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  1. #1
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    Question Correct Use of Apostrophe

    Our new manager has the title of The America's Manager (for both North and South America). Are we using the correct use of the apostrophe in this instance?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    rhapsomatrics is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Apostrophe has two major functions each of which has its own peculiarity.When a pronoun takes Apostrophe it betokens abbreviation but when a noun takes it, possession is depicted...eg..the book is Mike's/My father' etc(possession)...He's home(abbreviation..He is...)
    "America" is a noun,a proper one for that matter,therefore it can take Apostophe to show ownership.However,there is a little problem here which has to do with whether America can be said to own the manager.
    I would have wanted to say "American manager" but for the fact that a non-American can become manager in America and even of America.
    To this end,if I may suggest,I think it'll be safer to say something like this..."the manager of America"...because he uses his managerial expertise to the advantage of America.Therefore,as a matter of peroration,I wish to conclude that since a nation cannot be said to own or possess her inhabitants,it may be loose to have expressions like "America's manager"
    Last edited by rhapsomatrics; 12-Oct-2005 at 21:39.

  3. #3
    AlainK Guest

    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by rhapsomatrics
    ...a nation cannot be said to own or possess her inhabitants,it may be loose to have expressions like "America's manager"...
    The problem is, here at least, America is not a nation, it's a continent...

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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Thank you for your help.

  5. #5
    rhapsomatrics is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by AlainK
    The problem is, here at least, America is not a nation, it's a continent...

    Even if America were to be contrued from the point of view of a continent as against the nation called the USA,it is still incontrovertible that the name of a continent is also a noun.
    Last edited by rhapsomatrics; 13-Oct-2005 at 07:23.

  6. #6
    AlainK Guest

    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by rhapsomatrics
    Even if America were to be contrued from the point of view of a continent as against the nation called the USA,it is still incontrovertible that the name of a continent is also a noun.
    Thanks for your explanation.
    The genitive is sometimes a bit of a problem, especially in such a case in which the ambiguity about the meaning of the term "America", which may have led the company to choose a "not-so-good-after-all" solution.
    The idea of "possession" itself is sometimes a little difficult to explain when our pupils ask you about phrases like:
    a mile's walk (can a mile "possess" a walk?)
    children's books (do all the children "possess" these books?)
    a week's holiday ...

    So for a native speaker like you, what may seem odd would, at first sight, look perfectly acceptable to non-natives. I just happened to read the following this morning:
    "the World's Animals".
    OK, "America" is not the world (well, as far as I know ), but I would have expected the names of the continents to work the same...
    I did a quick search on Google and I found :
    Europe's Middle Ages (university of Calgary)
    Europe's Single Common Currency (...ac.uk)
    etc.

    That's why I said I would be interested in the native speakers' point of view....
    Last edited by AlainK; 13-Oct-2005 at 08:04.

  7. #7
    SweetMommaSue's Avatar
    SweetMommaSue is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by rhapsomatrics
    An apostrophe has two major functions each of which has its own peculiarity. When a pronoun takes an apostrophe, it betokens [S]abbreviation[/S] a contraction, but when a noun takes it, possession is depicted...eg..the book is Mike's/My father's etc(possession)... He's home([S]abbreviation[/S] contraction--He is...)
    "Americas" is a noun,a proper one for that matter,therefore it can take an apostrophe to show ownership. However, there is a little problem here which has to do with whether the Americas can be said to own the manager.
    I would have wanted to say "American manager" but for the fact that a non-American can become the Manager [S]in[/S]of the Americas [S]and even of America[/S].
    To this end, if I may suggest, I think [S]it'll[/S]it'd be safer to say something like this: "the Manager of The Americas", because he uses his managerial expertise to the advantage of the Americas. Therefore, as a matter of peroration, I wish to conclude that since [S]a[/S] nations cannot be said to own or possess [S]her[/S]their inhabitants, it may be loose(?) to have expressions like "America's manager"
    From my own personal experience, may I suggest the above changes?
    ************************************************** ******
    WELCOME Tracy!

    Personally, if I had seen the title "The Americas Manager" (without the apostrophe) it wouldn't have bothered me at all. However, "The America's Manager" implies only one of the American continents (so this one is not an option). America is singular, Americas is the plural form. To use an apostrophe to show possession for the plural form that ends in "s" you merely put it after the final "s". The point of possession is sticky here, but when I look at "The Americas' Manager" I think of "The Manager of The Americas" (so this one works). "The Manager of The Americas" sounds the best, even though it is longer, and it evokes less confusion, in my opinion.

    Let's wait to see what the other grammarians say. . .

    Smiles!
    SMS
    Last edited by SweetMommaSue; 20-Oct-2005 at 05:14.

  8. #8
    AlainK Guest

    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMommaSue
    Personally, if I had seen the title "The Americas Manager" (without the apostrophe) it wouldn't have bothered me at all.
    Actually, I wondered if that option was possible or not : then it would be a compound noun, wouldn't it ?... Much simpler in fact, but as you said, let's wait to see what the other grammarians say.

    However, "The America's Manager" implies only one of the American continents (so this one is not an option). America is singular, Americas is the plural form.
    Well, that is interesting: apparently, for English-speaking people (at least from North America), the singular can be nothing but the country USA, whereas when you want to refer to the whole continent, you have to use the plural, am I right?
    At least in France, and in Spain too, quite often, "America" stretches from the Strait of Bering to the "Tierra del Fuego"...
    A bit confusing

    Alain

  9. #9
    SweetMommaSue's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Oh my, no. . .

    Tracy mentioned both North and South America in her post. To most Americans (from the USA) North America refers to Canada and the USA, Central America means Mexico to Panama (I believe) and South America is, well, all those countries in the South American continent. So, that is why I wrote Americas as plural!

    ***BY THE WAY***
    There is another thread identical to this one called "Office Manager" also by our Tracy. We need to merge these two, if possible!

    Does that clarify what I was trying to say??

    Edit: I forgot to mention that to a USA citizen, if you only say "America" without indicating which one, then we automatically assume you mean us!
    Last edited by SweetMommaSue; 13-Oct-2005 at 09:14.

  10. #10
    AlainK Guest

    Re: Correct us of Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMommaSue
    Does that clarify what I was trying to say??

    Edit: I forgot to mention that to a USA citizen, if you only say "America" without indicating which one, then we automatically assume you mean us!
    Yes, thanks a lot.
    All this trouble for a place that was probably never visited by Amerigo Vespucci...
    Why didn't we call it just "Columbia"?
    Er..., well, OK, that doesn't solve the problem of the use of the apostrophe, it would be the same with "North Columbia", "Central Columbia",...
    F'get it...

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