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SubjectRe: esr cut off my genitives
Gideon Glass <gid@cisco.com>:
> "windows" is a plural noun, but "Windows" is a singular proper noun, and
> in "Windows LDM" it functions as an adjective. Using possessive here is
> confusing because it suggests that this feature belongs to Windows, or
> that it's part of Windows itself, but obviously it isn't (the feature
> being referred to is part of Linux). It is only *related* to Windows, so
> the adjectival "Windows" is the best thing to use.

That's correct. Furthermore, those genitives were malformed. :-)

"Windows" is a singular noun. Therefore the correct possessive form
is "Windows's", not "Windows'" -- the latter would be correct only
if it were a *plural* noun.

Similarly, the correct possessive form of "James" is not "James'" but
"James's". This is often gotten wrong in these degenerate times,
mostly by the same people who confuse "its" with "it's". Etymologically,
"James's book" is a contraction of "James his book", which is how it
was done in Middle English (remembering the full form may help one
keep the rule straight).

> > Of course if it's a limitation of the new config tool I'll understand :-)
> > (and you'll need to apply the following, too).
> >
> > -IBM's S/390 architecture
> > +IBMs S/390 architecture
>
> The "IBMs" plural construction is wrong since there is only one IBM.
> "IBMs" can't be possessive because there is no reason not to use an
> apostrophe to indicate possessive in this case. Note that "IBM S/390
> architecture" could be used, with "IBM" (a noun) functioning as an
> adjective in the same manner as "Windows" above. However, expressing the
> notion of ownership/control ("IBM's") conveys more information then mere
> association ("IBM"), so "IBM's" seems preferable here.

Also correct. Ah, English-usage geeking. Good clean fun for the
whole family...
--
<a href="http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/">Eric S. Raymond</a>

The real point of audits is to instill fear, not to extract revenue;
the IRS aims at winning through intimidation and (thereby) getting
maximum voluntary compliance
-- Paul Strassel, former IRS Headquarters Agent Wall St. Journal 1980
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