M&G’s Grammar drama?

On Thursday I came across a Mail & Guardian Online report titled “Falling circulation a sign of the Times, so why did Survé single out Dasnois?” which I thought had a lot of grammar drama.

Even at the time of writing, its bi-line “The Cape Times’s falling circulation is said to have prompted the sacking of editor Alide Dasnois, but her replacement has a far worse record” had not been edited. It is therefore not clear whether this error, in my view, had been noticed despite my notifying the publication thereof.

After noticing the error on Thursday afternoon, I took to Facebook that:

Unless my teachers lied to me at school at the time, but I was taught that you can’t write “Cape Times’s” or put an a “…’s” after any word whose letter ends with “…s”. Instead, one should rather put just “…'” after the last letter “…s” to reflect as “Cape Times'”. But I see Mail and Guardian is busy with today [Thursday]”…s’s” in one of its articles with “Cape Times’s”. Or did my English teachers lie to us (because it was many of us pupils at the time)?

Again, errors such as “Aurgus’s” had also not been corrected at the time of writing.

So, tell me: Is it my former English teachers who cheated on me of the Queen’s language or it’s M&G’s Grammar drama on this particular article that needs a fix?

NB: I am a vivid and obsessed reader of M&G – Online and Print. It is the first publication whose web site I check out daily, and many times a day. The seemingly grammar drama is therefore well intentioned for the errors to be corrected, if it is indeed incorrect and not meant to embarrass the publication, if any.


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