Needle’s Eye

The “Needles Eye Tunnel” should be called the Needle’s Eye Tunnel. The eye belongs to the needle, therefore the “s” should be possessive. How hard can it be to figure out? I don’t understand why it’s so bloody hard for people.

Oh, I hear it now, the naysayers. What difference does it make? It’s called clarity. It makes a difference because it is for clarity’s sake. (See there, how I did that? The “s” is possessive because the sake belongs to the clarity. Sheesh.) We know there isn’t more than one clarity, any more than there is more than one needle. The point is to let the reader know that we are discussing one needle and the eye belongs to that needle. It isn’t multiple needles with one eye, which wouldn’t make any sense anyway. Perhaps the naysayers would point this out, that since there is only one eye, it must belong to the one needle and not to multiple needles.

How needling. And needless.

Make it clear by adding the proper possessive “s” and then, needless to say, there will be no possibility of confusion. (Unless of course the reader is one of those people who puts an apostrophe on simple plurality. Then that person is living in confusion anyway.)

Enough soapbox.

I’m going to have to go to this park and paint on the apostrophe on the sign so it’s proper.


All these ridiculous acronyms have taken over language and become our new normal. Something is funny so LOL or lol, because, you know, holding down the shift key is hawrd. Ok is okay. It’s the original casual acronym.

LMAO. LMFAO. EG. BRB. NO. (That last one wasn’t an acronym, but me communicating that I do not want acronyms to take over our language.)

My chihuahua sits in my shirt while I type. She’s helpful. SH. That’s the acronym for this. SH. ICJUTFLFSIOUWW. Get it? I can just use the first letter from something instead of using whole words. See? So much easier.

The other fun part about acronyms is that one can simply dispense with capitalization and grammar as well. No more pesky commas so lets eat grampa. (I wonder what lets are and why they eat grampas?)

And don’t even get me started on people typing u for you or 2 for to or too. Gag (that’s not an acronym; it’s me pretending to puke).

I admit it. In text I will type LOL. Ha ha used to be my default, but lol is easy to type and suffices. The trouble is that sometimes, something really does make me laugh out loud and then I’ve used lol already and so it’s like crying wolf for the real thing. Then it’s not communicating. Or it is, but it’s watered down communication. But so much of our communication is watered down, so I suppose it’s just par for the course.

For the record, if it’s not obvious, I’m PRO oxford comma. I really, REALLY dislike the lack of the oxford comma, particularly in APA style prose–the most common type in journalism. In most instances, it bothers me more than lol or brb or the like, except IMHO. I can’t stand IMHO. It’s as annoying to me as no oxford commas. LOL LMAO LMFAO IMHO and NFW. Makes so much sense, right? No commas. No detail. Just straight to the point, whatever it might be.

Possessive S’s

Improper use of the apostrophe for plurals bugs the hell out of me.  Except in narrow circumstances, one places an apostrophe before an s to denote possession.  If one is discussing more than one of something, the apostrophe goes after the s.  One does not place an apostrophe before the s to simply denote plurals.

No apostrophe is used in the following possessive pronouns and adjectives: yours, his, hers, ours, its, theirs, and whose. (Many people wrongly use it’s for the possessive of it, but authorities are unanimous that it’s can only be a contraction of it is or it has.)  Except for one’s, no possessive determiner has an apostrophe.  A number of them, like its, are homophonous with pronoun-auxiliary contractions.  As was previously noted, the pronoun its is very commonly misspelled; not only is there the homophone it’s (it is or it has), but ‘s is a genitive clitic.

For cryin’ out loud people, get it right.

Random Rant of the Morning

Why the hell is it people can’t figure out basic punctuation rules when it comes to quotation marks and things like commas and periods?  Even if you’re quoting something, the punctuation mark goes INSIDE the quotation marks.  Everyone seems to want to pretend to be British these days, where they stick the punctuation outside the quotes.  But guess what?  We had a little war about oh, say, 215 years ago, give or take a few years that allowed us to secede from Great Brittain.  Do you know what this means, to secede?  It means that we became a country of our own.  We left the mother ship.  We took our baby steps and fell and grew to be a country with language usage all our own. Lots less cool and boring in most cases, but still ours.  For instance, we took the “e” out of judgment.  We add a “the” before we head to the hospital.  We go on vacation instead of on holiday.  We call our boots and condoms rubbers.  They call their erasers rubbers.  There are lots of little different things.  And one of them is putting the damn little punctuation marks inside the quotation marks.  It is so bloody distracting to see the punctuation mark outside the quotes.  See there?  I used a British swear word to show everyone how distracting it is when Americans pretend they are Brits.  Weren’t you distracted? I hear you.  You’re saying, “Here she is complaining about Americans acting like Brits and she’s acting like one herself!”  I’m with you. But see, I did that on purpose to make a point.  Those people out there using the punctuation marks outside the quotes aren’t making a point.  They are just using the marks incorrectly.

I put a rant about this very issue on Craigslist Rants and Raves.  Do you know what?  Someone flagged it for removal!  This is a site where people use the foulest of language, some posting the most horrendous photos, with arguments back and forth between people on the web basically threatening to kill each other, and my little rant about putting small punctuation marks inside the quotes got flagged!  I swear.  I suppose Portland rant and ravers want everyone to think they are from Britain or something.  Weird.

So please.  I beg you.  If you are American and you are writing, follow the rules.  Put the small punctuation marks inside the quotes, whether or not you are quoting something.  This is the rule.  If you don’t believe me, I can recommend an excellent site on grammar and punctuation.  It’s called Wilbers on Writing and it’s at  The specific rule about small punctuation marks inside the quotes can be found at

That’s it for the random rant of the morning.  Thanks for sticking around.