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Avoiding Sticky Situations with Words that Begin with 'S': Part 2

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?





Welcome back to part two of my series on the letter s

Remember last week, I told you more words begin with s than any other letter? Here are more s words that could get you in sticky situations. Join me next Wednesday for the third and final installment.




Seven Seas

Can you name the Seven Seas? And, don’t forget to capitalize, as they are proper nouns.

Arabian Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Bengal, Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and South China Sea.


Seven Wonders of the World

The Seven Wonders of the World (a capitalized phrase) are the Egyptian pyramids, the hanging gardens of Babylon, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the statue of Zeus by Phidias at Olympia, and the Pharos, or lighthouse, at Alexandria. 


Sewage

According…

Avoiding Sticky Situations with Words that Begin with 'S'

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?







Did you know more English words begin with s than any other letter? 

Strengths and screeched are the two longest one-syllable words in English, according to grammar.com. The site also mentions that subcontinental is the only word that uses each vowel only once and in reverse alphabetical order. 


Here are some other words beginning with s that can cause some sticky situations. 


Salable

This adjective meaning “fit or able to be sold” does not have an e in the middle.


Sacrilegious

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) states sacrilegious is related to the word sacrilege, not to religion or religious. Some people have a tendency to switch the i and e on either side of the l, but that’s not correct.


Sandstorm

One word.


Scissors

Scissors is a noun that takes plural verbs and pronouns. 

Example from t…

James' Book or James's Book: Which is Correct?

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?



Hi Karen,

You may have already addressed this issue, and I apologize for missing it; however, how about the subject of possessives? Particularly in regards to those ending in the letter s and where the apostrophe goes. In other words, is it James’ book or James’s book? Thanks in advance.

Sincerely yours,
Nan Smith



Thanks for your question, Nan. It’s good to revisit this from time to time because editing styles change over the years. 

Let’s start with the easy stuff.

Singular nouns are made possessive by adding an apostrophe and an s.

Examples

dog's bowl
cat’s litter box

And we all know plural nouns not ending in s are made possessive by adding an apostrophe and an s.

Examples

women’s rights
children’s literature

Here’s where it gets more difficult. 

When making plural nouns ending in s poss…

And Now for a Brief Interruption...

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?





I'm taking the week off. Editing for Grammarphobes will return next  week with the definitive word on possessives.  See you then!