

12. Golden Earrings (1947)                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Peggy Lee

13. Fox On The Run (1968)                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Manfred Mann

14. Tom Dooley (1958)                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The Kingston Trio

15. Mountain Of Love (1960)                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harold Dorman

16. At The Hop (1957)                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Danny And The Juniors

17. Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down (1969)                                                                                                                                                                                          Ray Stevens

18. Mountain Of Love (1964)                                                                                                                                                                                                                Johnny Rivers

19. Free Me (1978)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Uriah Heep

20.  So Tired (1949)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Kay Starr

21. Wild Weekend (1968)                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Bill Anderson

22. Bongo Rock (1959)                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Preston Epps

23. Grenade (2010)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Bruno Mars

24. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind (1956)                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Five Keys

25. Shakin’ All Over (1960)                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Johnny Kidd and The Pirates

26. Woman Of The World (Leave My World Alone) (1969)                                                                                                                                                              Loretta Lynn

27. I Need You (1977)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Joe Dolan

28. (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean (1953)                                                                                                                                                                            Ruth Brown

29. Motor Biking (1975)                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Chris Spedding

30. Here In My Heart (1952)                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Al Martino

31. Party Girl (1964)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Tommy Roe

32. Shakin’ All Over (1965)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Normie Rowe and The Playboys

33. So Much In Love (1964)                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The Mighty Avengers

34. On A Slow Boat To China (1948)                                                                                                                                                                                  Benny Goodman and his Orchestra: vocalist, Al Hendrickson

35. Woody Woodpecker (1948)                                                                                                                                                                   Kay Kyser and his Orchestra: vocals, Gloria Wood and The Campus Kids

36. Bigelow 6-200 (1956)                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Brenda Lee

37. Going – Going – Gone! (1954)                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Johnnie Ray

38. Too Many Do-Goods (1973)                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tom T. Hall

39. On Top Of Old Smoky (1951)                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Weavers

40. On Top Of Spaghetti (1963)                                                                                                                                                                               Tom Glazer and The Do-Re-Mi Children’s Chorus

 

 

Answers to ‘How Dinky-di Are You? No.3’

1. Sidelevers

2. Draughts

3. Brumby

4. Garbage/Rubbish bin

5. Racecourse

6. Car park

7. Cobber

8. Lawyer

9. Station

10. Full stop

11. Holiday-maker

12. Shanghai

 

Ratings:

12 correct answers means that you are ‘Ridgy Didge Dinky-di’

10 or 11: almost ‘Ridgy Didge’

6-9: a ‘Ridgy Didge’ impersonator

Five or less: Censored (sit for the test, again, next week)

 

 

How Dinky-di Are You? No. 3

How Australian are you?

Can you provide the ‘dinky-di’ equivalents to the following?

 

1. Sideboards, Sideburns

2. Checkers

3. Bronco

4. Dustbin, Ash can, Trash can

5. Racetrack

6. Parking lot

7. Mate, Buddy, Chum, Pal

8. Attorney

9. Ranch

10. Period (punctuation)

11. Vacationer

12. Slingshot

 

The answers, together with your rating, can be found at the end of ‘The Top 40 Fantasies No.5’.

Inarticulate English: When ‘Ain’t’ Isn’t ‘Isn’t’ (or ‘Aren’t’), But Should Be

Time was when the usage of the word ain’t was confined to those who were less well educated.

Now, it has become seemingly chic for those who purport to be learned to use it ad infinitum.

Such people include Tim Wonnacott of the British series, ‘Bargain Hunt’ and here, at home, broadcaster, Alan Jones, and David Koch of the programme, ‘Sunrise’.

Hypocritically, the two Australians are always among those who are the first to decry the fact that the written skills of local children, in English, continue to decline or, at least languish where they are.

 

Encourage your children from an early age not to use the word ain’t, but rather contractions that that should replace its usage in formal English.

The train ain’t coming. The train isn’t coming.

They ain’t got a dog. They haven’t a dog.

Five people ain’t hungry. Five people aren’t hungry.

The family ain’t got much money. The family hasn’t much money.

Articulate English: Collective Nouns Take Singular Verbs

As collective nouns place like objects or things in single groupings, such a noun takes a singular verb.

Therefore, in the following sentences the usage of the verb ‘are’ is grammatically incorrect.

The crowd are becoming restless.

The team are playing well.

The series are about living within one’s means.

A range of antiques are to be auctioned.

 

Although a ‘crowd’ is comprised of many people, there is only one crowd and, therefore, the noun should take the singular verb ‘is’ and not the plural (more than one) verb ‘are”.

The crowd is becoming restless.

Similarly, there is only one ‘team’, ‘series’ and ‘range’.

 

Therefore, their respective sentences should read:

The team is playing well.

The series is about living within one’s means.

A range of antiques is to be auctioned.

Articulate English: Four Types Of Nouns

There are four types of nouns (or “naming” words)

Proper Nouns

These should always begin with capital letters.

Examples include the names of countries (Canada, India…), specific physical features (Mount Everest, Amazon River, Niagara Falls, Lake Victoria…), man-made structures (Eiffel Tower, Sydney Harbour Bridge…), people’s names (Cameron Smith, Ben Simmons…), pets’ names (Fido, Kitty…)

Common Nouns

Common nouns are the names of everyday objects and things. These should begin with a letter in the lower case.

Examples: pencil, aeroplane, house, stone, tree, ceiling, giraffe, river, tea, bicycle, street, girl, father, country, animal, rainbow, car…

Collective Nouns

As the names suggests these refer to collections of like objects.

Examples: fleet (a gathering of ships); swarm (bees/insects); library (books); forest (trees); litter (kittens/pups); pride (lions); crowd (people); team (players); herd (cattle); flock (sheep); pod (whales/dolphins); school (pupils/fish); class (children); university (students); jewellery (rings, bracelets, etc.)…

Abstract Nouns

These nouns denote intangible possessions, emotions, desires or needs.

Examples: thirst, hunger, joy, sadness, loneliness, excitement, valour, embarrassment, talent, honesty, pride, greed, intelligence, stupidity, honour, glory…

The Top 40 Fantasies No.4

1. Hound Dog (1956)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Elvis Presley

2. Marguerita Time (1983)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Status Quo

3. Runaround Sue (1961)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Dion

4. Hound Dog (1953)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton

5. Good Lovin’ (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Young Rascals

6. The Way It Used To Be (1969)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Englebert Humperdinck

7. Eleanor Rigby (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Beatles

8. Buzz Me (1946)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Louis Jordan & his Tympany Five

9. There Stands The Glass (1953)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Webb Pierce

10. I Get So Lonely (When I Dream About You) (1954)                                                                                                                                                                                  The Four Knights

11. (Last Night) I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All (1972)                                                                                                                                                                                          The 5th Dimension

12. Live It Up (1985)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mental As Anything

13. As Time Goes By (1931)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Rudy Vallee

14. Teen Beat (1959)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Sandy Nelson

15. What Am I Living For (1958)                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chuck Willis

16. Pictures Of Lily (1967)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Who

17. The Minute You’re Gone (1965)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cliff Richard

18. Eleanor Rigby (1971)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Zoot

19. Blame It On The Bossa Nova (1963)                                                                                                                                                                                                                Eydie Gorme

20. The Hustle (1975)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Van McCoy

21. Wonderful World, Beautiful People (1969)                                                                                                                                                                                                     Jimmy Cliff

22. Congratulations (1949)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jo Stafford

23. Keep On (1954)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Shirley and Lee

24. Treaty! (1991)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Yothu Yindi

25. In My Little Corner Of The World (1960)                                                                                                                                                                                                         Anita Bryant

26. Run Bobby Run (1964)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Lesley Gore

27. Saturday Night (1975)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Bay City Rollers

28. Take A Long Line (1978)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The Angels

29. The Afterglow Of Your Love (1969)                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Small Faces

30. Another Fool Like Me (1963)                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Ned Miller

31. Dancing In The Moonlight (1999)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Toploader

32. Security (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thane Russal & Three

33. The Minute You’re Gone (1963)                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sonny James

34. Poker Face (2008)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lady Gaga

35. Good Old Rock ‘N Roll (1969)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Dave Clark Five

36. Kiss Away (1965)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ronnie Dove

37. Dancing In The Moonlight (1972)                                                                                                                                                                                                                         King Harvest

38. Woo-Hoo (1959)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The Rock-A-Teens

39. L-O-N-E-L-Y (1965)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Bobby Vinton

40. Ant Music (1980)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Adam Ant

 

Answers to ‘How Dinky-di Are You No.2’

1. Zed

2. Nappies

3. Skip, Skipping

4. Merry-go-round

5. Mudguard

6. Lollies

7. Capsicum

8. Sweet biscuits

9. Utility (Ute)

10. Cracker

11. Skipping rope

12. Plain biscuits

 

Ratings:

12 correct answers means that you are ‘Ridgy Didge Dinky-di’

10 or 11: almost ‘Ridgy Didge’

6 to 9: ‘Ridgy Didge’ impersonator

5 or less: Censored (sit for the test, again, next week)

N.B. No correspondence shall be entered into.

How Dinky-di Are You? No.2

Warning: The following test should not be attempted by non-Australians.

Can you provide the ‘dinky-di’  equivalents to the following?

1. Zee

2. Diapers

3. Jump rope (verb)

4. Roundabout, Carousel (Carrousel)

5. Fender

6. Candy

7. Bell pepper

8. Cookies

9. Pick-up truck

10. Fire cracker

11. Jump rope (noun)

12. Crackers

The answers, together with your rating, can be found at the end of ‘The Top 40 Fantasies No.4’.

Articulate English: Sentences

There are four types of sentences:

  1. The Statement. These sentences convey a fact and end with a full stop. For example: Wendy is taller than Sue. The Nile is the world’s longest river.
  2. The Question. Such sentences require an answer and end with a question mark. For example: How old is your dog? What is today’s date? When a question is asked in such a way as not to require an answer, it is known as a rhetorical question.
  3. The Command. As the name suggests these are orders to be obeyed and, therefore, they often end with an exclamation mark. For example: Halt! Wash your hands, at once!
  4. The Exclamation. Exclamations are spontaneous expressions that denote a sudden impulse. For example: Ouch! Help! Oh, what a beautiful morning!
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