Issue For September 5, 2008
This is a question submitted by an OWL user to the OWL Tutors. If you need to have a question answered quickly, contact our OWL Tutors here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/contact/owlmailtutors. Or you may call the Grammar Hotline at 765-494-3723 . And remember, both services are free for everyone!
How to use an apostrophe
Let's say I have a list that is called "My To-do List"
Which is correct?
These are your to-dos to-do's or to-dos'.
I'm guessing it is to-do's, but I'm not sure why.
It stands to reason that you would find yourself in a bit of a quandary
here. The apostrophe has a colorful development in the history of our
language, and as a result, we find many "gray" areas. But many editors of
large publications have begun clearing up these issues.
To start with, the apostrophe only functions (1.) to imply that something
c'mon, stinkin', can't, 'tis, 'til
(2.) to show possession:
Shirley's purse, the boy's toy
For several years, the "'s" has been used off and on as a plural as in the
case of your example "to-do's." However, many publishers no longer do this
and stick with the two rules above. We used to write, for example, the
60's, DVD's, and the sort, but it is now recommended to write 60s and
DVDs. So in your case, use "to-dos." It looks weird, but it's correct.
Does that help answer your question?
Each issue we publish Purdue OWL News readers' requests for advice or information and the responses from other Purdue OWL News readers.
Titles for Consultants
On my business card, I describe myself as an "Educational Consultant". Is this correct? It's not "Education Consultant" is it? And should it be "Remedial Education Consultant" or "Remedial Educational Consultant"? Thanks. --Tanee Das, Mumbai, (Bombay), India.
Tanee Das, Mumbai, (Bombay), India.
Many professionals in the U.S. use the label, "Educational Consultant," on their business cards to show special emphases on services to students, families, professionals in education, or organizations in the education industry. (I hope, nonetheless, that every consultant,in whatever industry, educates clients they serve.)
Doug Leber, Learner's Workshop, Denver, CO
Observance and Celebration Usage
What is the difference between observance and celebration? Like, do we obserce Earth Day or celebrate it?
Thomas Jacob - Thiruvananthapuram, Indi
How to use -er
Why can you say "older" but not "intelligenter" or "gooder"?
What is "ethos"?
My teacher keeps talking about “ethos.” What is “ethos” and why should I care?
A Message from the OWL Coordinator and the New OWL Webmaster
Welcome to the Purdue OWL. My name is Jeffrey Bacha, and I am the new OWL Webmaster. I am honored to serve in this position, and I look forward to continuing the exceptional services provided by so many skilled OWL contributors: tutors, graduate students, staff, and faculty who have helped make the OWL what it is today. The Purdue OWL is constantly growing and changing, and so it is an exciting time to be moving into the Webmaster position. This year will bring even more exciting changes to the OWL as we begin pilot testing and refining of our new online tutoring system for Purdue students. We will also continue to develop additional content as our services grow and as we shift information into our ongoing site re-design.
Welcome to the Fall Semester
Hello everyone! Welcome to the first issue of the Purdue OWL News for the fall 2008 semester. Beyond our usual articles, you will find some new information in this issue. Over the summer, the OWL's Webmaster, Dana Driscoll, handed over the technical responsibilities of the site to our new Webmaster, Jeff Bacha. Everyone in the Writing Lab is sorry to see Dana go, but we're also excited about working with Jeff. Jeff comes to us from the Purdue rhetoric and composition (r/c) program, and before joining r/c, he completed his M.A. at Georgia State University. Some of Jeff's past experience in Web design includes work for the Georgia State Department of English.
We continue to work on moving resources over from the old OWL to the new site. Our goal is to complete this task by the end of the fall semester. In addition, the orange section of the OWL that contains the writing resources will change slightly to reflect usability research and to match the green Writing Lab section of the site. Once we have completed this change, we plan to "let it be" for a while. The OWL has experienced a number of changes over the past three years, and while users' feedback will always contribute to updates, we're looking forward to implementing the final changes that emerged from our usability research. As always, your suggestions are welcome.
The Writing Lab is happy to announce new resources available for Purdue University students and OWL users. Brady Spangenberg, a graduate tutor in the lab, is collaborating with Andrea Duff from the University of South Australia to run the new grammar blog, the Grammar Gang. In addition, Brady is flexing his Conan-the-Grammarian muscles in the the new grammar discussion group on Thursdays from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (EST) in the Writing Lab on the Purdue campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
For those of you interested in seeing what our lab looks like, we have added a link from the OWL to our MySpace page that features a tour of the Writing Lab.
And over the summer, the Writing Lab partnered with Purdue Civil Engineering and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to run the INDOT-Writing Lab Workshop Series. The numerous technical writing resources from this workshop series are available here.
H. Allen Brizee, OWL Coordinator
Jeffrey Bacha, OWL Webmaster
Jeff is a Ph.D. student in rhetoric and composition at Purdue University with a secondary area in digital rhetoric. He has been teaching writing in writing labs or in classrooms since 2000. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Michigan-Flint and M.A. in English specializing in Rhetoric and Composition from Georgia State University.
News from our in-person Writing Lab, located on Purdue University's campus in Heav. 226.
Writing Lab Hours
Visit us in Heavilon Hall 226, Purdue University, West-Lafayette campus. To make a tutoring appointment, call 765-494-3723.
Heavilon 226 Consultation Hours (Fall Semester 2008):
- 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM Monday - Thursday
- 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM - Fridays
Hicks, UGRL Room G959 Satellite Location Hours:
- 7:00 - 10:00 PM Mondays
Meredith Hall Satellite Location Hours:
- 7:00 - 10:00 PM Wednesdays
The Purdue Writing Lab will be hosting the East Central Writing Center Association Conference on April 3 and April 4, 2008. Check here soon for more information.