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Editorial Help Desk:
Your Resource for Grammar and MCPS Style
Word of the Month
Feeling or expressing remorse at the recognition that one has done wrong.
Millie gave a contrite apology for not showing up for practice three times this week.
Tip of the Month
Here’s the Thing about Nouns and Possessives...
Things can get pretty tangled when you are trying to keep your nouns (or pronouns) correct,
in terms of number and possession. Here are the basics.
Use a singular noun with a singular possessive and a plural noun with a plural possessive in the sentence.
The girl opened the box (singular noun) and looked for her
pencil (singular possessive).
RIGHT: The contestants wore tiaras on the tops of their
WRONG: The contestants wore tiaras on the top of their head.
RIGHT: “…visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.”
WRONG: “…visions of sugar-plums danced in their head.”
If two people share ownership of a thing, add the apostrophe to the second person’s name only.
RIGHT: Mary and Tricia’s quilt won first place at the county fair.
WRONG: Mary’s and Tricia’s quilt won first place at the county fair.
RIGHT: Travis and Nola’s house is the newest one on the block.
WRONG: Travis’ and Nola’s house is the newest one on the block.
Here’s what to do when there are two nouns, and ownership is separate.
Travis’ and Nola’s children are in the swim class this year.
(they each have children who are in the same class)
Mr. Lee’s and Mr. Porter’s educations are extensive.
(they both have an education and each one is extensive)
Contact Donna M. Marks on Outlook or call 240-740-2971.
Learn to decipher the alphabet soup! Look it up in MCPS Acronyms
Do you know the difference between an ELT and an EMT, between FLS and FLES? Keep this reference on hand and you'll never get lost in jargon.
MCPS Acronyms (PDF)