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November 03, 2012


Oh, YUM! I pledge to bake every single one. Fabulous photos!

ME--Helen is a fabulous cook, as was her mother. Her husband, the photographer, is also world class!

his photos of these tarts-in-the-making are indeed world class. had me drooling!!

S-I-L's ??? I always thought it was S's-I-L.

But then I attach a different meaning to 'Doable European tarts' too ;-)

OK, Stu, join the rest of us up here on the sidewalk! FYI: S-I-L was awarded the title of "Most Photogenic" in St Louis - while her photographer, now-husband was still dating her younger sister circa 1960.

It would be S's-I-L if she were talking about several people, but she is using the possessive form. At least it seems right to me.

I disagree, Bogie. IMHO :-
The singular is S-i-L.
The plural is Ss-i-L.
Genitive singular S's-i-L.
Genitive plural Ss'-i-L.

But I may be wrong so I'll ask Xtreme English, as an editor and ex English teacher she should know.

These tarts to look and sound good!

Stu and Bogie: S-I-L is an acronym. You could look it up in the definitive dictionary on acronyms, but that was published in 1970; S-I-L comes from contemporary TV (or literachoor?). In one online resource, S-I-L also is spelled SIL without the bloody hyphens, but that might confuse those of us who already on shaky ground.

Anyway, Cop Car's "S-I-L's" is absolutely correct. My own S-I-L's 90th birthday was this past spring. I had four S-I-Ls, but only one is left now.

BTW, the rules of spelling and punctuation already have taken a nosedive with the insane bidness of adding 's to nouns to make them plural. [Plaintive former editorial note: My whole birth family seems to have fallen into that trap! They are too smart to be a bunch of yokels or, as they would say, "yokel's"!!] I might use "yokelses," especially if I was trying to be funny, which is a strain for an editor.

Definition of editors recently seen: "mice trying to become rats."

Genug already! I have to go vote.

Oops! "...who already ARE on shaky ground...."

Sorry, Stu – I had thought that you were just razzing me. Now I see that a whole discussion has sprung up.

This is what I was taught, as I recall:

....Singular: sister-in-law
....Plural: sisters-in-law or sister-in-laws, depending upon the meaning; as in, “We are sisters-in-law.” Or “I have three sister-in-laws.” I believe that the second form is no longer in use; but, that is what I was taught.

Contrarily, I do not recall having been taught the relevant pluralizations of those forms. (I am so old-fashioned that I still spell the case "genetive"!) Back in those days (1940s-early 1950s), no short designator was taught, to the best of my memory. When I use S-I-L or S-i-L, each of which I would claim is not an acronym (although, SIL, is, and federal government editors would favor SiL), I apply the logic somewhat present in the formation of any other plural.

My take would be:

....Possessive Singular: sister-in-law’s
....Possessive Plural: sisters-in-law’s

Logically, it would seem that there should be a “sisters’-in-law” to match the “sisters-in-law”; but, that is so awkward that it makes me shudder.

EVERYONE - I'm OK with your using whatever comes to mind in writing about in-laws. There should be a better, unhyphenated term to start with! In fact, I should originally have written, "While I don't normally plug commercial products or ventures, I'm 'bustin' my buttons' over Hunky Husband's sister's new book...."

I stand corrected. Thankyou Mary (aka Xtreme English) for your clarification.

To anyone who cares: I repeat XE's "Genug already!" Before Bogie chides me, I'll put that in English: Enough already!

Stu: no worries. You helped clarify this whole meshuggas!!

CC - we agreed on the spelling thing, so I'm perplexed as to why I should chide you.

Ah, Bogie, you should not. After all, I am your mother. I have noted over the years, however, your preference that we keep communications in English!

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