Rantings of a sub-editor

February 16, 2011

A question of form

Filed under: Uncategorized — substuff @ 4:55 pm
Tags: ,

I have just received this email. Frustratingly, I don’t know the answer either. Anyone?

Hi Cathy,

Received this from my friend ‘The Headkicker’ James [oh that one, yes, he and his apostrophe have cropped up before] today. I don’t know the answer…

I have a new grammar conundrum for your friend’s blog that needs answering: On a form you often see a word with an (s) after it if the answer could be single or plural – e.g. Enter middle name(s) here: etc.

What happens when you have a word that doesn’t pluralise so conveniently such as property/properties? Is it acceptable to have property(s)? We all know what it is asking but is it grammatically correct? Is there even a rule of grammar that covers this sort of thing? Am I putting too much thought into the new house name change application form I am creating? Probably.

What do you reckon Relfy?

I hope are well and you don’t have VD*,


* I do not. This is a reference to a text message I received on Valentine’s Day asking whether I’d received any “VD cards”.

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