Keanu Reeves, Man

From Point Break to publishing. Honestly, he’s just so cool.

Avoiding “apostrophe catastrophes”

I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, but I will allow this hilarious woman to tell you how to make your last name plural. And I’mma make it required reading if you want to be my friend:

 

How to Make Your Last Name Plural This Christmas Season

Nothing quells my Christmas cheer as quickly as a stray apostrophe. Every year they assault me.

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How quaint? This quaint.

Usually it’s in the middle of an otherwise quaint moment: I am padding around my parents’ house, wearing pink slippers, sipping on some hot chocolate. Snow is falling outside the window, and Josh Groban’s Christmas CD is filling the downstairs with peace on earth and mercy mild. My mother is baking a pie. She’s about to ask if I want to lick the spatula (which, duh, I will).

First, though, I find a stack of Christmas cards and begin to flip through them—pausing to marvel at how big so-and-so’s kids have gotten. And then I spot it: an apostrophe in a last name that isn’t supposed to be possessive.

I shudder, flipping past the unwarranted punctuation. But as I keep flipping, the apostrophes do, too—flipping me off, that is. They defile Christmas card after Christmas card, last name after last name with their presence. Gone is my Christmas cheer! All my glad tidings, replaced with fury.

“Did no one teach these people how to make their last names plural!?” I scream as I chuck the cards into the fire heretofore crackling peacefully beneath the mantel.

I watch the cards curl and disintegrate in the flames, and I wonder if I’ve overreacted.

Is pluralizing last names more difficult than I realize? Apparently so. Because we get these cards every year—these cards with their adorable photos and their apostrophe catastrophes.

This year I’d like to preempt the pluralization problems. It’s mid-November now, time to order Christmas cards again. I have created a brief guide to help you pluralize your last name. It is my humble attempt to preserve not only apostrophe protocol but also the dignity of the letter S.

Continue reading on Kate Brannen’s blog for a chart and pluralization FAQs…

Article

Stolen from the New York Times. Primarily because of this line: “We had an accident one time. We read ‘Water for Elephants.’ It was a huge mistake.” Secondarily because it’s an interesting read:

Men Have Book Clubs, Too

“The fun part was looking at the expressions,” said the club’s founder, Andrew McCullough, 53. “Some guys had real difficulty swallowing. I kept eating. I have standards I need to adhere to, as secretary and founder.”

The Man Book Club is going into its ninth year. It has 16 members, a number of whom are lawyers and engineers in their mid-50s. Each month, the host must prepare a meal appropriate to the book under discussion.

There was an eight-course French supper to accompany Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer” and a meal of refined comfort food presented on TV trays for Bill Bryson’s 1950s-era memoir, “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.”

“I was always a little jealous of my wife’s book clubs,” Mr. McCullough said. “Now our wives are jealous of us. We’ve created something that is more durable. The book club my wife belongs to — there’s a lot of changeover.”

Women, it seems, can afford to drop in and out of reading groups. In its 2011 survey of voluntary organizations, the Pew Research Center found that 11 percent of Americans were active in “literary, discussion or study groups such as book clubs” and that women were more than twice as likely to take part in such gatherings as men were.

Perhaps because participation in reading groups is perceived as a female activity, some all-male book clubs have an outsize need to proclaim the endeavor’s masculinity. In addition to going by the name the Man Book Club, for instance, Mr. McCullough’s group expresses its notion of manliness through the works it chooses to read. “We do not read so-called chick lit,” he said. “The main character cannot be a woman.”

Continue reading…