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And what about the inappropriate placement of hyphens, thank-you.


I saw a restroom sign in a church that read "Lad'ies." Reason enough not to be a member of that congregation?


You are so right. In true grumpy old lady style and in revenge for all the cat jibes, however, I feel compelled to point out that that should read 'the notice that greeted my friend and me' (this one is my particular bugbear) ;-)


Spot on re the thank-you, Tj. I was so caught up by the apostrophe that the remainder of the notice didn't register.
Pablo - maybe the church intended the rest-room to be unisex and the sign was meant to read 'lad/ies'.
Mea culpa re the friend and I, Jean. As a former school-marm I am very aware of the correct form, but still find it hard to actually say. I usually circumvent it by re-arranging the sentence.

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Don't tell me the movie should have been called "The King and Me" ??


The apostrophe thing is the worst. I don't understand what's happened to it. My theory is that it has something to do with the proliferation of acronyms and things that are known mostly by initials. People didn't know what to do with them when they needed to say something like "CDs" so they simply said, "CD's". Then it spread to anything that ended with a vowel that didn't have a special ending for the plural. And now the infection is nearly universal. It's enough to give one the vapor's. :)


Tjilpi, it's 'and I' when it's the subject (the King and I are happy to announce...), but 'and me' when it's the object (the sign greeted my friend and me). In the dark ages (or so it feels sometimes) when I was young, we were taught to check by taking away the other person (you'd say 'the sign greeted me', not 'the sign greeted I', wouldn't you?). Ah well, the world will continue turning if everyone gets this wrong, whereas those misplaced apostrophes may well indicate the coming end of civilisation...

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Thanks Jean. But how about this? One could argue that the movie title is an incomplete sentence in which there is an elipsis of the subject. The title implies something along the lines of "A Romantic Story about the King and Me", yet we still end up with "The King and I".

On another note, I heard this joke recently.

It is Sunday morning. A knock on the door. The householder answers and finds two evangelists on the doorstep.

To whom am I speaking, says one.

The householder replies, I don't know anyone who uses "to whom" anymore, and slams the door.

Cheers from the Red Centre of Australia.

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Thanks Jude for letting me use your blog to correspond with Jean.

Malabar Jettison

So, re: the housewarming invitation, my analysis is that correctly it should be "the Collinses' ": "Mrs. Collins" is singular; "the Collinses" is plural; "the Collinses' " is plural possessive.

But that just looks too weird, so, in practice, I'd go with "the Collins' ". What do you think?


I'm going with Collinses', because that's how I would say it. The rules seem to offer some leeway according to what sounds best to the ear - but that of course is subjective.


Can I just add my observations on the 'me' and 'I' rule? I was also taught the removal of the second person trick, and this was the one I passed on to my children, and they to their children. Everyone seems to use them correctly without having to think about it. I don't really mind too much when people get it wrong in everyday conversation, but it annoys the heck out of me when I hear people with plummy English accents insist upon using the 'I'. It seems they're just plain scared of using 'me', as if it's a word one only uses if one is an oik ....

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