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Discussion in 'English' started by spatel, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Please tell me I am justified in discouraging my students from entering the 'Young Muslim Writers(sic) Award' supported by (amonst others) Penguin, Puffin, Arts Council, DCSF- because the webpage, and associated literature does not contain the possessive apostrophe!
    There is one apostrophe used, at the bottom of the webpage 'Young Muslim Writer's Awards' but this is again misplaced as there are more than one writer...
    HELP! (Please) I am so ill :(
  2. Quite agree. I refuse to use companies that can't use the possessive apostrophe, especially if they are appealing for contributions from young writers.
  3. Apostrophes wind me up more than anything (especially misplaced ones) but I wonder whether the motivation and encouragement your students would receive from entering something like that would overrule your displeasure at a misplaced apostrophe.
    Sometimes these things are written by people who are not in charge of the event and who don't have perfect grammar - it doesn't necessarily mean that the whole competition is a shambles. Although it's annoying, I think the award may do more to benefit your students than harm them.
  4. I don't think an apostrophe is needed in the title for this award, because it's an award for young Muslim writers. The possessive apostrophe would only be appropriate if the award were being given out by young Muslim writers.
  5. It's arguably what's known as a noun construct. A noun is used as an adjective
    The England football team.
    England and football are not really adjectives, but they are being used as such.
    It's the same with the
    Young Muslim writers award
    you could legitmately call it a noun construct, in which case the adjective isn't there, or ypu could put in the apostrophe. However, to my mind, "Young Muslim writer's award" would imply an award bestowed by young Muslim writers on someone else.
  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Love all the posts feel quite well informed now...
    Are you saying is it is ok because the writers aren't giving the award therefore no need for apostrophe therefore it's ok for me to tell my students to enter?
    ...Only problem is that the awards most definitely belong to the writers. If you were to state the title phrase in full it would read:
    "The awards that belong to /or are for young writers" (writers possess)
    as opposed to:
    "The awards given out by writers to others" (writers are plural).
    The meaning is so obviously the first one therefore it needs a possessive apostrophe. It is precisely WHY punctuation exists- to make things clear!
    One does not say 'boys school' without an apostrophe but would say 'boys' school.'
    I take it that you favour 'Parents Evening' as opposed to 'Parents' Evening' then?
  7. You'll stop pupils entering a competitiion because you object to the punctuation on the promotional stuff? Even though it is accurate? I can't quite believe what I'm reading.
  8. PETERPIPER: Please explain how it is accurate- because I'm not convinced that I AM at fault (think Brits Writers' Awards)...
    Sara's parcel is still Sara's parcel (with apostrophe) even if she received it from Adam.
    As for not wanting to enter my pupils... I probably need therapy for my extreme pedantry! [​IMG]

  9. I apologise: I was in such a foul mood last night so my post was rather curt. You seem to have taken it in the non-curt way that it was meant though, which is good!
    Sara's parcel is her possession, which is why it needs an apostrophe. But the competition is not the possession of the entrants (writers) : it is just a collective competition. We don't use apostrophes for plurals, so I don't think writers needs one, in the sense that the young Muslim writers are not offering the award, they are collectively entering it. If it were the Young Muslim Council's Award for Writers, I think it would need one. If it were called the Prize for Young Muslim Writers, it would not. Do you see what I mean? I'm not sure if I'm explaining my thinking very well...
  10. Thank you both PETERPIPER and gingerburn.
    Although even if it was Adam's parcel for Sarah (for Sarah not of Sarah) it would still be Sarah's parcel albeit from Adam (?) Tying myself in knots now ... guess it boils down to the old chestnut (Parents' v Parents Evening). Seems there is a clear and valid cause for both usage and non-usage.
    Aesthetically no apostrophe looks better I suppose (humble submission).
    Darn! My pupils won't be able to make the submission deadline.[​IMG]

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