I laid awake last night thinking of grammar. I like to think I have a pretty good handle on the written word. I admit I overuse commas, and semi colons remain a mystery, but otherwise I think I am pretty good. I took the grammar test on the Daily Writing Tip’s web site and got a 70%. Not a stellar score, but it has been 19 years since I took Mrs. Kortum’s College Comp class. I may not always be right, but I know where I might be wrong. Double punctuation is another problem of mine.

The concern keeping me up late was my use of Lewis as possessive in my last post. I wrote “Lewis’”. Is that right? According to Lynne Truss who wrote Eats, Shoots and Leaves, it could be. Great. I like a wishy-washy grammar answer. She pointed out that punctuation usage is in flux. Her rule is:  (I wish I could get this to not double space on a hard return without going to bullet points, if there is a trick, please let me know.)

Modern names ending in “s” (including biblical names, and any foreign name with an unpronounced final “s”), the “s” is required after the apostrophe:

Keats’s poems

Phillipa Jones’s book

St James’s Square

Alexander Dumas’s The Three Musketeers

[okay, there is my answer…or maybe not]

With names from the ancient world, it is not:

Archimedes’ screw

Achilles’ heel

If the name ends in an “iz” sound, an exception is made:

Bridges’ score

Moses’ tablets

And an exception is always made for Jesus:

Jesus’ disciples

Now we find ourselves mentally pronouncing “Lewis”. Loo-ess, how is that different from her example of Moses? I say that Moe-sess, not really an “iz” sound, and while I am here, doesn’t Jones end with an “iz” sound? I will let it stand. Please forgive me if you think it should be “Lewis’s”, or better yet tell me why it should be. You could also tell me if I should have the comma next to the “s” or after the “”” mark.

My next question is, do you know anyone named Meriwether? It seems that name has gone out of general usage.

On to another topic.

I am thinking of going with an occasional theme for Monday, like Memory Lane Monday but that sounds really corny. How about Monday Musings? I think I will go with that.

Bill Gates describes “Musing” as:

1. vti think about something: to think about something in a deep and serious or dreamy and abstracted way Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

and we know Bill Gates is the authority on all things.

Monday Musings for July 7

My musing today is a recipe. Many of my good memories revolve around food. I remember good restaurants and what I ate at them. I get excited when I learn a new cooking skill, like making crepes (incredibly easy… now if I could only get someone else to eat them with me). I love to try new recipes, I love eating. Occasionally Mom used to make this completely unique dessert. It is called Ritz Cracker Pie, and it is wonderful.

Ritz Cracker Pie

  • Add ½ t baking powder to 3 egg whites. Beat until stiff.
  • Gradually add 1 cup sugar and 11/2 t vanilla, beating again.
  • Gently fold in 1 c chopped nuts and 20 crumbled Ritz crackers.
  • Pour into a 9 inch greased pie plate (8X8 works better for a carry-in dish).
  • Bake at 325 for 30 minutes.
  • When completely cool, spread with one cup whipped heavy cream.
  • Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

I think of a recipe as a guide, so I start altering things the second time I make them. Believe you me this does not need to be refrigerated 8 hours. It changes and is good after refrigeration, but it is plenty good without waiting 8 hours. I have put fresh fruit and whipped cream in this, it is good with ice cream in it. I bet it would be good with just a drizzle of chocolate, ooh and maybe a mint leaf. I will have to try that next time. I just ate three pieces (there wasn’t enough for everyone so I took one for the team) so the next time I make this will not be very soon.