Last night after coming home exhausted from the second of two jobs (and I'm straining myself with the effort of not discussing either of them here), I finished off the last few pages of Bridget Jones's Diary before falling asleep.
So many women adore that book, including some of my friends, who say, "She's just like me!" or, "I'm just like her!" or, "I do exactly the same things!"
Everyone's neurotic, sure, but that's Bridget's only real characteristic. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell my friends that whether they do or do not obsessively, illogically, and inaccurately count calories, they are each of them more interesting than Bridget Jones. They are interested in things like literature, baseball, football, nerd conventions, astronomy, politics, charitable activities, and so on. My former roommate (confirmed bipolar and possibly borderline sociopath) is like Bridget Jones.
But that's not what this post is about. You see, it's about the title: Bridget Jones's Diary.
1. It's italicized, not in quotes. You place the titles of longer works in italics and of shorter works (like a song or a TV episode) in quotes.
2. The apostrophe is correct as written. Jones's. I see far too often that people flinch in the face of singular possessive with a noun ending in an -s. Stop being so gunshy, people! It is not "Jones'." That construction would never happen. If there were more than one Jones, it would be "Joneses'." Our singular (or singleton) Jones gets an apostrophe-s at the end of her name.
In short, I am going to borrow Hans's motorbike, put a hook through the bass's mouth, and remember the lovely caress's feel.
True, language changes. I don't mind that. But let it change as it needs to: adopt new phrases, welcome new vocabulary, and entertain new constructions. Language should evolve because we use it to describe a changing world and changing circumstances.
It should not change because people are too lazy or, dare I say it, dumb to understand an extremely basic rule of grammar.
Grammar rules are there because good writing is polite. Good punctuation is a courtesy, making it easy for me to understand what on earth you're trying to say. If you can learn which fork to use first at the table (it's the one on the outside, folks), then you can fix that silliness with the apostrophes.
Disclaimer: This post was written by the former assistant editor of a national magazine, someone who enjoyed full lunch breaks of shared rants about the proper uses of a comma with her colleagues. She's become necessarily passionate about these things.