Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rules from Strunk & White

An essential book for writers is Strunk & White's Elements of Style. (Click the image to purchase on Amazon)

It's so essential that I thought I'd begin twice a month posts featuring some of the basic rules shared in the book.

You'll want to memorize these :)
  1. To show possession for a singular noun (no matter what the final consonant is) use 's:
  • Mary's purse
  • Alexis's car
  • the bird's tweet

     2.  Exception to the above rule: Pronominal Possessives like hers, its, theirs, yours, ours. Its is usually a culprit for error. It's means it is or it has. It's does not show possession.
  • its breath
  • its handle
  • it's blue
  • it's been horrible

     3.  Singular Indefinite Pronouns such as another, anybody, anyone, anything, everybody, everyone, everything, nobody, no one, one, other, somebody, someone, something require an 's to show possession.
  • anybody's business
  • everyone's money
Next time: Comma Usage
Next Week: Blog of the Week and Maintaining Verb Tense In Your Story

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the "its" was a big error I made on a magazine article. Thankfully the publisher bought the article anyway, and I fixed it. Whew.