Re: apostrophes (was Whose experience is it anyways??????)

Subject: Re: apostrophes (was Whose experience is it anyways??????)
From: Joanna Sheldon <cjs10 -at- CORNELL -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 05:04:26 -0500

Susan --

> Another way of interpreting the abbreviated phrase is to include a
>missing word that we have taken as given for so long that many of us forget
>that good English used to require it be there. (two years worth of
>experience) This is probably what Chicago is assuming. The years own the
>worth, not the experience.


The Chicago Manual is assuming no such thing. Your phrase should read:
"...two years' worth" -- the worth of two years. As in "two years' time" --
the time of two years, or "three days' pay" -- the pay of (that pertains to
or belongs to) three days. Good English does not nor ever did require that
the words "worth of" be inserted between "years'" and "experience." In
fact, it's somewhat redundant.


Joanna

PS: "used to require it be there" is incorrect. That should be either
"used to require that it be there" or "used to require it to be there."


C. Joanna Sheldon, Ph.D. * GRAPHTECH Consulting
Graphics & Technical Writing

PO Box 4874, Ithaca NY 14852 USA
V: +1 607 533 8850 * F: +1 607 533 9092

cjs10 -at- cornell -dot- edu

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