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Subject:Re: Resumes, cover letters, and Web pages From:"Accentuated Brandname Creativity, Inc." <acreatyv -at- SATURN -dot- NET> Date:Wed, 5 Mar 1997 20:28:28 -0500
Maurice Rose wrote:
>Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper published a style book in 1996,
>which included the following in an entry called "possessives":
[snip of no news]
>Well, now I know why the apostrophe in "two years' experience" looks
>so odd to me: I read the Globe every day on the way to work!
You don't have to be in or from Toronto.
Steve Jong wrote, in a post with which I agree otherwise:
>apply the same "harsh" standards to cover letters, though. Write that you
>have "four years experience" [sic] and you're in trouble.
That's very harsh, because this is not a clear-cut error, even though it may
have been considered one, say, a generation ago (at least in the US).
Style guides and dictionaries differ over what compounds should be open,
hyphenated or closed, over which spellings or meanings are archaic, over
what is yet a neologism, and over countless other matters. Certainly the
materials we're discussing are rife all too often with obvious errors, but
applying too strict a standard is bound to yield a great many "false
positives," with concomitant opportunity costs. Language usages (correct
or borderline, if not glaringly incorrect) are valid but imperfect predictors
of overall performance, and I'm sure there are plenty of people on the list
who have been credits to their employers after having made typos that went
uncaught or were forgiven. Let alone typos that weren't typos.
acreatyv -at- saturn -dot- net
"Cogito ergo assume". - K. Lew