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Watch out for lint 

Watch out for lint:

"The Dignity-Al Karama is escorted to the port of Ashdod, Israel, by an Israeli navel ship after it tried to break through the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday."

"Balden Electric has purchased the warehouse and office complex on Jeremy Lind Road in Fort Smith from C. Bean Transport, Inc." I'll bet this property is on Jenny Lind Road. Fort Smith is not the only American city with a street named for Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale.

Lind was already a huge opera star in Europe when P.T. Barnum brought her to America for a concert tour in 1850. She performed all over the country and left her name all over it too.

Gentle Reader from Rogers writes that she likes the Times and especially The Observer. However, she wonders if TO erred in writing that he/she was "adverse" to exercise. "Perhaps TO meant 'averse'?" Perhaps. But it's a fairly close call.

The two adjectives are related, Random House says, "each having 'opposition' as a central sense." But, "Adverse is seldom used of people but rather of effects or events, and it usually conveys a sense of hostility or harmfulness: adverse reviews, adverse winds ... Averse is used of persons and means 'feeling opposed or disinclined' ... "

When the political blogger Bartcop wrote that the possessive form of Gates (the former secretary of Defense) is 'Gates's,' several readers disagreed. One wrote: " 'Gates' is the correct possessive spelling of Gates. [My] Credentials: eight years of post-graduate study; twelve years of teaching English at the university level; published author."

Bartcop was unswayed, and he has the support of Garner's Modern American Usage. Garner notes that the Associated Press has traditionally added only an apostrophe if the name ends in –s. "But most authorities who aren't newspaper journalists demand the final –s for virtually all singular possessives (e.g., Bill Forbis's farm, not Bill Forbis' farm). See the very first rule of William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, 'The Elements of Style.' "

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  • The L word and the C word

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    • May 1, 2014
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