Latest book printings? Where can you see that?

I’d have to dust off my copy of the CMoS but last I checked US treats organizations in the singular. NASA is… Google is… Starfleet is… . Maybe it’s just been the style guides I’ve used.

I suspect it’s one of those instances where the language shifts due to popular usage. Most people don’t even think about it, and it’s natural to think that an entity made up of a group of individuals is plural.

Personally, I have issues with some Americanisms that are mixing into British English, especially omitting the second parts of phrases like “write to X” or “search for Y” (producing “write X”, “search Y”), but I’m getting old enough to realise that I might just have to put up with it!

In the UK, we’ve seen a shift away from correct use of apostrophes (especially in possessives), but it’s been happening for a long time.

Really?! How fun is this! Please give examples! In Germany, we see a shift away from the correct use of apostrophes, too. I’ve seen this for decades. As far as I can see, most of the shift consists of english-style-genitive instead of german style. So I’d be curious on the shift that you discover in english. Maybe we’ll see it here, in a few years, too. :smiley:


Genitive in the german language works like in the english language, except the apostrophe. We simply add an ‘s’. The only exception is words with tailing ‘s’ or ‘x’, since adding another ‘s’ could be confusing. There, we use apostrophes.

English: Astronut’s rucksack, MisterX’s rucksack.
German: Astronuts rucksack, MisterX’ rucksack.

The view of an apostrophe in genitive is, despite that, a very common sight nowadays.

Sorry for the off-topic. I consider myself to have a reasonable grasp of the English language and am kind of proud to be mistaken for a native-speaker once in a while (albeit by people whose English is so bad they probably are not too good in telling the difference). But these fine differences you discuss fascinate me. :smiley: Really. :smiley:

No problem - always happy to help, although I’m really not well up on terminology for tenses and so forth. I love this kind of thing!

Lengthy discussion

So, just to give a basis: in British English, the apostrophe is usually used to indicate posession as you’ve indicated. Generally, you add “'s” to a noun to indicate posession, even if the word ends in “s” (James’s bag). However, if the noun is plural, you just add the apostrophe (the elephants’ trunks) - and not if it’s a collective noun like crowd or staff, in which case you just treat it normally (the elephant herd’s trunks).

This is all well and good, but most people don’t remember the specifics, so you frequently get a trailing posessive apostrophe added to any word ending in “s” (James’ bag), or, more commonly an extraneous apostrophe added to normal plurals (“banana’s - 5 for a pound” - this is known as the “grocer’s apostrophe” as it’s frequently found on hand-written signs on market stalls).

To add to the fun, apostrophes are also used for contractions (“there’s a green-eyed yellow idol” where it means “there is”, “aren’t” instead of “are not” and so on), and this rule tends to override the possessive - so we have fun with “it’s”, which means “it is” (“it’s the best way”), not something belonging to “it” - which is indicated without an apostrophe (“I took its life”). There is actually a specific history to this oddity which I can’t remember).

Very few people remember this one, and most spellcheckers aren’t very good at spotting it, but it can, in odd situations, completely change the meaning of a sentence.

Bringing it back on track (ish), according to my copy of Okrand’s Klingon dictionary, a trailing apostrophe in Klingon indicates that the stress for the word goes on the preceding syllable…

As I understand it, the apostrophe-equivalent in Klingon is a letter (representing a glottal stop), rather than a punctuation mark. Thus, missing an apostrophe from a Klingon word isn’t a grammatical error, but a spelling mistake.


Marc Okrand’s book is quite specific on the emphasis thing. He should know!

Oh sure, I’m not disagreeing, but apostrophes in Klingon have a function beyond the specific case you referenced, and I’m tired of seeing people misspell Qapla’

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From The Klingon Dictionary, §1.1,

’ The apostrophe indicates a sound which is frequently uttered, but not written, in English. It is a glottal stop, the slight catch in the throat between the two syllables of uh-oh or unh-unh, meaning “no.” When Klingon ’ comes at the end of a word, the vowel preceding the ’ is often repeated in a very soft whisper, as if an echo. Thus, Klingon je’ feed almost sounds like je’e, where the articulation of the first e is abruptly cut off by the ‘, and the second e is a barely audible whisper.
When ’ follows w or y at the end of a word, there is often a whispered, echoed u or I, respectively. Occasionally the echo is quite audible, with a guttural sound like gh preceding the echoed vowel. For example, yIlI’ transmit it! can sound more like yIlI’ghI. This extra-heavy echo is heard most often when the speaker is particularly excited or angry.

Because we’re in the alternate alternate timeline, where Khan is sucked into the stone age by Q as a peace offering for Sisko.

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Either that changed from the original publication or I need to go back and reread my copy (as I said it’s first printing).

I’m rather fond of the novels’ version, where the Eugenics “Wars” were a hidden conflict largey fought behind the scenes by special forces, James Bond-style secret agents and local proxies, against the forces of regional dictators, who happened to be Augments whose true nature was unknown. Most of the deaths were from ecoterrorism (famines and engineered plagues) and a series of proxy wars. The poulation at large was never aware of the conflict except in the form of various natural disasters requiring foreign aid.

Seems frighteningly possible to me!

I tend to assume similar - after all, we see Voyager’s crew travel back to 1996, the year the Eugenics Wars supposedly ended, and there’s no sign of a brutal conflict against genetically-engineered tyrants. So, it’s probably one of those things that’s become widely known in hindsight (post-WW3 or after First Contact), but which wasn’t known about at the time. It’s also entirely possible to hide the Eugenics Wars in amongst other conflicts in the 1990s, because humanity is never lacking a conveniently-timed war you can use as a hook for fictional events.


The only drawback to this is Khan and company escaping on an “old” DY100 class space vessel.
Unless it had warp capability, it wouldn’t have even left Sol’s system by the time Kirk found it.

Otherwise, this does sound good; I’ll have to read those books!

Which is pretty much canon…

Of course, there are any number of anomalies that could have swept them out of the solar system in the Trek universe.

Well, sweeping them out of the system is one thing, but having access to that kind of ship in 1996 is also a problem. It wasn’t just an old ship, it was implied that it was a class of ship of which there were many.
All in all, it was a mistake to make that kind of assumption for only 30 years in the future… 130 years, maybe. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

[quote=“Astronut, post:34, topic:5946”]
Of course, there are any number of anomalies that could have swept them out of the solar system in the Trek universe.
[/quote]from TMP:

DECKER: Voyager VI …disappeared into what they used to call a black hole.

Which means that, in the ST universe, there’s a black hole somewhere in the range of the Oort cloud. Let’s assume it’s 1996 launch was 200 years prior to its fall through the “black hole”… and it’s doing ~2× voyager II’s speed (so 35 km/s), that’s 10 LS/day, or 61.3 LM per year… or 8.5 LD over 200 years. The Oort is thought to extend to at least 180 LD…

And that a black hole is actually some kind of “wormhole” rather than all-consuming gravitational well.

This is a common problem with any sci-fi dealing with the near-future and a not-quite thorough understanding of physics!

I think I’d go full-TOS and say some kind of ion storm or other anomaly caught it…

I see and get your point, but the 60s were wildly optimistic about future space travel. I have a number of independent books from that era (and the 70s) in which we have bases on the Moon and Mars by the late 90s…

Interestingly, all of those that talked any kind of future history assumed the USA and Soviet Union would get over their differences and cooperate, rather than fight to the economic death.

What could have been… :roll_eyes:

STTMP was 1977 (at least the writing).

Many authors thought the break in spacetime would result in a white-hole spewing forth a new spew emission nebula elsewhere.

Einstein rejected the idea of black holes for some time.
Hawking showed Einstein’s math was correct. And more. But many scientists, even many astronomers, didn’t accept the inevitability of the math even into the 90’s. Kind of like Dark Matter and Dark Energy now: the majority of scientists accept it, but it’s still a large minority don’t, and the general public has no clue what it all really means. Even the educated layman is likely to have major misconceptions on DM/DE. I know my grip is fuzzy. Despite nearly 40 years of reading papers on the subject (ISTR WIMPs vs MACHOs being debated in 1980…)

Even the scientists don’t know what it really means. “Dark Matter” is just a catch-all term for what appears to be a gravitational anomaly that is pulling together groups of galaxies when they ought to be flying apart with the universal inflation. It might not be a phenomena great enough for us in just one galaxy though we might be able to come up with a game use for it.