possessives, more or less

Subject: possessives, more or less
From: Vicki Rosenzweig <murphy!acmcr!vr -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 10:12:58 EDT

Neither hardware nor software may own anything, true. But the
possessive (what in Latin is called the genitive) is used for
things other than actual possession: it is also used for
relationship--when I say "my mother" I do not mean that I
own her--and for parts and attributes of things: "the book's
title" does not mean that the book owns the title, and "page 7
of your math textbook" does not mean that the textbook, rather
than you or the school, owns that page. "The program function"
would at least cause me to stop and think, whereas "the program's
function" does not (unless we've just had this discussion) leave
me wondering about the ability of inanimate objects to own things.

Vicki Rosenzweig
vr%acmcr -dot- uucp -at- murphy -dot- com
New York, NY

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