The grammar gods
I imagine the grammar gods are related to the cribbage gods, who as (my) legend has it, punish you if you boast about the fact that you’re winning a match. That’s my superstition anyway and what I tell my oldest son about playing cribbage. Really, the message is “don’t boast or gloat” and he knows I am kidding about the gods because first of all we only believe in one God and we don’t think He’s a punishing God.
I had just told my colleague the other day, “I am currently feeling guilty for being judgmental about other people’s grammar. I was watching a movie last night and heard three different grammar errors…thankfully I did not say anything.”
My colleague told me she can shut if off when she is not working, but I confessed, “I can’t shut it off. It’s awful.”
Last night, I got spanked by the grammar gods. I had just reviewed one of my son’s papers and told him “You spelled ‘Youkilis’ wrong (yes, he was writing about baseball), and while you’re at it, you need to edit this page and reprint it, too. This word should have an ‘s’ at the end.”
The word in question was Red Sox in its possessive form.
I was SO SURE I was right because I had just gone through the research of plural and possessive of words ending in x, if they were common or proper nouns (because I had to address a thank you note to some people whose family name ends in x, and no, I did not feel like writing “The *****x Family” on the envelope.
I was so sure I told my son “Well, maybe I’m smarter than your teacher” when he told me she hadn’t edited it during the rough draft phase. I felt bad enough saying that and quickly told him, “Well, she does have lots of papers to look at, and I only have one…”
He went back to the computer to edit “Youkilis” and started to edit “Red Sox’ ” and I said, “Wait, let’s just look it up to be sure. Move over a little.” And I sat next to him on the chair and did a google search on the other computer.
We scanned the results and he said, “Hah! I’m not wrong — you are!”
My kids love to point out my grammar mistakes.
“Oh! I’m so glad we looked it up. I would have felt horrible if you got points taken off and it was my fault.” As it was, I felt horrible enough about saying I was smarter than my son’s teacher. Because not only was I not smarter, I was also not at all humble.
“Don’t boast or gloat.”
Suffice it to say I care about grammar and let’s leave it at that.
And the reason Red Sox’ (possessive) is correct is because if “Sox” was actually spelled “Socks” you only add the apostrophe.