So it\’s men who are rude about womens\’ looks then, eh?

\"\"So we get this description of Ms. Trimingham:

All changed when Vicky learned that her husband was having an affair with Carina Trimingham, his sometime press aide and a Doc-Martens-wearing former lesbian. Oh, Chris, Chris. Hell is a rather cosy, cheerful place compared to the wrath of a wife whose man runs off with a bisexual woman twice her size. Plus the unfortunate Ms Trimingham looks like the love child of Tommy Cooper and Bernard Bresslaw.

More than a tad ungallant, eh? And certainly more wounding than all that frothing about Pippa Middleton having a gawkable derriere.

This comes of course from the fragrant Allison Pearson.

\"\"That\’s right my dear, past a certain age always make sure to be photographed while looking up. Helps to hide the wattles and jowls, doesn\’t it?

The effects of gravity upon the porky are such a bitch.

7 comments on “So it\’s men who are rude about womens\’ looks then, eh?

  1. “Looks of women, womens’, no?”

    I’m not sure. Bet I was sure when I was ten, but now I’m not sure.

    James’ shoe: OK. James’s shoe: OK. Jesus’ sandal: OK. Jesus’s sandal: not OK. I remember that rather silly instruction.

  2. No. Women is already the plural, so I think women’s would be right. I suppose one might argue that that rule breaks down when talking about the peoples of the world and things belonging to more than one set of peoples – but hey, punctuation can be so deliciously tricky.

    And yes, still at The Thunderer, for good and ill. Mostly good. It beats the real world hands down.

  3. FWIW I’m with tgr here – “women” is already plural (like “children”).

    BTW Tim. I see you were born in 1963 which implies that you attended primary school in the 70s by which time English grammar was a tad too elitist to be taught in the state-maintained sector.

    Tim adds: Indeed, I have complained about it often. By the time I got to the paying sector grammar was only taught in Latin or Greek, as everyone did that of course so no need to do it in English. But I didn’t do Latin or Greek, or at least not for very long. So I’ve never actually studied or been taught grammar at all.

    In English this doesn’t matter very much. Read enough and you’ll pick up how things are supposed to go and if you’re writing for publication there will be a sub (like TGR, who is one) to clean up any infelicities.

    In American, not so much. Subs send pieces back with comments like “this is a comma broken sentence, please fix”. What? I don’t know what it is let alone how to fix it. I’m doing some scribbling for Demand Media at the moment (I’m broke!) and I keep getting these comments from very anal subs about trivia of sentence construction that I really don’t understand. Have no clue what they’re talking about. This is a general problem with US media BTW. They’re completely anal about grammar.

  4. Not knowing grammar makes learning a foreign language a right bitch too. Although once you’ve learned Russian grammar, learning a language like French becomes an awful lot easier.

  5. @umbongo + tim.

    You are both spot-on about grammar. I was born in ’62 and went to a comp in the 70s where the teachers hardly knew it, let alone had a plan or instructions to impart it. I still recoil from the advanced technicalities (reflexive verbs and so forth), but Tim is quite right that one develops an ear for it – and that is very much the case in the wordsmithing trade.

    We don’t want to be hide-bound, and the guiding rule is that if it sounds right and is easy to comprehend, then it probably is right, or at least OK. Some American subs (and some American papers) are terrifically self-important and dull. If that person had tried such clever-arsedness here, they (or is it he or she?) would soon be shown the door, perhaps with the words: “Stop being a c*** and just fix it yourself next time. That’s what you’re paid for” ringing in their undeferential ears.

  6. I was born in ’69, and at prep school in the ’70’s*
    we were drilled in grammar relentlessly. Women is a plural, therefore the possessive is women’s.

    * grammatical note: so-called ‘smart quotes’ are a bane here. Since ’70’s is a contraction of 1970’s, the first inverted comma should be a standard apostrophe, but many word processors insist on invertng it. The rules around quoting something like ’70’s are too abstruse (and contentious) to be worthwhile, which is why I chose italics instead.

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