Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Apostrophe

The apostrophe has three uses:

1) to form possessives of nouns
2) to show the omission of letters
3) to indicate certain plurals of lowercase letters.

Apostrophes are NOT used for possessive pronouns or for noun plurals, including acronyms.

Is punctuation really that hard? Really? My name is simple, French, poetic...and yes, somehow my parents decided to set me apart from the crowd and put that apostrophe in my name, and then pair it with Benincosa and then tie those two together with a tribute to my granny-Virginia.....

When someone comes from the town of Arcy (located in France) you would say they were Christian d'Arcy....a la Cyrano de Bergerac. That somehow got twisted into my name from some weird geography book my dad must have been reading at the time. D'Arcy. Living in France no one had a problem with it, in fact the woods next to my house were dubbed "Bois d'Arcy".

Thus you have the only person in the world (at least according to google) with my exact name, and that's sayin something. However if anyone else knows a D'Arcy Virginia Benincosa please let me know, I'd like to send them a birthday cake.

Most of my life has been me saying..."No, it's D apostrophe, capital A,

Then one day in September I just gave up. Seriously, I don't care anymore!!! Spell it how you will!! Darcy, Darci, Darcie, Darsey (that's what my order for Emily's birthday party was put under)!

It happened the birthday I got the cake with the semi-colon on it. That's right, bakers and punctuation don't mix. I have never had a birthday cake with proper name spelling and now I either request pie or a cake that says "Here's lookin' at chew Kid."

I have had the following on birthday cakes (after mother orders it on the phone with strict instructions regarding punctuation):







I guess I have to give people credit for trying....yet I almost gasp audibly when I tell someone how to spell my name and they ask me what an apostrophe is!!!!! This happens on college campuses and doctors offices all the time! So, yesterday a guy from Weber State who wanted to give me some money came down and had me fill out all the information. I put my correct spelling on everything. I got the check in the mail today--you guessed it, yet another D-arcy. I hope they will let me cash it.

And there you have it. Now you know why I teach English. I tell the kids all the time: it's so that when they are bakers at Bowman's market, they can get the cakes right!

I ask you, did the bass player of the Smashing Pumpkins have this much trouble?


Stina said...

That is so funny! I love the history of your name. Also, hilarious that people don't know what an apostrophe is.

I usually have to clarify the beginning and ending of my name. "Christina, with a C-H" and then "ends with an A, not an E" (so many people call me Christine).

Hey, It's Ansley said...

I always have to spell my name too but you have the added frustration of punctuation and extra capital letters. Yikes! I really do think the world would be a better place with better grammar. World peace through punctuation! Have you read Eats, Shoots and Leaves? (although I still think the title is missing a comma b/c I'm a fan of the oxford comma, but I get the joke)

Gustav said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gustav said...

Dear D'Arcy

Everytime I type your name on the keyboard your apostrophe hangs like a little bell between "D" and A" and reminds me that you are different.

You are quite right to celebrate the Apostrophe in your name and I must admit I have a bit of Apostrophe envy.

G'Ustav is inelegant and clumsy while D'Arcy is romantic, mysterious, and exudes a sense of sophistication.....

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

LOL! I have a VERY unusual last name so I'm always very conscientious of proper spelling and pronunciation, but so many people AREN'T!!!
It's amazing, isn't it???

(I have to agree with Gustav that D'Arcy is a very elegant and sophisticated name.)

Olivia said...

lol, they'll cash it, my last name is now Ghafoerkhan...and we've gotten a dozen or more checkes that have been misspelled. Thank you, Capital City Bank, for understanding that when a name has 11 letters, someone is bond to get it wrong.

Ninny Beth said...

I can commisserate. And you know it. I get asked on a daily basis if I put that capital letter in there myself. Why, yes, of course...I thought it would be much more fun to spend the rest of my life feeling just a little bit hurt if someone doesn't put in the effort to hit the shift key twice when typing my name.

And, my father and mother and brother have all changed their last name legally back to the original O'Daly...if I follow suit, we can commisserate on an even deeper level. Two capitals and an apostrophe.

missed you in korea this time around...(That is not a complete sentence and does not require correct punctuation. I also acknowledge the overuse of the ellipses.)

Boquinha said...

I like this post! And I love that there's a National Punctuation Day. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

I love your name, D'Arcy! I love that t-shirt, too. Maybe I should get one!

The Trevor said...

D'Arcy... your diatribe is well-founded and absolutely endearing. Hope you have been well and that you remember me.

Maybe you should call the apostrophe by it's other name, often used in the unlearned South... the "up-high comma"

I kid you not, people call it that.